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It was only a few months ago the media was screaming Calgary landlords had it good and tenants were hard up. The latest headlines includes talk of a declining economy and higher vacancy rates.
Successful Calgary landlords have a long-term view, have confidence in our city, and know the importance of careful tenant screening.With some economic blips it means Calgary landlords must screen more carefully than ever before.
Being a landlord means you are inviting strangers into your property. And in many cases your property is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and one of the most important investments you have made. Let’s face it, the stakes are high and you finding a good tenant is key to your success or failure.
Some new landlords who don’t have the same experience will let just about anyone into their homes. As long as the tenant has money to pay rent these inexperienced landlords are satisfied and hand over the keys.
The results can be financially devastating. For example a Calgary landlord rented his basement to a “nice couple” who gave him a good feeling and he trusted them. It really made sense to him when the tenants said they wanted to rent his unit because their child could attend the school across the street. Less than a year later, after a SWAT team shut down the grow op the tenants started the landlord sold the property and gave up his dream of being a successful income property investor.
Poor Tenant Screening Can Lead To Even Worse Occurrences!
Landlords feel upset and angry when we read about tenants starting grow-ops in a rental property. Or they break leases and leave a mess behind causing a landlord to lose a lot of money. Unfortunately there are even more horrible stories out there regarding bad tenants. The story of a Calgary man who killed his landlord is a strong wake-up call to screen tenants carefully and not take any chances.
A Calgary man accused of choking his landlord to death for being noisy while making soup has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Shaun Peter Desautels had been charged with second-degree murder in the January, 2013, death of Alexander Potoroka, but entered the plea yesterday to the less serious count.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Mr. Desautels had been trying to sleep when he heard Mr. Potoroka in the kitchen.
He got angry and confronted the man before putting him in a chokehold.
Mr. Potoroka was taken to hospital but was declared brain-dead and died the next day.
An autopsy confirmed choking as the cause of death.
Court also heard Mr. Desautels threatened to kill a witness who tried to stop the attack.
Mr. Desautels has six prior convictions for assault, including one for choking the 13-year-old daughter of his then-common-law wife and for putting another victim in a chokehold.
The Crown and defence are jointly recommending a 10-year sentence.
Prosecutors say the recent death of one of their key witnesses and a history of confrontation between the two men were factors in their decision to agree to the plea deal.
Lawyers will return to court on Friday to hear whether the judge accepts the manslaughter plea.
Also to be determined is how much credit Mr. Desautels will get for time served and when he will be eligible for parole.
A self-described “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” who served three years for choking his step-daughter, unleashed his alter-ego again, this time with deadly consequences, court heard Monday.
Shaun Peter Desautels pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the Jan. 6, 2013 killing of his landlord, a crime committed not long after he finished serving his prior sentence.
In March, 2009, Desautels, now 44, was sentenced for twice trying to strangle the 13-year-old daughter of his then common-law wife.
Just 22 months ago, Desautels — in a drunken rage — choked to death his landlord, Alexander Potoroka, because he was angered the senior was cooking too loudly.
According to statement of agreed facts, read in by Crown prosecutor Rob Bassett, Desautels was trying to sleep while Potoroka was downstairs preparing soup.
“Becoming frustrated by noise Mr. Potoroka was making, he proceed downstairs to confront his landlord,” Bassett told Justice William Tilleman.
“He proceeded to put Mr. Potoroka into a chokehold, or headlock, with his right arm, bringing both of them to the ground,” Bassett said.
During the struggle, the victim was “rendered unconscious and not breathing” as others in the residence investigated.
Two tenants attempted to revive Potoroka, without success, the prosecutor said.
“The cause of death was … attributed to compression of the neck.”
Bassett said he and defence counsel Norm Kelly were proposing a joint submission for a 10-year sentence, but differed over the pre-trial credit Desautels should get.
Kelly will argue on Friday his client should be given enhanced credit for the 22 months he has spent on remand.
He will also oppose Bassett’s request that Tilleman order the offender to serve at least half his sentence before he can apply for parole.
In March, 2009, Desautels told court he was not the monster who committed aggravated assault by twice choking his step-daughter.
“I don’t want to be thought of as a rotten person, I don’t want to be remembered for this despicable act,” Desautels said, adding he couldn’t remember the attacks because he was too drunk.
“The alcohol is something I cannot do, it’s almost like I become a different person — it terrifies me,” he said.
“It’s kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
Like in his attack on Potoroka, Desautels was wearing gloves when he tried to strangle the teen.
He remains in custody pending Tilleman’s sentencing decision.
Alberta Landlords Tenant Screening 2015
There are lots of great tenants out there, even when we face some economic challenges. Make sure you find them with professional tenant screening, including running a TVS credit check on all adults wanting to rent your place!