According to eight Nova Scotia landlords, Nadav Even-Har owes them thousands of dollars in rent, but he says he’s committed to mending his ways.
“All I can do from this moment on is start being a better person,” says Nadav Even-Har of Cole Harbour in a phone interview with CBC News.
Even-Har’s story was first reported by CBC when local entrepreneur Jason Selby posted on Facebook about his struggle to regain possession of his home in the Halifax area after collecting no rent since May.
Selby said all of Even-Har’s rent cheques bounced because they were written from closed accounts.
CBC News has now spoken to the eight landlords who say they’ve failed to collect rent or damage deposits from Even-Har between 2013 and last month.
Four of those tenancies ended with evictions after months of residential tenancy appeals.
D.J. Corning said he leased the Even-Har family a mini-home at 18 Vincent Lane in Pomquet Point outside Antigonish in 2013.
“They were perfect. Both working professionals … All I could think of was, ‘Hey, I found some great people,'” Corning said.
But that impression didn’t last.
“The cheques bounced. And we would call Nadav, and then the lies. ‘Oh, so confusing. There’s way more than that much money in my account, there must be some mistake,'” Corning said.
Even-Har would not comment on Corning’s story or the particulars of any of his past rentals.
Court records show a Nadav Joseph Even-Har has several convictions for both theft and fraud.
After Selby’s Facebook post and the subsequent story on CBC, there was a spontaneous protest in front of Even-Har’s rental home on Oct. 4.
Selby said the demonstration, which lasted for a few hours, consisted of Cole Harbour residents, and Selby had never met many of them before.
A video posted on Facebook showed people shouting at Even-Har as he walked to his car with a suitcase and his dog.
“You’re a horrible human being,” someone shouts.
“You’re dishonouring your family, dude,” someone else says.
Even-Har said he was surprised by the vehement reaction.
“You would expect that if I murdered somebody, you know? Like I just I don’t know … how people think this is affecting their personal life.”
Even-Har, his wife and four-year-old daughter were in the car and frightened.
“What did my four-year-old do it to them?” he said.
Can’t count evictions
However, Even-Har said the public anger over his tenancy history is understandable, and he doesn’t know how many times he has been evicted in Nova Scotia.
“I don’t know the exact number, but I know I’ve been evicted a lot,” he said. “You know it’s, it’s, it’s definitely a trend with me.”
He draws a parallel between his past behaviour and the plight of people who get entangled with payday loans.
“You know how people take payday loans? And then on payday, they have to pay that payday loan? But then they’re broke so they take a payday loan?” he said.
“It was me constantly trying to cover one consequence after another and me, basically, wasn’t able to manage anything.”
Commitment to change
Even-Har said he was born in Israel and moved to Toronto when he was 10 years old.
He said he met his Nova Scotian wife in Western Canada, and they moved here because of that connection.
Even-Har said his greatest regret is the pain he has caused her.
“I wish that my impact on her home community or hometown wasn’t this negative.… It just seems like things are getting ruined for her as well, and you know that hurts me the most.”
Even-Har said he hopes to eventually pay back some of the rent he owes to former landlords who had him evicted.
For the moment, he’s pursuing a new agenda.
“Try to do nice things. Try to maybe do things for the community and with time, maybe, show that … I’m trying to make up for it. “
At a court hearing Friday morning, Evan-Har volunteered to leave Selby’s home by 9 a.m. Monday.
Selby said Monday afternoon that deadline had passed, and Even-Har’s belongings were still in his living room.
Selby said he’ll seek a new hearing Tuesday morning to clarify what happens next.