'Professional tenant' James Regan finally forced from Toronto apartment
Eviction order issued in October is enforced after 5 months of no payments
On the day he was charged with assaulting his former landlord, James Regan, 62, was finally forced out of the Avenue Road apartment he's occupied since July without paying any rent.
Under the court-ordered supervision of two sheriffs, landlord Robin Ennis changed the locks on the apartment Tuesday morning.
"I am very relieved," Ennis, who is still owed more than $10,000, told CBC News outside her home.
Regan, who is described as a "well-coiffed", "professional tenant", received an eviction order — his third since 2014 — from the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board on Oct. 14.
But he was able to remain in the three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment until today by appealing the order in Superior Court.
On Nov. 15, a Superior Court judge dismissed the appeal, calling it "without merit and an abuse of process."
At previous apartments, Regan was able to live rent-free for much longer by appealing eviction orders. Ennis believes recent media coverage helped expedite her case.
"The press coverage finally forced the system to act and get me my home back."
Beginning in 2014, Regan lived in a Lake Shore Boulevard West apartment for a year without paying any rent before finally getting evicted.
From there he moved to an apartment near Old Mill Road and Bloor Street West, where he was able to live for eight months without paying rent.
Charged with assault
Earlier Tuesday, Regan surrendered to police at 53 Division and was charged with assault.
A police media release from Monday says Regan assaulted a 56-year-old woman who confronted him about a civil matter at a residence in the Avenue Road and McMaster Avenue area on Sept. 24. CBC News has learned the alleged victim is one of Regan's previous landlords.
Regan "became enraged, and punched and kicked the woman," the police release says.
He was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon.