Community rallies around new Calgary landlords with house left in filth

A pair of new landlords have been left with the cleanup bill of a property they’ve owned for less than six months.

“November 2022, we bought this property, we really loved this property, and we thought, ‘Yeah, we should invest in this property,’” Monika Yadav said, noting she and her partner planned to raise their future family in their new home.

The couple stayed in the home for five days after taking possession and soon put up a rental ad. They thought they found a family that fit the bill and were willing to pay up front to get into a home in a tight rental market.

“The lady, she had three daughters, a fiancée and brother — three adults and three kids.”

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Last month, Yadav and her partner came by the home to see how things were going, giving her tenants the appropriate notice. Their tenants weren’t in the home at the time.

“When we came to the door, the main lock, it was broken,” she said.

More surprises were awaiting them.

“We took a video of the house. It was all dog poop. Literally all dog poop here (along the floor). And the dog was barking. And we saw from that hole (in the lock) the property was all mess, like all dog poop,” Yadav said.

“I don’t know how three kids were staying here.”

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They left the home without entering and returned the next day, hoping to talk with the tenant.

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The tenant wasn’t home, but the couple found further filth.

“The toilet, I guess it was clogged for almost two months. They were pooping on that and there was so much tissue,” Yadav said.

A plumber declined the job, so the cleanup fell to Yadav, her partner, and her father who recently came to visit from abroad.

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“The basement was all full of clothes, 60 bags of clothes. I guess she never did the laundry, so all the clothes she used and just threw away.

“Even food (waste). In this inflation, how can you just throw away food? There was so much food.”

When Global News went to visit the home, an array of furniture, household items and garbage was seen outside the home and a garbage bin was trucked in for the disposal.

Inside the two-storey detached home, walls and carpets were stained and damaged.

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Gerry Baxter of the Calgary Residential Rental Association said the landlords could pursue the costs for the damages with the courts. Those decisions can cascade onto credit ratings, making future rentals or financed purchases more difficult.

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“It’ll make it very, very difficult for them if there’s any judgments outstanding to re-rent again. There’s no landlords going to rent to anybody who has outstanding judgments for damage or nonpayment of rent,” Baxter said. “You need to pursue it.

“It’s unfortunate that these things happen and it all goes back to the very beginning. When you’re going to rent out, you always have to remember this as somebody who’s going to rent out: you’re going into a business.”

Yadav said she and her partner do plan on renting the property out again, with a more robust vetting process.

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Until then, the home needs to be cleaned and remediated. But Yadav’s family isn’t alone in cleaning the home: their Coventry Hills neighbours are pitching in.

Ani Banks noticed the home’s state was standing out on the street.

“Over the past few weeks I just noticed that the property was going downhill. And so every time I drove by, I just thought, ‘Does somebody need help? What’s going on there?’” Banks said.

Banks put out a call for volunteers on a community Facebook group to help Yadav clean up the aftermath.

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“When I walked in and I saw how sad they were, I was like, we can do something. There’s lots of able-bodied people in this community that can come in clean and help out,” Banks said.

Banks also volunteered to help Yadav keep an eye on the property with future rentals.

“This time I have her number and I can say, ‘Hey, could you check up on these people? Is there something going on?’” she said.

“I don’t want to be snoopy and I don’t want to assume anything, right? Because the world’s a little crazy right now and people are on edge.”

Yadav said she’s grateful to have the community rally around the abused home.

“The community came up. They showed up. They helped us, so there are good people.

“We feel we have invested in the right place now.”

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