Today is the day I find out how the hearing phase of the RTDRS works. I have a hearing this afternoon where my Affidavit of Service is sworn in (this is confirming I served the tenant with the information I originally filed last week along with the hearing date) and hopefully receive an RTDRS order for the tenant to leave.
Some interesting points, the hearing takes place even if the tenant does not show up, I will still have to file at the Court of Queen’s Bench and for service against the tenant when I win (note I said when!). So there is still a bit of work ahead of me, but this is quite streamlined versus the old process, so I am pretty happy so far. The only issue that may arise is the provincial tenancy dispute officer may decide to give the tenant a week or two to find a new place. Hopefully no longer, and hopefully even less.
The tenant did call me last Thursday to inform me he was still trying to get the money, but I told him he had to have it to me Friday. Of course, his items were still there Saturday, no call or updates from him since the Thursday call and now we are moving on.
More updates to follow this evening or first thing Tuesday morning, follow along if you like!
The tenant had a conflicting appointment and the hearing has been rescheduled until tomorrow. His conflicting appointment is with the Homeless and Eviction Prevention Fund folks. This is the fund the government set up to help people who are having difficulties affording their rent. He has been meeting with them for the last two weeks, so hopefully today’s meeting provided some funds to him to cover my costs.
Ironically this is funded by my tax dollars, so does that mean my tax dollars are funding me? This isn’t the first time we have had a tenant staying in one of our shared accommodation properties use this service. Unfortunately from past experience not one of the previous tenants who used the service ever used it to help them get on their feet. They have all used it to buy themselves a bit of time before they could skip out. I’ll keep you posted!
I attended the hearing today and my tenant was supposed to come in to the RTDSR office this morning at 10:00 to update them on his meeting with the Homeless and Eviction agency. They were also to update him on the new hearing time of 3:00 today. He didn’t show, so we had the hearing without him.
On the good news front, I won! In an effort for fairness which I applaud, the hearing dispute officer has written an order for service which allows the tenant to stay in residence at the property. He just has to make weekly large payments to me until his debt is completely paid and then make timely rent payments until the end of December.
If he suddenly discovers this money that people haven’t been paying him, it’s win-win. I get money, he has a warm comfortable place to stay. If he doesn’t pay the specified weekly amount in the order by 4:30 each Saturday for the next two months. I get to move to the next stage. So just to step back a bit.
After receiving the order, I had to zip down to the court house and get the order filed with the courts. There is no charge for this, so at least no extra expenses built up. In Calgary it is conveniently located two stops down on the Light Rail Transit system downtown. I am going out to try and serve him tonight, this ought to be fun as he is never around when I try to track him down. If I cannot serve him tonight I will try a couple times tomorrow. Once I have served him I have to take an “Affidavit of Service” back to the court house and it will get filed with the original order.
So if he doesn’t pay this Saturday the next step is for me to obtain a “Writ of Possession”. This involves me taking three copies of the following down to the courthouse, a new form called the “Affidavit of Default” along with a “Writ of Possession”.Then within 48 hours I should receive the properly filed ” Writ of Possession” back and I can either go down there myself, with a large friend or two, or a bailiff (I believe I have to pay the bailiff, but I will confirm this for everyone, my large friends like beer) and we should be able to help him move out of the property.
The helpful lady at the courthouse suggested a bailiff if there is going to be any issues with removing him as it protects the landlord better than just having the tenants word against the landlord. I am away tomorrow during the day, but hopefully I can update the post later in the evening. If you have any comments post away!
Update 3 and 4
Looks like we had some hosting issues over the weekend and the hosting company had to restore backups from last week, so my previous updates are in limbo now! So to recap.
My tenant called me Thursday to confirm the Eviction and Homeless Fund would pay the whole amount outstanding for him, it was just a matter of getting a few last things approved. He called me again on Friday to update me that they would now pay him the amount he was ordered to pay on Saturday which was about a quarter of the total outstanding. Now, this raises some more flags as his story keeps changing, but on the positive side, I am further ahead cash wise if he pays.
Later in the day he calls back to tell me that they only gave him $500 which he was going to cash and have for my fellow who collects rent on Saturdays. Just a side note here, I have had other tenants have to use the Eviction and Homeless Fund and I seem to recall the checks always being made out to the landlord so the tenant doesn’t abscond with the funds. He was then going to pay me $40 extra the next Saturday. So my options were to be a jerk and evict him anyway, or take what money I could this week and next week would still be a great time to evict!
So Saturday rolls around and my rent collection fellow updates me that buddy only paid $400 now. Some how $100 disappeared over night, did I mention the absconding? I’m still ahead, but I’m also annoyed. So presently I have every right to go file, get the eviction completed and move forward, on the other hand, maybe he pays me next week? Am I being to soft, to greedy, to patient, or just plain gullible? Leave me a comment about what you would do!
Watch for further updates later in the week! Also, I met another landlord also having problems when I first filed, it looks like she is just at the final stage now, so good luck to you Colleen!!!
So to catch up, the tenant was to pay money on Saturday the 15th or the party was over, as per the Court Order. The deadbeat failed to pay, no surprise. So Monday afternoon I zipped down to the courthouse again to file the paper work to have the tenant evicted for defaulting on the order. If you haven’t been to the new courthouse (which is probably a good thing), they require you to walk through metal detector. So you have to take your coat, wallets, coins, phones and even your belt off to go inside. Well there was a pretty high profile case being tried Monday, so there were two lineups about 15 people long just to get in. Didn’t look like a great start.
Once I was finally in I headed back up to the 6th floor where you do your court filing, lined up the mandatory 20 minutes and filed away. Today’s paperwork involved the “Affidavit of Default” and the “Writ of Possession”. You require three copies of each, one you leave behind and the other two you hang on to for a few days. Once it’s filed it needs to be signed and approved by someone hiding in the back and this takes 24 to 48 hours. They then call you and you have to bring your two copies of each item back to get it all stamped and approved. They have a special bin you have to look through with your paperwork, so you grab it, and line up again for another twenty minutes to finally file everything.At this point you can then hire a bailiff to remove the tenant.
In my case after I filed on Monday I received a call Tuesday morning that we needed to adjust the paperwork. So I had to redo the pages I had, make another copy and go refile. The confusion was the eviction date was for the 8th of November, but there were Stay Conditions if he paid on the schedule laid out by the Tenancy Dispute Officer. The clerk and I on Monday thought we needed to use the date of default which was the Saturday, which was incorrect. They also wanted me to expand on what section of the order he breached, what the heck I had to go down there anyway!
Unfortunately it was quite busy on the 6th floor that day, so after about 30 minutes I ended up talking to one of the clerks who was not having a good day. So after having her lecture me about not reading everything on the page and not filling out the new form correctly (I held back and didn’t mention I had filled it out correctly the day before, and they hadn’t been able to advise me about the correct date) I finally was able to file it again. so then late Wednesday afternoon the lovely red haired lady called me to tell me it had been signed off and I needed to come back down.
Unfortunately it was to late in the day, so I am off this morning to go hang out at the courthouse again. More to come!
Update 6 Nov 24th
It’s been quite an interesting few days with plenty to talk about so here we go. I wasn’t able to get to the courthouse to pick up the signed “Writ of Possession” and have my two copies also signed until Thursday afternoon and by the time I made it back to call the bailiffs I was only able to leave a message. I did get a hold of them Friday morning and started the proceedings with them. Just to add insult to injury I am already out all the rent the tenant never paid, the $75 filing fee and the bailiff costs a whopping $350 plus $65 an hour plus $.75 per kilometer to post the notice on the front door. They would also change my locks for me, but that’s extra, and I have locks on our master set that I use, so I took care of that.
The process at this time is for the bailiff to tape the “Writ of Possession” to the front and back door with information explaining to the tenant that coming on the premises is deemed trespassing and he can be charged. Since this was a shared accommodation property I was only able to change the tenants room lock at this time (and leave keys for the paying tenants) and then make sure the window was locked. So at this point I had to sit back and wait for him to call.
So come Saturday morning, my rent collector John stops to collect rent and I had asked to confirm the tenant hadn’t broke in during the night and taken off with his stuff. When he looks in the room, who did he find but the tenant sleeping in the bed. He quickly called me, and in turn I called the police while I gathered my paperwork and notes for the trip up there.
When I arrived the police were already there and one officer was waiting for me, while the other was supervising the tenant packing. We went through all of my forms and various writs and orders (make sure you keep copies for your records!) and after verifying everything was indeed in order he explained they were making sure the tenant left the premises. At this point I was able to go in and change all the front and back deadbolts as I had left new keys for all the paying tenants the day before.
As I was changing the locks I also quickly inspected the door frame of the delinquent tenants room to make sure he hadn’t broken it and it appears he came in through the window. At this point the tenant started asking me if I had received his message and a message from someone else. As always, none of these messages actually existed and were just another stalling tactic. He also complained about how there was no way he could make the weekly payments according to the order as he didn’t make that much a week. Even though he had told me no problem when I served him the court order. I explained to him that if he would have showed up for the hearing as he was supposed to, he could have explained it there, but now it was to late.
After I changed the locks and waited for him to pack what he could carry with him I chatted with one of the other tenants who had been watching TV just down the hall from the days events. Apparently the tenant had told the officer about three variations on the story about what was happening, including that he was in the house while the bailiff was there and no one gave him any information about it and he wasn’t sure why he was being evicted, plus he had no where to go. He just kept digging a bigger hole for himself.
So end result was the police made sure he left, but he could only take his backpack stuffed with what he could carry away and right now I have a room full of clothes (at least three maybe four large garbage bags worth) about a dozen boxes of who knows what and other miscellaneous items. I am stuck in a position where he has the right to have his stuff back within the next seven days, but I don’t have to keep it there. So now i have to spend roughly three hours boxing and bagging his “items” and dragging them somewhere for storage. I can charge him a reasonable rate for this storage and I can dictate when we can meet to a reasonable extent, but he has no money to pay anyway.
The other option is I can leave the goods in the room until he collects them, but if the room is cleaned up I can start renting it immediately. So it only makes sense for me to clean up after the cretin so I can try to make some rent money back.
So just to recap costs (other than the rent money I will never see), filing the case with RTDRS $75, filing at the courthouse $0, parking for the six trips downtown $40, bailiff costs $442.05 for a total dollar cost of this eviction $557.05 plus the unpaid rent, plus approximately 14 hours of filing, meeting with the tenant, attending the hearing, trying to meet with the tenant, meeting with the bailiff and meeting with the police. I still have another three hours roughly of emptying the room and then cleaning it after the fact.
So their are a lot of negatives to this, but the positive spin is I am moving forward and this is almost behind me now. This is just one of those unfortunate costs of operating this type of business. Every now and then a bad apple comes in and causes grief, stress and financial costs to those around them. I am now very familiar with the eviction process and have learned most of the ins and outs, so if you need some help with problems you encounter feel free to contact me!
I should have one more update for this by next Monday and I will also create a separate post with a list of the steps, the forms and the costs all in one bite sized list to make it less of a journal and more of a quick fact list. Thanks for following along and all the email and web comments of encouragement!
If you are reading this you probably have some interest in the eviction process, I feel your pain! Over the last few weeks I have put together some tips for landlords. If you would like to learn from our experience, and yes our mistakes, to make you a better and more profitable landlord, come read through them. They are available at the following link Landlord Tips and Advice, hopefully you find them as helpful as many of our readers already have.