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Surprise eviction: Cambridge family suddenly homeless after landlord loses property


A family in Cambridge, Ont. is now homeless after they were evicted from the house they were renting.

It all came as a huge surprise because they signed a lease and paid their rent on time.

It was only after a sheriff arrived at their home to evict them Friday morning that they learned the landlord they’d been paying rent to hadn’t owned the property since January.

"I had 10 minutes,” explained Rebecca Gray, recalling the rush to get out after the sheriff and police officers showed up at her door. “So all my beds, my couches, all my clothes, all my kids toys, all her toys, her birthday presents, their Easter chocolate. Everything is in that house."

Tenants 'completely blindsided'

Gray, her partner and her three young kids moved into the home on Short Street in January after signing a 12-month lease.

But a court order shows the landlord, Sarah Kon, lost the property to what appears to be two private lending groups days after the family moved in.

The courts sent notice to Kon that the property would be seized, but no one told the tenants.

Gray’s realtor, Kim Butler, said her client was “completely blindsided.”

Rebecca Gray moved into the Short Street home on Jan. 15 after signing a 12-month lease. Court documents show the landlord lost possession of the home four days later. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)

Appledale Property Management, who is now in control of the home, declined to comment.

Butler said the property manager told her they visited the home in December and confirmed the landlord lived there. No one from property management team returned to the home after that, but it was listed for rent in December. That’s when Gray signed a lease starting on Jan. 15. Court documents show just four days later, the court gave possession of the home to the investment groups.

“She [Kon] knew that she was in this situation as a landlord and then she didn't bother to call or advise my client in any way," Butler said.

Landlord and tenant board regulations require tenants to be given proper notice of eviction, but because it was the landlord losing the property, it was up to her to notify the tenants.

“Notifications were sent to the house in the landlord's name. But my client can't open that mail," Butler explained.

A notice on the door of Rebecca Gray's former rental home is pictured on March 25, 2024. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)

Since Friday, the Gray family has stayed at their realtor’s home, in a hotel and now at a friend’s vacant home, sleeping on air mattresses.

They’ve purchased new clothes, and have a GoFundMe page that’s raised nearly $3,000 as of Monday afternoon.

"This is Value Village clothes. I had to buy a new playpen for [my daughter] to sleep in,” Gray said. “Things that we already have in my house that I can't have, I have to repurchase just to live."

The landlord, Sarah Kon, did not respond to CTV’s request for comment.

Realtor says tenants need more protections

Butler said she understands notice was given to the landlord, but wants the province to explore changing its policy to protect tenants.

“Yes, the notice is sent obviously in the landlord's name, but I do think that it is really important for them to actually go post notice on the door, because in this case she wasn't living there anymore," Butler said.

Gray said her landlord told her after the eviction that it wasn’t supposed to happen until July. She said Kon also told her the realtor should have known she was re-financing, but realtors can’t access that information without specific permission.

“We can't ask any of that. Legally, only their mortgage broker or their bank can get that information. And we're not entitled to that," Butler explained.

Gray said they would look into whether they can take legal action, but with having to purchase new items and find a new rental, the family doesn't know if they can afford it.

"My tenant paid her first and last month's rent. Right now, I highly doubt we're going to get that last month's rent back. And now she has to go and pay another last month's rent to a new property," Butler said.

Butler said she is in communication with the new property manager and is hoping they will allow Gray to retrieve her things. Top Stories

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