If the tenant is evicted and does not pay the rent owing and you know where the tenant is employed, you can file a garnishment of wages in Small Claims Court. If you do not have this information you can to go to a collection agency. If the utilities were in the tenant’s name and the tenant does not pay the bills, the utility companies will usually go after the tenant, you would not be held responsible.
My husband and I rented a home to a family who did not pay us rent and left our city. They left us with a $1,000 water bill along with $7,500 in unpaid rent. Do you have any advice for me on how to collect this money?
It is only possible to collect the money owed to you if you have information on the tenant’s new address. It is also important for you to have their employment information. Once the tenant has vacated the rental premises, it becomes a matter for Small Claims Court. However, if you don’t know their current address there aren’t too many options. The only suggestion we have for you is to try a skip tracing agency, you can look them up on-line under Skip Tracing Ontario.
Since the Order is only in the tenant’s name, you can only try to collect from her. You cannot claim anything from her ex-husband if he was not a tenant of the unit. The easiest way to collect on an order is usually through a garnishment of wages which is done in Small Claims Court but if this tenant is on social assistance it is impossible to collect as social assistance payments cannot be garnished.
I’ve filed in Small Claims Court to collect on order from the Landlord and Tenant Board, can I include damages to the unit?
The amount for damages can only be included in your garnishment if you were awarded the amount in your order. If you were not awarded an amount for damages in your order, it would be advisable to file a claim against the debtor in the Small Claims Court for the costs of repairing the damage. Once you obtain a judgment from the Small Claims Court you may begin another garnishment to satisfy the judgment.
Typically a landlord will only be able to collect an amount owing from a order of the Landlord and Tenant Board by filing garnishment papers at the Small Claims Court against the employer of the former tenant or against a bank branch where the tenant has an active account. Employers are a better option, the bank account option will allow you to seize the funds on deposit. If the tenant is not employed but receiving government assistance or a pension of some kind, then you are out of options, since they are effectively exempt from garnishment in such situations. If the tenant is self-employed the garnishment process becomes complicated as you’d have to have information about clients/customers who owe them money and name them in your garnishment action. The other route to go is to engage the services of a collection agency. Such agencies or process server companies can perform a skip trace to track the debtor down.