Former tenants of a Penticton townhouse left a mess, thousands of dollars in repairs behind and the property owners holding the bill.
Danica Elsworth, property manager for Singla Brothers Holdings, estimates there will be about $15,000 in repairs for the Penticton Avenue townhouse in Cascade Gardens before it can be rented again.
The stairway railing was detached from the wall, doors were pulled off hinges, furniture was strewn about including dressers and a TV that was left face down on the floor of a bedroom. A closet was left full of random items and full trash bags, a gaping hole in the living room wall, drug paraphernalia on counters and an aquarium, thankfully devoid of fish but full of water, was left after the tenants vacated, having been served an eviction notice earlier in December.
Elsworth said there had been multiple strata complaints against the former tenants for noise and vulgarity. The tenants were served a 10-day eviction notice which would have taken effect on Dec. 12, but the tenants promised to pay on Dec. 17. Elsworth then got a call saying the keys were in the door and the tenants were gone. The tenants were a man, a woman and two children. Elsworth said they were constantly late on rent, having rented the suite for about a year.
“You try and help them out as best as you can. They’ve got kids, they need a place to stay, sometimes they are on disability, they don’t have a large income, they get someone else to move in with them,” Elsworth said. “It’s an ongoing problem with rentals. This is what happens and it’s sad.”
“We try to screen (tenants) as best we can. Especially when there is a family involved. We don’t want to evict them at Christmas time. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and let them stay,” Elsworth said.
Options are limited for the property owners if they want to recoup the losses.
“We can go after them, if we can find them, but if we win the case, if they have no income, how are they going to pay?” Elsworth said. “No recourse. We lose.”
The next step is to bring in a crew, rip out carpets, fill in holes in the walls and re-tile the bathroom.
“They even had a hot tub in there, in the basement, if you can believe that,” Elsworth said.
It’s the second time in three months the owners have had to deal with a situation like this.
“We did one in our Maple Street complex two months ago. There was like a foot of stuff left in. All through it. Damage, dirt, just unkempt,” Elsworth said. “It is an ongoing problem. They don’t pay their rent, they trash the place and they leave.”
It is a situation that leaves the owners with more questions than answers.
“How do people live like this?” Elsworth said.