An Epic Alliance investor thought they owned a home with a tenant — it had actually burned down
An Epic Alliance investor thought they owned a home with a tenant — it had actually burned down
Following the collapse of Epic Alliance, one investor learned they were the landlord of a property that no longer existed.
Sharon Moormann, a property manager with Western Premium Property Management Inc. had to break the news to many out-of-province landlords that homes they assumed were in good condition — and turning over a profit — were actually in disrepair, vacant, or in one case, didn't exist any longer.
“There was a house that had burnt,” Moormann told CTV News.
When investors learned the company was shutting down during a 16-minute zoom call in January, more than 500 properties in Saskatoon went from "hassle-free" investments to headaches.
A court-ordered investigation found the $211.9 million dollars invested in the Saskatoon company is mostly gone. Attempts by CTV News to contact the company's co-founders Rochelle Laflamme and Alisa Thompson have been unsuccessful.
One of the company's lines of business was its landlord program which offered to manage properties while promising limited risk for investors — including a pledge to buy the homes from those who wished to exit the program.
Never intending to be landlords, the investors turned to companies like Western Premium, which initially managed roughly 300 of the homes over the winter.
In her decades of experience, Moormann has never seen anything like it.
"We've definitely found some problems we've never had to deal with before; there's always some new things that pop up that we haven't dealt with,” Moormann said.
“Frozen water lines, the frozen hot water heaters — the surprises that you can't see when you open the door and look around the property.”
While Western Premium is used to managing a variety of properties, Moormann said the company wasn't prepared for the influx of homes that were vacant — which according to affidavits filed at Court of Queen’s Bench from former Epic Alliance employees, made up roughly 60 per cent of Epic's inventory.
“Many of (the houses) are sold. Many (investors) have turned it back into a rental. The market did get a little flooded,” she said.
Saskatchewan Realtors Association CEO Chris Guérette said Epic Alliance’s homes haven’t greatly affected the Saskatoon real estate market as of yet.
- Former Epic Alliance employee says firm 'pushed' for higher appraisals of homes it sold to investors
"So far we have not seen a significant impact in the market. We are watching that monthly. So we flagged that with our economists to see what kind of negative impact there could be,” she said Tuesday.
Cameron Choquette, the CEO of Saskatchewan Landlord Association, said the fallout for the entire real estate industry could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for companies like Western Premium taking on all the extra work.
"We're extremely proud of the members in our organization that have stepped up to manage those properties, keep tenants in the properties and make sure that we don't have any run-ins with property maintenance bylaw issues currently,” he said.
Based on a complaint from an Ontario investor, the Saskatoon Police Service economic crimes unit is investigating Epic Alliance.
The Financial Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) is also undertaking its own separate investigation.
Saskatoon Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canada pledged $50 million to prevent Ukrainian grain from going to waste on Sunday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to work with G7 nations on further measures to halt the famine caused by the Russian invasion of the embattled country.
Canada's chief of defence says Russia's invasion of Ukraine is going to change the course of history.
Cat and dog owners who cuddle their pets when infected with COVID-19 could end up making the animals sick with the virus, according to a Canadian study.
David Cohen has been the United States' Ambassador to Canada since November 2021, and in the time since, both Canada and the United States have experienced a series of shared challenges. In an interview at his official residence in Ottawa, Cohen opens up about the state of the relationship.
Russian President Valdimir Putin was a target of mockery by leaders of the Group of Seven, as they sat around a table Sunday, commencing their three-day summit in Bavarian Alps, Germany.
Russia shattered weeks of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital with long-range missiles fired toward Kyiv early Sunday, an apparent Kremlin show-of-force as Western leaders meet in Europe to strengthen their military and economic support of Ukraine.
The latest on the G7 summit: The Group of Seven leading democratic economies has formally launched at its annual summit a global infastructure and investment partnership aimed at pushing back China's influence in the developing world.
Norway's prime minister and members of the royal family joined mourners at a memorial service Sunday at Oslo Cathedral for the victims of a shooting attack as the capital held its annual LGBTQ Pride festival.
New research looking at the frequency of heavy rainfall across the globe shows that a drastic increase in downpours is expected over the years to come.
The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party has elected Carla Beck as its new leader.
The ‘ultra low fare’ carrier Swoop entered the Saskatchewan air travel market earlier in June and currently serves three domestic routes out of Regina and Saskatoon.
Several different communities gathered at the Core Ritche Neighbourhood Centre on Sunday to celebrate Welcome Kabayan. ‘Kabayan’ in Filipino means, ‘welcome fellow members of our community.’
Residents in Gimli are dealing with overland flooding due to high water levels on Lake Winnipeg and strong winds.
'We can't believe it': Winnipeggers come together to throw surprise baby shower for new Ukrainian couple
A Winnipeg woman is making sure a couple from Ukraine is feeling right at home as they prepare to welcome their first child.
Lori Ann Mancheese's death is now one of five women in the span of about a month being grieved by members of the province's Indigenous community. Winnipeg police say three of those women were murdered.
Organizers of a central Alberta rodeo and its parade committee are calling for calm after a float in this weekend's parade, which possessed a racist theme, was seen in the procession.
Police are looking for suspects after they say a man was injured in a shooting late Saturday.
If you are looking for some more time on the slopes even though it's already summer, you might be pleased by an opportunity at Banff Sunshine Village.
People are getting ready to return to Wakamne, God's Lake, on pilgrimage when the Pope visits Alberta.
The Edmonton Police Service is searching for a 13-year-old girl that was last seen Friday morning.
After nearly five decades, a new ambulance provider will assume emergency medical services in Cold Lake, Alta., this fall.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Toronto on Sunday as the city's Pride parade returned for the first time in two years.
There are now more than 50 outdoor pools open across Toronto where people can go to beat the heat.
A heat warning remains in place for the remainder of the weekend in Toronto, but temperatures are expected to cool down Sunday evening.
Students at Hillcrest High School in Ottawa took part in a walkout after some students say they have been victims of racist treatment. Allegations of racism have been swirling at the school for months and now the Ottawa Carleton District School Board is investigating the incidents.
There were approximately 36,260 reported Criminal Code of Canada offences in Ottawa in 2021, up eight per cent from 2020. Police reported 7,116 violent crimes and 29,146 non-violent crimes in Ottawa last year.
A Good Samaritan jumped into action on Saturday to help four people who were on paddleboards and heading towards rapids in Ottawa’s west end.
About a hundred people gathered in downtown Vancouver on Sunday afternoon denouncing the U.S. Supreme court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which secured constitutional protection for abortion rights in the country for nearly 50 years.
With a heat warning in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, several cities have opened up dedicated indoor cooling centres and outdoor cooling stations. We've compiled a list of what's available and where.
Firefighters in Port Coquitlam extinguished a large fire in an apartment building on Wilson Avenue overnight.
A man in crisis stabbed several people Sunday morning in downtown Montreal, leaving one dead and three injured.
The Montreal fire department (SIM) is advising citizens to avoid the intersection of Sherbrooke St. East near Durocher Ave. as a major building fire is blazing.
McGill University medical students are trying to help treat people who are addicted to opioids. They say many aren't equipped to handle the withdrawal.
Victoria police arrested a man for allegedly sexually assaulting several strangers in quick succession in the city's downtown Saturday night.
Each of the 28 pyramids holds 136 plants, which the Harvest and Share Food Society distributes to local food banks when they're mature.
Mounties on Quadra Island are investigating what they call a "linen heist" at a local resort.
As HMCS Kingston and Summerside pulled away from Halifax Harbour and deployed for Operation Reassurance, there was no shortage of emotion from family members who came to see them off.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
OPP Tweet: Highway 17 closed at Sand Bay Road at the Spanish River bridge.
A person was taken to hospital after a shooting on the Sheguiandah First Nation on Manitoulin Island Friday.
The Holistic Healing Fair is back in Sault Ste. Marie following a two-year absence.
You may not know his name, but he’s performed alongside some of the all-time music greats.
'We were able to cool the propane tanks in time': Two families displaced after morning fire in London, Ont.
Residents were able to safely escape a house fire Sunday morning in London.
After being delayed over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the air fest took off this weekend at the St. Thomas Municipal Airport.