So we've got this apartment we've been trying to rent. This was the previous residence of our worst tenant, a loser-supremo who we inherited when we bought the building. He caused us more grief, stress and wasted money than all of our other tenants combined. We've been trying to get rid of him since we bought the building, and in the process learned a great deal about the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act which seems to have been custom designed to encourage and develop a strong population of deadbeat tenants at the expense of decent landlords and honest renters.
Through some unexplained miracle, he actually moved out of his own accord at the end of January, producing tears of joy and moments of unbelievable happiness in the Olson household. The first part of February was spent renovating and it was available for rent by mid month. Well, it's still empty. We've shown it at least ten times to over 20 or 30 potential tenants and have only received a single application, from a 17 boy with a 16 year old girlfriend, new baby, and no job. You have to realize that Brantford is a seriously blue collar town with a lot of transient people. A friend of mine who's been a landlord here for many years told me the quality of tenants used to be excellent but is now absolutely terrible, as anybody who had any inclination for owning their own house, has done so during the past decade, likely because of low interest rates and easy credit. He now faces the same problems finding good quality tenants.
This property, unfortunately, is not in the best area. Though it's close to downtown and in the middle of a commercial district with all sorts of shops, it's an area that is not look too well upon. It is far from the worst area in the city, but is definitely in the lower half.
Try as we may, we've not been able to rent it. So we're changing tactics. Step one was to shorten our application form and remove some of the more penetrating questions, so we're now down to two pages instead of four. Step two is to replace the carpets with laminate flooring. We didn't want to spend money on this, but we've had a couple comments from people about a lingering smoky odour in the apartment, which is surely coming from the old carpets. Mr. Wonderful, the previous tenant, and his roommate each smoked a couple packs of cigs a day and about a bale of marijuana per week between them. Seems that two bottles of Febreze was not nearly enough to eliminate the stink so removing the carpet is the only option.
Patience is the name of the game. We're not going to make the mistake of putting a bad tenant in there, that will only cause us problems down the road.
Just another day as a greedy landlord...