Thursday, January 12, 2017

Your rental property can be seized as Proceeds of Drug Money Laundering

Here is the situation;

Couple owns a few rental properties that they rent to [second chance] ex cons, people down on their luck, homeless people trying to re establish themselves, low income housing.

Police decide that rent payments made to the Landlord in cash must be the proceeds of crime since the only form of income for the tenant is dealing drugs.

This very scenario is playing out right now in the Ontario Courts under the Civil Forfeiture Act.  

Here are the details in Broad strokes;

Margaret and Terry Reilly are from Orillia, Ontario. The Reilly's own several rental properties, some of which are former single-family homes that they have converted into rooming houses for low-income tenants. Margaret has been involved in alleviating poverty and homelessness since her father became the priest at an inner-city Anglican church in Toronto and opened a youth hostel there, while Terry has served on the City of Orillia Homeless Committee. Providing housing to marginalized members of society has always been a deliberate choice for the Reilly's.In 2008, after police surveillance confirmed drug activity at two of the Reilly's rental properties, a branch of the government called the Director of Asset Management took control of them. Since then, the properties have languished largely unoccupied, falling into progressively worse repair. Stripped of their rights as landlords, the Reillys had no choice but to watch their properties deteriorate physically and depreciate in value. Then, in 2012, the Government of Ontario brought a motion to permanently seize and sell the properties on the grounds that some of the tenants’ rents may have been paid, in part, with the proceeds of their drug activity. There is no evidence that any funds paid by tenants was derived from drug money; the state merely assumed that cash payments must have come from the proceeds of illegal activity. 

This property(S) were seized under the Forfeiture Act without anyone being charged.
This family has NEVER had their day in court but had their property taken away.

The lesson here is monitor your tenant activity; visit twice of more time per year to ascertain the activity in YOUR PROPERTY.   Be more diligent in your tenant screening. Bad things can happen to good people. 


Use a realtor to screen tenants in your rental condos.

Ready to invest?   If  I haven't scared you call me at 647 218 2414 

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