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Thread: Tennant advice. His snake stink like mad.

  1. #1
    Canadian again at last! Military Professional
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    Tennant advice. His snake stink like mad.

    So I just bought a house that has a basement suite. I've let the guy that was already there stay and he has a dog which I am cool about. I love dogs and this one is perfect. It's a beautiful white husky sort of dog, does not bark and is super friendly. The kind of dog people wish they had.

    He did not mention the snake habitat though. When we viewed the house the snake habitat was not there either. I have a couple of issues with it though and first is the light. I feel it's a fire hazard and Yellowknife electricity is expensive. It is on a timer though so I felt better about it.

    The real issue is the god awful smell. It stinks like the zoo reptile enclosure. The house is run on a forced air furnace system which means the smell is not just in his area it's also in mine. My bedroom in fact is directly over it.

    The missus and I bought some air freshener plug ins in the hope we could not smell it anymore. Now the house smells like fruit and snake shit.......


    Part of the issue is that the suite has not been fully legalised. Yellowknife standards are strict and I will have to instal fire extinguisher lines all over the house. Separate boiler and electrical etc. No issues there but the fire lines are a bit excessive and expensive to boot! It's amazing that they are so strict when there is an all over rental shortage here especially the affordable living type.

    I spoke to him about it but do I ever feel like a jerk about it. I had to say between the fire hazard, electrical cost to me (hydro and water included in rent) and the smell something needs to change.

    I can't push all that hard either. If he rats on me I can no longer rent the space out. I wish there was a cheaper way of making the space legal......

  2. #2
    Canadian again at last! Military Professional
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    I just read the title and realised I could have put that differently.....
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  3. #3
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    Get a mongoose?
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  4. #4
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Get a mongoose?
    :StandingOvation:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repatriated Canuck View Post
    ...I can't push all that hard either. If he rats on me I can no longer rent the space out. I wish there was a cheaper way of making the space legal......
    Sounds to me like you are setting yourself up for all kinds of problems. He's not a legal tenant, so you have no way to evict him, even if he stops paying his rent. You have no lease, so you have nothing enforceable wrt his and your responsibilities.

    He's basically a squatter in the legal sense, and by permitting it you are effectively granting him a prescriptive easement to your basement.

    And you probably factored the rent into your mortgage decision, so if that rental income goes away you are left with a financial hardship.

    If you don't declare the income, you are setting yourself up for problems with the tax authorities. If you do declare it, you are admitting violating the housing laws.

    Not trying to be critical, but is there anything you have done right in this deal?

    My advice would be to do one of two things- either spend the money to get the house upgraded to the rental standard and get him into a binding agreement, or do whatever you have to do to get him to voluntarily vacate the property.
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    I have a cousin who keeps a snake - I can't stand to go in his house. It bites too - nasty infected bites (I've seen them on his hands and arms) - and it is an escape artist, getting out regularly. Oh and it needs to eat mice or hamsters - so the snake keeper normally keeps these smelly little critters too.
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  7. #7
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    gotta go with Highsea here, sounds like more trouble than its worth. Most experiences I've had or known about that involve subletting to strangers end badly. Find a way to ease this guy out with minimal hassles or make it legal & cover yourself. If you want to rent out part of your house illegally do it to someone you know enough to trust (preferable someone who doesn't keep reptiles).


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by highsea View Post
    Sounds to me like you are setting yourself up for all kinds of problems. He's not a legal tenant, so you have no way to evict him, even if he stops paying his rent. You have no lease, so you have nothing enforceable wrt his and your responsibilities.

    He's basically a squatter in the legal sense, and by permitting it you are effectively granting him a prescriptive easement to your basement.

    And you probably factored the rent into your mortgage decision, so if that rental income goes away you are left with a financial hardship.

    If you don't declare the income, you are setting yourself up for problems with the tax authorities. If you do declare it, you are admitting violating the housing laws.

    Not trying to be critical, but is there anything you have done right in this deal?

    My advice would be to do one of two things- either spend the money to get the house upgraded to the rental standard and get him into a binding agreement, or do whatever you have to do to get him to voluntarily vacate the property.


    Good advice, it will have to wait a few months until we establish ourselves here. Already making calls though to price out installation costs to get the space up to code. The fire sprinkler system for example is a lot more reasonable that I expected and I could do a lot of the demolition and finishing work myself. I'll get the pros in for plumbing and wiring but I can throw on the drywall and plaster myself.

    The thing is the illegal suite is so common in Yellowknife because of the extreme conditions they put on making them legal. In the rest of Canada you can don't need to instal fire sprinklers throughout the house. That's 10k saved right there. They barely even enforce the law either because the locals would be pissed. Really pissed for the tenant as well because there is no where to go.


    I don't think the guy will screw me over he is a genuine nice person but damn that snake is disgusting and smelly.

    After the reno and making it legal no more pets period.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    gotta go with Highsea here, sounds like more trouble than its worth. Most experiences I've had or known about that involve subletting to strangers end badly. Find a way to ease this guy out with minimal hassles or make it legal & cover yourself. If you want to rent out part of your house illegally do it to someone you know enough to trust (preferable someone who doesn't keep reptiles).

    I didn't know he had the disgusting thing. It was not there when I viewed the property and I sure as hell would have noticed it along with the smell. He did inform me about the dog though but I really like dogs so I'm cool with her. She is a great dog.
    Last edited by Repatriated Canuck; 21 Oct 11, at 02:01.

  9. #9
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    This isn't that tricky. I have kept snakes. The snakes themselves do not smell. It is their feces. The guy is a lousy housekeeper. When the snake takes a dump, which is about every three weeks, it needs to be cleaned. No more complicated than that.

  10. #10
    Canadian again at last! Military Professional
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    Wow, that's even more gross then.

    I found it the snake wasn't his. It was his girlfriends snake who moved in before I did but after the former owner.

    He got the snake out though and brought it to his office. I'm not letting it back in here. Electrical cost, fire hazard and smelly because they don't want to clean up after it. I saw a big white turd in the glass cage last time I saw it.

  11. #11
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repatriated Canuck View Post
    Wow, that's even more gross then.

    I found it the snake wasn't his. It was his girlfriends snake who moved in before I did but after the former owner.

    He got the snake out though and brought it to his office. I'm not letting it back in here. Electrical cost, fire hazard and smelly because they don't want to clean up after it. I saw a big white turd in the glass cage last time I saw it.
    You sure the dog ain't using the vivarium as a dumping ground (pun intended) to get the snake evicted. Huskies can be very vindictive especially if the snake has intentions on his girlfriend.

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