- Name withheld by request

March’s article (‘The Female Face of Homelessne­ss’) made me feel sadness, and parts were hard to read. The women Angela Saurine wrote about have been very courageous to share their stories. There is the other side of the story, though. Not all women are good tenants. Not all landlords are simply evicting tenants just to be able to increase their rental income. Landlords who have good tenants will try very hard to keep them.

I would like to tell about our experience. We live in a rural area, are dairy farmers and lease a property that was once the family farm. There are two houses on this property: one is a cottage, built by my husband’s grandfathe­r, also the home that my husband grew up in, and the other is a much bigger two-storied brick house built by my father-in-law in 1980. Our lease does not include the houses. Our own home is adjacent to the leased land and the two houses are within shouting distance (unfortunat­ely).

These houses have been trashed completely by bad tenants, mostly since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The worst tenant was a woman who came from emergency housing. A solo mother desperatel­y in need. We were so happy when we were told that the big house was to be rented to a family. This ‘family’ and her friends have managed to destroy both houses in a surprising­ly short span of time.

What is really awful is that one house probably needs to be demolished, a write-off, not worth the cost to repair. As we discovered, neighbours have very little or no voice or any real protection. No recourse or rights.

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