Realtor who pocketed rent after subletting B.C. home without landlord’s permission fined $25K | CBC News
A B.C. real estate agent who sublet a home without the landlord’s permission and then pocketed all of the rent has been ordered to pay a $25,000 penalty and had his licence suspended.
Peter Christopher Dolecki’s tenants only learned something was wrong when they discovered an eviction notice for unpaid rent taped to their front door, according to a consent order from the Real Estate Council of B.C. posted online Wednesday.
Dolecki has admitted to “conduct unbecoming” and agreed to pay a disciplinary penalty plus $1,500 in investigatory expenses, take a remedial education course and have his licence suspended for two months, the order says.
The order lays out a story that began in January 2016, when Dolecki and his wife signed a tenancy agreement stipulating they must have written consent of the landlord before subletting the home on 162 Street in Surrey.
That agreement set monthly rent at $4,500.
After just a few months in the home, the Dolecki family found a new place to live and Dolecki began advertising for new tenants on Craigslist in October 2016. Dolecki told the council he tried to reach his landlord, who lives overseas, but couldn’t track him down to ask permission.
A couple moving from the U.S. to Canada with their children met with him to view the home.
“The tenants told the council that Mr. Dolecki told them that the property was an investment property and that he had recently moved to another home in White Rock, B.C.,” the order says.
“From their interactions with Mr. Dolecki at the viewing, they were under the impression that Mr. Dolecki was the owner of the property.”
Dolecki maintains he never said he was the owner.
Nonetheless, the parties agreed to a 12-month lease, at $5,000 per month — $500 more than Dolecki was supposed to pay — on a tenancy agreement that identified Dolecki as the landlord, the order says.
Eviction notice taped to door
The tenants paid a security deposit of $2,500 and moved in with their family on Dec. 1, 2016.
They then paid Dolecki $5,000 for December’s rent, a reduced total of $2,927 for January to account for repairs they had made, and then $5,000 again for February’s rent, according to the order.
None of that went to Dolecki’s landlord, the owner of the home, and on Jan. 30, 2017, the tenants discovered a 10-day eviction notice taped to the front door.
“The eviction notice stated that Mr. Dolecki was in arrears of rent payments in the amount of $29,250 and was required to vacate the premises,” the order says.
“The tenants contacted Mr. Dolecki, who took a copy of the eviction notice and told the tenants to not worry and that he would sort it out.”
Instead, the couple contacted the lawyer who’d issued the eviction notice, and discovered that Dolecki was the tenant, not the owner of the property and was behind on rent. They moved out and then filed a complaint against Dolecki.
Dolecki told the council that he and his landlord had an arrangement wherein his rent would be reduced in exchange for repairs to the property, and the amount cited in the eviction notice was close to what the landlord owed him for those repairs.
The landlord has not filed legal action against Dolecki seeking payment of rent, the order says. Dolecki has also repaid the couple’s damage deposit, along with $2,500.
Published at Sat, 09 Jan 2021 15:00:00 +0000