GTA tenant, Arif Adnan Syed, Turned Several Luxury Homes into Rooming Houses Faces More Charges

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A Markham, Ont. man who was previously charged with numerous fraud in a rental scheme is now facing more fraud-related charges connected to new property rentals. 

Arif Adnan Syed is facing new fraud-related charges in connection with turning at least new 3 rental properties into room houses in the GTA.

On Tuesday, Arif Adnan Syed was charged with:

  • three counts each of fraud exceeding $5,000
  • make false statements in writing
  • possession of property obtained by a crime exceeding $5,000,
  • and uttering forged documents.

Syed has already had 17 fraud-related criminal charges from York Regional Police. He allegedly used fake identification to rent suburban homes in the Greater Toronto Area, which he then converted into rooming houses. 

The charges have not been proven in court yet.

In December 2020 a judge ordered Syed to pay $36,000 in restitution to the landlords of the dozen homes Syed corrupted or he’d be arrested and confined for four months.  Syed testified that he received an average of $500 a month for each room, as he had 90 renters for these old properties, he was making roughly $40,000 a month. The judge also voided Syed’s leases with a dozen landlords.

Syed rented at least 3 more homes

This year, Syed has rented three new homes in Richmond Hill and Vaughan and turned them into rooming houses. All three landlords reported Syed to police.

James Choy discovered the house he rented to Syed had been subdivided into eight units when he inspected the property earlier this year. Even though Syed is arrested, Choy is still trying to get possession of the property back.

Choy reported that “[Syed] has what he’s doing down to an art,” and “He knows that [the Landlord Tenant Board] takes time and in the meantime he’s getting paid by the people living there.”

Richmond Hill Fire issued an inspection order to limit the number of people living in the house to four or fewer by Oct. 12. However, Syed is still advertising the only vacant room on Kijiji for $975 a month. 

Choy stated that before signing the lease, Syed said he wanted to move into the house with his family. He provided a credit report, references, and pay stubs as part of his rental application. The Two other landlords shared similar accounts and all three gave Syed’s rental application to the police.

Choy is still going through the lengthy eviction process at the Landlord Tenant Board and hopes Syed’s arrest might force him to shut down the rooming house. Choy said, “there should be bail conditions that he can’t continue on with his business.” 

As of Wednesday, Syed remains in custody pending a bail hearing on the latest charges. This article was originally sourced by CBC.