Two Blue Jays Members Accused of Not Paying Rent in Toronto During COVID

Toronto Blue Jays
RowdyTellez/Twitter and MarkBudzinski/Twitter

The Toronto Blue Jays might not be playing right now, but the ball club is still making headlines these days – though perhaps not for the right reasons.

According to a report from CBC News, two members of the club, a player and a coach, have been accused of skipping out on paying rent for the Toronto condos they were supposed to rent out this year during their regular Major League Baseball season, which has been suspended because of COVID.

Since Toronto Blue Jays slugger Ryan “Rowdy” Tellez and first base coach Mark Budzinski are currently living in the US, they believe they shouldn’t have to pay the rent for the condos they aren’t able to access or use due to the pandemic and the shuttered Canadian border, reports CBC News.

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Tellez, who was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2013, allegedly hasn’t paid his $4,100 monthly rent payment since March, according to landlord Linda Pinizzotto.

“I feel I’m being disrespected. I rented out my place to him in good faith,” Pinizzotto said.

Pinizzotto showed CBC News Tellez’s lease, which the Jays player had signed in January for a furnished two-bedroom condo in a building on Blue Jays Way.

As per the report, the lease began on March 24, 2020, however, Pinizzotto said after paying first and last month’s rent, Tellez has yet to make any other payments.

Budzinski allegedly leased a condo from Pinizzotto’s husband, Derrick Thomas, who had agreed to rent his condo on Wellington Street West in January. Budzinski, who is a former pro baseball player signed a six-month lease for the furnished one-bedroom condo, plus den for $3,100 a month.

Budzinski’s lease for the suite was also set to kick in on March 24, and as per CBC News, the coach paid first and last month’s rent in March and made his April rent payment as well. However, shortly after, Thomas received a letter from his tenant’s paralegal asking for all his rent money back.

Now, Budzinski is said to be taking Thomas to Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), which handles disputes between landlords and their tenants. According to CBC News, Budzinski is asking an adjudicator to cancel his lease as well as ordering the rent refund.

Neither Tellez or Budzinski have made any public comments regarding the issue at this time.

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