Elizabeth Anne Critchley, Squatter who put Landlord out of Business

Elizabeth Anne Critchley — aka Betty Drake, Elizabeth Anne Drake

The length and slowness of the eviction process made this landlord’s situation much, much worse. This points to need for reform in the eviction process.

Landlord Jim Johnson had to fight for many months to try to evict a woman who turned out to be a career criminal from his rental property after she continually failed to pay rent.

At the end of the process, Johnson was out $12,000 in rent — and swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars more, he says — after leasing his half duplex in Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada to Elizabeth Anne Critchley in December 2016.

Johnson, who has been a landlord for 40 years, says he felt he did his due diligence when he accepted Critchley as a tenant — checking her references and getting everything in writing.

But what he didn’t do was a criminal record check. What he didn’t know is Critchley — who Go Public found also goes by Betty Drake, Betty Burns and Elizabeth Anne Drake — has a criminal record that dates back more than 25 years and includes more than 120 convictions, many of them for fraud in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.

“To say we’re financially destroyed is an understatement,” he says.

Johnson says the problems were only compounded by delays in the process to evict Critchley.

He says the system moved so slowly, it allowed her to live in his duplex for three more months without paying a cent.

“The tenancy board, in my opinion, takes care of the tenants and the landlords are on their own.”

Living for free, more crimes occur —-

While Johnson waited for his case to wind its way through the residential tenancy system, Critchley was renting out his duplex as her own.

Tanya Gerrard said she gave almost $1,100 to Critchley, who she knew as Betty Drake, when she answered a rental ad for half a duplex.


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