The Dark Side of Property Management – Part 1

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When it comes to stories that you hear in the news in regard to rental properties, more often than not, you’ll hear about increased rental rates or stories related to landlords (often referred to as slumlords) who may not be looking after their property as they should be.

The stories that a lot of people don’t hear about are the ones where landlords are dealing with tenants that are not living up to their part of the rental/lease agreement. What many don’t realize is that it’s the dark side of property management that landlords and property managers are having to deal with all the time.

In August of 2018, Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) took over the property management of a building in the West End of Brandon. An initial assessment by a VHP team member of the property to determine the need for short and long-term repairs wasn’t positive. The VHP team member found several needles on the property, noticed that there were a lot of people coming to the building that didn’t live there and that doors were propped open with newspapers and other items.

The rent balances were basically up to date on August 1st, however as each month went by, only portions of the agreed upon rental payments were made. By November 12, VHP served the tenant in unit A we will call him “Tenant A” an eviction notice; by December 31 he had an outstanding balance of $2,685.50. For that same time period the couple residing in another unit accumulated an outstanding balance of close to $1,000, we will call them “Tenant B”

The first hearing for Tenant A was held on December 3 with the Residential Tenancy Branch, however because of an error in filing the paperwork and the possession order not being delivered to the tenant, it wasn’t until January 22, 2019, that VHP received notice that “Tenant A” would need to be out of his unit by January 25, 2019.

In the meantime, VHP hired a security company to perform random property checks to help improve the safety and quality of life for the other residents living at the property.

By January 31, Tenant A accounts receivable balance increased to $3,580.50. Tenant B owed $1,867.00 for rent that had not been paid. However, not being able to collect on rent weren’t the only problems for the property management team.

Brandon Police Service members were called by a neighbour to Tenant A on February 4, however, the details of the reason or outcome are unknown. The next day VHP team members noted that Tenant A was still in the apartment and Sheriffs were contracted to remove the person. The Sheriffs notified Tenant A they would be removing him if he wasn’t out by February 8.

Finally, after months of hearings and eviction notices, the apartment was secured on February 8 by members of the VHP maintenance team and the Sheriff’s office.

To be continued. Watch for Part 2 of the Dark Side of Property Management in the coming weeks.

Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management. VHP currently has over 4,000 units under management in Manitoba.  For more information please visit www.vhproperties.ca.