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Out with the old

  • 20th Nov, 2004 at 4:41 PM

Lately, I have been quite upset with one of my roommates. You see, when the new work term started, only one co-op decided to live here. Now Daryl is an awesome roommate. We have a bunch of fun cooking together, and things went along pretty well.

But of course, there's this room that's empty, and Avery and I thought it would be a good idea to sublet it, to help pay for the rent. So I posted some advertisements on McGill and Concordia's housing boards, in the hopes that we'd find a student.

About a month passed before we found someone who wanted to move in. This guy, we'll call him Lee because I don't know his last name, is a student at McGill. A student who isn't very good at paying the rent.

Now for a while, things have been pretty at work, so I didn't have the motivation or the time to follow up with Lee about his rent cheques. But after about three weeks of non-paying, I started to bother him about actually writing some. Another week of pitiful excuses were tolerated, before I started confronting him about it. I mean, I'm about as non-confrontational as you can get, and this was incredibly irritating.

Last weekend, I was gone for my sister's birthday. Now i haven't been reliably in Montréal for very many weekends, because of various trips and things. So I decided that this would be a good week to twist Lee's arm. I managed to extract his keys from him, and demanded that he pay the rent to get them back. On Thursday, the deadline I set for him, he came back with a deposit slip. Now I had insisted on getting the rent in cash, because by this time, I didn't want to go through an iteration of bouncing cheques. He comes back saying that the bank was about to close at 3, so the teller told him to write a deposit slip and give it to me. I was supposed to deposit this in the ATM, and it would get transfered from his account, he explained. I was so upset that I was speechless.

So yesterday, after he finally left the house at an ungodly hour, I packed up all his stuff, and left it outside the front porch. I didn't think it would get stolen, because this is Hampstead, and the police keep driving by on their patrols every half hour. Some time near midnight, I suppose Lee came back because the doorbell started going off like mad. But I was in the middle of some deep hacking, so I tuned it out.

I suppose that I am somewhat responsible for this being such a drawn out affair. After all, I'm a fairly lenient kind of person, who doesn't like confrontation. I'm fairly sure that Lee would have been gone far earlier, if I had the inclination to blow up at people, or get visibly upset. My preference for amicable resolutions probably puts me at a disadvantage in this world. But then again, this world is full of assholes, so perhaps I should stay the way I am, just to balance out the karma.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
20th Nov, 2004 21:46 (UTC)
Big first question: Were you sharing kitchen/bathroom facilities with the guy?
20th Nov, 2004 21:53 (UTC)
Does it really matter?
20th Nov, 2004 22:10 (UTC)
If you are the landlord and he is the tenant then yes, sure as hell does. You can't simply evict someone -- due process must be followed, including written notices and such like.

However, if you and him were using the same kitchen facilities, he's just a paying (or not-so-paying) guest, and has no protections under the Ontario Tenant Protection Act.
20th Nov, 2004 22:30 (UTC)
Don't know why I keep thinking you're in Ottawa -- Quebec tenant protection laws may be completely different. But here is the relevant resource, should you want to peruse it.
20th Nov, 2004 22:36 (UTC)
He was a guest, as I never saw a cent. And I never touched his money.
20th Nov, 2004 23:31 (UTC)
Quebec truly is very different. Remember the whole civil vs common law code distinctions.

Here's the first blurb I found on the Regie de Logements' site.
The rent is payable in full on the date agreed upon in the lease but if it is not pointed out, on the first day of the month. If a tenant does not pay the rent on that day, he is considered to be late in paying it. If a tenant is more than three weeks late in paying his rent, the landlord may ask the Régie du logement to terminate the lease. The landlord may also file an application to terminate the lease if the tenant is often late in paying his rent and if the landlord suffers serious prejudice as a result thereof.

So, sfllaw, if you actually signed a lease with this person, what you're supposed to do is ask the Regie to terminate the lease, which is simple.

If you never signed a lease with him, then you've just kicked a promise-breaking guest to the curb.

21st Nov, 2004 00:13 (UTC)
From the same source:
"I am a tenant without a lease. May I leave the dwelling at any moment ?
A tenant always has a lease whether it is written or verbal. If there is no fixed term for the lease, the tenant must give to the landlord a notice of one month before leaving the premises."

But also,
"When the Rent is More than 3 Weeks Late
These cases can prove more costly. In addition to the items mentioned above, the landlord can also apply to have the lease cancelled and the tenant and other occupants evicted.

Cancellation of the lease can be avoided before the Régie renders a decision if the tenant pays the rent due and expenses and interest at the rates specified in Article 28 of An Act respecting the Ministère du Revenu, or rates agreed upon by the parties if these are lower.

A controversy exists as to whether, in case of appeal, a tenant would have the right to pay before the Court of Québec decision. One would therefore be well advised to pay without waiting for the appeal if he does'nt want to risk the cancellation of the lease. "

The only problem is, I could find no clear definition on who does and does not fall under the definition of "tenant." I mentioned what some exceptions are in Ontario, but I don't know about Quebec
21st Nov, 2004 00:36 (UTC)
While verbal leases are binding, you need some documentation within 10 days of the agreement, still.

I know that if somebody is already resident in another province, then they can legally be a guest in Quebec. The thing neither of us knows is, if you never pay, are you ever a tenant?

So long as "Lee" decides not to make any trouble, everything is good. If he has a lease, then Simon can formally have it cancelled.

I highly doubt that will be necessary, as Lee never paid and apparently has money trouble. Simon might not have done the legally correct thing by evicting Lee himself, but it was clearly along the lines of what the law would have said, had he gone through the system, and avoided having Lee evicted by cops.
20th Nov, 2004 23:19 (UTC)
Well Done!
That was a tough decison to take, but how long could you let this guy take advantage of you?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )