HAMPSHIRE, P.E.I. - Thamara DeVries thought the headaches caused by a problem tenant would likely be over once he was evicted from her home.
Instead, the P.E.I. landlord says her family’s life has been turned upside down after he stole more than $3,500 in items from the property and left her with little recourse for action.
While DeVries has contacted both IRAC and RCMP, which she says started an investigation, little has been done so far and she now wants to warn other landlords of what they may be getting themselves into.
“I’m extremely frustrated. I have no idea what to do,” said DeVries, who wants to see the province create more accountability for problem tenants such as creating a rating system. “I understand tenants need to be protected but (so do) landlords. We’re making a huge effort… and somehow there’s no accountability for how a tenant leaves a property.
“It would be fair if we knew what we were getting ourselves into.”
DeVries said evicting the tenant was difficult, despite numerous broken agreements in the lease.
No damage deposit was paid in the tenant’s three months, rent payments were late and while the lease clearly stated the unit was non-smoking and no pets were permitted, the man did both.
Devries said neighbours had also made numerous noise complaints and the tenant made threats to her husband.
However, the biggest headache came on July 3, when DeVries and her husband returned to their property to find it emptied.
Everything from comforters and towels to pots, pans and other kitchenware was missing, while it also appeared the dog was not house-trained and left a mess behind.
“The house was in such a state, it was extremely concerning,” said DeVries.
DeVries said she was initially told by RCMP the issue appeared to be a civil matter, however, she disagreed and says the value of the items taken amounts to theft.
After being confronted by her husband, the tenant accused the couple of harassment and made an appeal to IRAC asking to be reimbursed for the months he was living there because he claimed the internet was not working.
“He really just fabricated a huge story to tell IRAC for them to be compassionate about his situation,” said DeVries.
“He’s getting away with too much.”
DeVries said the worst part was that she bought the property with the goal of eventually moving her grandparents, who now live in the politically and economically embattled Venezuela, to P.E.I.
Her grandparents had visited P.E.I. for several months last year and had left behind many of their belongings for the eventual move.
DeVries said those items were taken by the tenant and she knows her grandparents will likely never see them again.
“That’s why it’s even more sad for me… (When I told my grandmother) she said, ‘wow, so it’s not only Venezuela where I’ll get my stuff stolen’.”