unreal….the Star has an update to the ‘tenant from hell’ story

A tenant from hell with a track record of bounced cheques and eviction notices has done it again – staved off eviction with an appeal to Divisional Court.

By submitting the paperwork Willis’s eviction from a Don Mills home — scheduled for the end of the month — was automatically put on hold.

Willis also faces fraud charges for allegedly writing bad cheques and providing false employment information.

Board hearings are open to the public but unlike cases before the courts privacy legislation means landlords have no access to previous decisions.

The Star had to use court records and interviews with past landlords, lawyers and paralegals to confirm Willis has been ordered out of at least six homes since 2005.

Willis has been living inside a home in Don Mills since August, failing to pay rent to landlord Darius Vakili for many of those months.

Last month board adjudicator Ching said he failed to find Willis “credible in any way” and said that if she didn’t pay what she owed by the she would be evicted.

In her court pleadings, Willis is asking for a new hearing, alleging the board ordered her out because of a factual “error” and she didn’t have an “opportunity to participate” in her hearing.

The Landlord and Tenant Board has declined to comment further on Willis’s case or board procedures.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has defined the board as an “independent, quasi-judicial, arm’s-length body that sets its own procedures” and said questions about practices should be directed to it.

Ministry spokesperson Richard Stromberg said in an email that because the appeal was before the courts it would be “inappropriate” to comment.

Willis’s landlord can apply to have a judge review the merit of Willis’s appeal, potentially putting the brakes on the process, but that will also take time.

Lawyer David Strashin, who has represented three of Willis’s landlords, said in his experience it is unlikely that she will succeed with her appeal.

But he said it is “essential for the landlord in this instance to be proactive,” particularly as non-emergency Divisional Court matters are heard only for one week in July and August.

Willis has asked for an opportunity to present “oral evidence” heard at the board. She will have to order a CD of the hearing, which will need to be transcribed by a court reporter.

Once the transcript is ready she will have two months to assemble and file her documents before a date will be set, according to appeal guidelines from Divisional Court.

Willis passes herself off as a perfect tenant, friendly, tidy and comes with glowing references, according to her many landlords.

Once inside she fails to pay rent, or pays only portions, and uses board rules that allow her to raise maintenance issues with no warning to delay the process and appeals her eviction orders.

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