Video – Cobourg Homeowner Coughs Up Four Grand Just To Get Her Property Back from Tenant

In Local

A Cobourg homeowner says she wants to create awareness about the dangers of renting after losing thousands of dollars in rent and damage.

The homeowner spoke to Today’s Northumberland, but asked not to be named.

Video from the garage has been shared thousands of times over social media showing the mess she was left to clean.

The woman has a single income and bought the home as an investment in approximately 2020.

After checking the background of the individual she thought everything was fine and rented the house in May 2023.

But after just a few months, rent stopped – and trouble started.

In the end after not receiving months of rent – it’s hard to fathom, but the woman struck a deal that is called “cash for keys.”

She ended up paying the tenant $4,000 to get the keys to her home back.

When she got to see inside her home – she was shocked at the mess.

The woman estimates that damages, loss of rent, clean-up cost her approximately $50,000.

Speaking to Today’s Northumberland during the clean-up there were still bags of garbage that needed to be taken to the dump.

She estimated there was literally one ton of garbage the tenant collected since May inside the garage. With rats the size of kittens inside the garage.

“Bags were ripped apart, there was mattresses, there was food. You name it. Anything you have in your household trash it was basically living here.”

The woman’s story began after the tenant moved into the home May 2023.

Both the tenant and the homeowner were excited about the new beginning.

“I did have a small gut feeling – big valuable lesson for me, always trust your gut feeling.”

And after July, she didn’t receive a penny from the tenant.

“It was one excuse after another.”

The tenant said he was injured, but the homeowner tried to be as understanding as possible.

“I tried to work with him, but eventually it comes to a point where I can’t afford to have someone living in my home for free.”

“I have bills to pay as well, I have a mortgage to pay.”

Finally she went to the Landlord and Tenant Board in August.

There were a few hearings, but finally it came down to “cash for keys.”

It was a way for her to “speed up the process” and she finally got her home back on February 18 receiving the keys.

At the end of the day the woman said, “I’m just happy to get my home back – I can move forward with this.”

The woman’s advice to other landlords, “do your due diligence.”

“Do your background checks, all your social media checks – whatever you can.”

Even ask for previous rental statements from the would-be tenants.

She understands and sympathizes with tenants, but it’s also hard for landlords.

“Not all of us are big, bad landlords.”

“These are investment homes. We work hard for our money.”

Inside the home, eggs had been thrown on the walls and the house was in disarray.

“My jaw dropped,” said the woman when she walked in for the first time after receiving the keys.

“It was upsetting because this was my home at the end of the day.”

Moving forward after cleaning up for a number of days, it will be straight business with renting.

The Landlord and Tenant Board process was long and tedious.

The woman has spoken to various politicians including MPP David Piccini and she reiterated that in her opinion, if the tenant doesn’t pay rent in a number of days, “you don’t even need to go to a hearing.”

“It should be black and white. A court order from LTB stating to leave unless they actually pay up.”

“I think we are wasting time and resources.”

At this time she’s been told that LTB is short on adjudicators, but said, “what they really need to do is get a little bit more strict around for tenants who haven’t paid their rent.”

“A tenant not paying their rent is very black and white. They need to leave or pay up. It’s as easy as that.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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