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‘Tenant from hell’ in Burnaby stole every appliance after eviction and fled

Tenant cleaned out the suite while landlord was on a trip
iStock photo

Meet Jack - he has trust issues.

He didn’t have trust issues for most of his life, but being a landlord with a “tenant from hell” can do that to a person.

Jack decided to rent out a renovated suite in his house after retiring in Burnaby to help with expenses.

“I also wanted to provide a home for someone,” Jack said. “So much for good intentions.”

Jack ended up choosing a tenant who was in their 30s and had a good reference – which actually turned out to be bogus as the tenant had gotten a friend to pose as a previous landlord.

The first four months went OK, although the tenant played their music too loud and left garbage periodically on the lawn. Jack decided to be patient and use gentle nudging to earn trust and compliance.

“I hadn’t done this before and so I figured I’d be patient so as to not aggravate the situation,” said Jack. “Things went downhill in month five. He threw a couple of nasty parties in which his guests did damage to my house and to my vehicle. I caught my tenant, who was really drunk, urinating on my front door. He just laughed at me and stuck up his middle finger. The next day he was contrite, but it’s hard to go back after that. A few weeks later I noticed that one of my back windows was broken. He denied it, but I was sure it was him. There were lots of other issues.”

Then the tenant stopped paying his rent without explanation.

And so, Jack started eviction proceedings.

That took a long time, but Jack eventually got approval for it to happen. When the day the tenant was to move out, Jack came down to check on the tenant. It turns out the guy had already left.

“He left behind a lot of his junk, but he had stolen all of the appliances when I went away for a few days,” Jack said. “My neighbour told me they saw a truck pull in. I guess he got some buddies to load it all up. The fridge, the stove, the microwave, the washer and dryer – he cleaned me out. Just the tenant from hell.”

Oh, and the departing renter also keyed one of Jack's vehicles for good measure.

A second Burnaby landlord contacted me recently to also share his thoughts on dealing with bad tenants.

“The tenancy branch is a complete joke,” wrote Rich. “Some years ago I had a tenant sign a one year lease only to break the lease 1.5 months later. I kept the damage deposit with a letter of explanation but they took me to the tenancy branch who in turn had a teleconference set up.To make this short, the tenancy branch made me return twice the damage deposit because I ‘stole their money.’ When I asked about the fact that tenants signed a one-year lease that they skipped on, the person from the tenancy branch said ‘you would need to rent it anyway, doesn't matter if it's a month or a year later so why would you feel you had the right to keep their money.’ All this while the tenant loudly laughing on the phone. I immediately sold my condo and got out of the renting business. If the governing body can't help and be fair, then this happens. Bad tenants and bad landlords alike seems to have the power to make things bad for all the good tenants and good landlords. I blame the governing body that could keep it fair for everyone by imposing fair rules and fines for people that don't follow simple rules.”

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.