Thursday, April 23, 2009

As a Toronto Landlord.. Thou shalt not

Larry the Landlord has owned this property for more than 20 years. In the last 10 years the same tenant (Tina the Tenant) has been the occupant.  

Since Tina the Tenant paid relatively well, Larry the Landlord hasn’t kept pace with all the allowable rental increases available from the Landlord Tenant Tribunal.(LTB)

Larry has been watching the real estate market in west Toronto rather actively and finally felt the time was right to part with the challenge and obligation of looking after a rental property. He struck up a conversation with Tina about whether they might be interested in purchasing the property as they had been there 10 years.

Tina the Tenant, was interested in NEGOTIATING for the property but there were so many repairs that were required, including the MOLD in the basement.

MOLD   When did that happen?

Larry the Landlord was shocked at the comment about mold in the basement and made further inquiries about what had happened to cause the mold to occur. Well… the laundry tub has been leaking for a few years now in the basement and the mold is forming around the base and studs of the bathroom wall so [we] removed that dividing wall that led to the drain so the water would run off.  This could have been avoided with a 30 odd dollar laundry tub replacement or a 3 dollar washerplus the related labour cost.

Out of concern for the family and mold in the home; combined with potential liability; as well as continuing damage to the property Larry the Landlord, arranged for Certified Air to attend the property with a Mold Specialist.  Steve Herzog from Certified Air, an indoor air specialist arrived with moisture sensors, Infra Red Readers and sample of Liters of air samplers for the labs to analyze.

The mold has indeed proven to be the toxic variety that needs to be removed by gutting drywall and framing in the basement, rewiring, removal of broadloom and flooring and baseboards. The repair will require the removal of the tenants for the duration of the repairs. That would constitute an eviction and actionable for damages.  LTB Tribunal Form N5

Let’s Have the Home Insurance pay!

UMMmm ..No.  There are specific riders that are required in your insurance riders that must stipulate damage or liability by/of tenants.  The Insurance Company’s mission is to deny coverage of a claim wherever possible (to protect shareholders).

“Most currently written policies contain exclusions to any mold claims except where caused by flooding. There must be a sudden damage event” said Dmytro Badiwsky with Humberview Insurance. He continued to add “..should have specifically declared as in a tenant liability package.”

Will the Landlord and Tenant Board protect the Landlord?

Will the Courts?

Who will indemnify the Landlord for loss of income during the repairs and ultimately the repairs expenses?

As always, I would love your feedback and thoughts about this article. Was it helpful, what did you get out of it, how are you going to use it? Please email me your feedback at David@DavidPylyp.com or add your comments below.

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2 comments:

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bakar said...

When a mold infected area has been found, it is always very unfortunate and causes immense nuisance and unpleasantness in the household. When mold in the basement has been discovered, it causes even more shock and disappointment. Basements of the house are an area of the house that is not frequently visited, making it unlikely for any individual to notice any initial stages of mold formation.

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