Sudbury·Audio

Sudbury landlord trying to evict problem tenant waits a year for hearing, loses $11K in rent

A Sudbury, Ont., landlord who has waited a year for a hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board says his case is a good example of why many "small landlords are just making it every month."

Ontario government says it's working to speed up the landlord-tenant tribunal process

Northern Ontario landlords are calling for changes to the rental housing system after lengthy delays in getting trouble tenants evicted. (David Donnelly/CBC)

After years of dealing with a tenant he calls "violent and threatening," Chico Vaillancourt had had enough.

The Sudbury realtor and landlord filed a complaint with the Ontario Landlord and Tenant board with the goal of getting the man evicted.

That was in April 2020. A year later, the case is about to go before the tribunal for the first time.

"Apparently that's normal these days," said Vaillancourt with a laugh. 

"It's incredible how difficult it is to navigate and get things done. So I'm hoping it's a no-brainer and I'll get an eviction."

Vaillancourt said the tenant has not paid rent in the past year, leaving him out about $11,000.

He said he has another tenant who is about $2,000 behind in her rent, but is "fearful" that if he takes her to the landlord tenant board, she'll also stop paying rent. 

"A few are taking advantage of a situation where it's obvious they can pay rent, but they're choosing not to," said Vaillancourt, who manages about 30 apartments in Greater Sudbury.

"Between mortgages, insurance, snow removal, repairs, a lot of small landlords are just making it every month."

Sudbury realtor and landlord Chico Vaillancourt has waited a year to have his complaint heard by the landord-tenant tribunal, and during that time, his tenant has not paid rent. (Erik White/CBC )

After 11 years, Edward Carey of Sudbury has decided to stop being a landlord.

He has listed his duplex in the Flour Mill for sale, frustrated with constant repairs he has to pay for and chasing after tenants who don't pay their rent.

Carey said he had a tenant who was $2,400 behind on rent and he filed with the landlord tenant board in December.

"They had no problem taking my $185, but I still have not received any reply."

Carey would like to see the provincial government speed up the tribunal process, but also make it easier for landlords to charge tenants for damages.

"Between me and my wife, we have just gotten to the point where we do not want to deal with situations like this again," he says.

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General said in a statement that the Landlord and Tenant Board "understands the impact that service delays have had on personal lives and businesses and the need to address the volume of applications that require timely, fair and efficient dispute resolution."

The ministry said it has "made changes that are intended to reduce the number of applications that need a hearing, use hearing time more efficiently, and increase the capacity of the (board) to hold hearings and resolve disputes before a full hearing."

We heard from a couple of northern Ontario landlords... part of a growing number who are struggling with troublesome tenants, including one in Sudbury who hasn't paid rent for the past year. 6:41

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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