in the news again…..













Housing charges laid against notorious tenant Nina Willis


The provincial housing ministry has charged notorious tenant Nina Willis with “obstructing” her landlord and blocking him from inspecting or entering the house he rented to her for more than a year.

Willis was “charged with two counts of obstructing the landlord’s right to enter the unit and one count of changing the lock without the landlord’s consent,” a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing confirmed in an email. A hearing will be held in late February.  The Star has been following Willis’s case as part of an investigation of the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board, which has found that bad tenants can delay evictions or stay in properties rent free by using protections designed to prevent unfair evictions.

Housing charges laid against Willis relate to her former landlord Darius Vakili, who complained to the housing ministry. Vakili told the Star Willis had barred the front door, changed the locks inside the house and had prevented him from inspecting the home.

Vakili recently got Willis out of his Don Mills-area rental home after a lengthy battle. Willis could face up to a $25,000 fine for each offence, if convicted.

The charges were laid by the ministry’s investigations and enforcement arm. Willis is also facing fraud charges related to the Vakili case and one other previous landlord. Those charges, which will also be heard next year, relate to allegations that Willis issued fraudulent cheques and provided false employment allegations.

The Star found that Willis typically rents small, older homes, then falls behind on rent or only pays portions of what she owes.

When a landlord tries to evict her, Willis complains of shoddy maintenance to the Landlord and Tenant Board. She typically loses at the board, but appeals the decision, which automatically puts a stay on the eviction. Along the way, Willis has frequently issued allegations of harassment and discrimination against her many landlords.

Willis moved into the home owned by Vakili in August 2011. Not long after, she stopped paying rent. Vakili tried to evict Willis and they both ended up pleading their case before the Landlord and Tenant Board. Willis alleged shoddy maintenance issues were the reason she withheld money. She also accused Vakili of harassment.

Willis was finally evicted from Vakili’s home in September. A tenant board adjudicator had ordered her out in April but Willis appealed.

After her September eviction Willis has continued to plead her case before the tenant board.

In November, Willis told board adjudicator, Caroline King, that landlord Vakili didn’t provide her with the 72 hours required to collect her things and her possessions were damaged as a result. She also alleged the Star was harassing her.

In a written decision, issued mid-December, adjudicator King found Willis didn’t provide “sufficient detail” that Vakili interfered with the move or “specific evidence” that her possessions were damaged.

In her decision King noted that during the hearing she advised Willis that she had “no power to resolve issues between (Willis) and the media.”

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