Greedy Landlord - need advice please

Archived From: Finance
  • Go to page :
  • 1 2
  • Text Only
THIS IS THE WORST ADVICE. DO NOT DO WHAT BFC SAID.

If you fail to pay rent, the landlord will likely proceed to have you legally evicted(even if you've already moved out), and sue you for the unpaid rent as well as any/all repairs they can possibly find, on top of lawyer fees, court costs, late fees and interest.
Continue to pay your rent as you are obligated to do according to your lease agreement. Usually there is an early termination fee, but I didn't see you mention that at all. If you can break the lease early and only owe 1-2 months rent, that would be better than paying for 3 more months.

TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING! If you can do a video walkthrough of the property after you have moved everything out, that will be even better. Document everything clean and in working order, and it will provide your lawyer with good evidence when the landlord sues you for damages after you move out. Yes, I said "when" not "if". The landlord is acting aggressively, so you have to assume they WILL SUE YOU once you move 100+ miles away. They will assume you won't show up to court to fight it, and they will get a big default judgment(on top of not owing you the security deposit).

I am a landlord, and love to see tenants fight for their rights when dealing with the scumbag landlords.


BigFatCat said:   Just remember this... you owe her more money at this point than she owes you. Use that to your advantage.

Play along with her... have her document all of her demands (as unreasonable and possibly unlawful as they are). Do your best to negotiate... document all of your correspondence. If you still can't get her to agree to what she legally obligated to do (like return your security deposit), simply don't pay the rent after you move out. Let her keep the social security deposit. She'll probably make threats, but with everything documented, I'd be willing to take that chance.

I know this isn't the 'right' thing to do... but it's usually the best way to deal with a bully...

Even if the landlord isn't required to place your deposit in an interest-bearing account, I'd be willing to bet that if your deposit is in an interest bearing account then the interest is yours, not the landlords.

RealEstateMatt said:   THIS IS THE WORST ADVICE. DO NOT DO WHAT BFC SAID.

If you fail to pay rent, the landlord will likely proceed to have you legally evicted(even if you've already moved out), and sue you for the unpaid rent as well as any/all repairs they can possibly find, on top of lawyer fees, court costs, late fees and interest.
Continue to pay your rent as you are obligated to do according to your lease agreement. Usually there is an early termination fee, but I didn't see you mention that at all. If you can break the lease early and only owe 1-2 months rent, that would be better than paying for 3 more months.

TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING! If you can do a video walkthrough of the property after you have moved everything out, that will be even better. Document everything clean and in working order, and it will provide your lawyer with good evidence when the landlord sues you for damages after you move out. Yes, I said "when" not "if". The landlord is acting aggressively, so you have to assume they WILL SUE YOU once you move 100+ miles away. They will assume you won't show up to court to fight it, and they will get a big default judgment(on top of not owing you the security deposit).

I am a landlord, and love to see tenants fight for their rights when dealing with the scumbag landlords.


BigFatCat said:   Just remember this... you owe her more money at this point than she owes you. Use that to your advantage.

Play along with her... have her document all of her demands (as unreasonable and possibly unlawful as they are). Do your best to negotiate... document all of your correspondence. If you still can't get her to agree to what she legally obligated to do (like return your security deposit), simply don't pay the rent after you move out. Let her keep the social security deposit. She'll probably make threats, but with everything documented, I'd be willing to take that chance.

I know this isn't the 'right' thing to do... but it's usually the best way to deal with a bully...


I agree. You already have LL response. If you will be paying for the time you are not present, I'd see about entrusting someone with the keys, to be present for showings and as to make sure turnover to LL isn't until your obligation is done. If the landlord is willing to do a documented final walk through notating any issues, then I'd turn it over at the earliest. Get the carpet cleaned and document the hell out of its condition.. Are you prepared though to fight for your security deposit?. This crap about the carpet, if in clean non damaged state is disgusting. The monthly rent should allow for reserves for replacement of those type things. Small claims judges can easily discern what's right... Given proper docs.

some options i haven't seen mentioned:
(1) get in touch with your local renters' rights group or advocacy organization. they can often provide you, for free, with the forms and information you could get from an attorney.
(2) offer to forfeit the security deposit in exchange for early termination of the lease. sell it as cheaper than the alternative of suing and losing. make sure the offer includes a waiver by the LL of all rent, damages, and other claims against you.
(3) hire a cleaning company to clean the place, and get documentation. there are many cleaning services that do this for landlords. having that documentation is a pretty solid defense against claims you left the place dirty or damages, particularly if you have pictures as well.

I don't understand why you would need a lawyer. just forward her the payment minus the security and if she wants more let her sue you (of course you will be a couple of hundread miles away so that might help)

Any chance she doesn't even have the funds to cover the security deposit? The deposit is supposed to be in an escrow account but if the place has had three LL the money might not be there. It might be a preemptive money grab.

Depends on the state whether the deposit needs to place in a separate account.

Landlord would be paying more than the alleged recoverable amount to actually get you in court. Any competent attorney will explain, an incompetent one will charge so much as to make plaintiff back out after a while. And would lose anyway, tho troublesome to OP who MIGHT recover a few $$ on counterclaim. $15K++ out of landlord's pocket no matter what.

Have you considered backing a truck into your balcony when you move out?

dcg9381 said:   sgogo said:   
I would stop paying rent and tell landlord it is hard for you since you had put 2 mos down on your next apartment. Tell them to keep the security as payment for the next two months.

They will probably not sue them for eviction since that takes a while, and they have almost no basis for any other suit if the apartment is left in good condition.


I think this is bad advice:
1) It flips who is in the right legally.
2) The OP may need a "paid on time" reference for another place. Right now the OP can prove it.
3) It puts the LL in a position to follow up and sue successfully.

Deposits are not interchangeable for rent.


1 - Yes, it does flip who is right, but it might be worth it in this case. I normally would never give that kind of advice, but I have dealt with the "unscrupulous" landlord and once you pay them that last rent payment, the cost to get back the security becomes more than the security.

2- I am guessing this will be in dispute well after the next place needs a reference, so they wont be getting any good reference from this landlord.

3 - As a landlord myself, I strongly believe they will not sue. It would cost more than the rent due, they have the security already, and, while they could fabricate a bunch of damages, that would be risky for them.

That being said, as in anything, its a risk and you have a good point worth considering.

Regards
SteveG

yogutt said:   I don't understand why you would need a lawyer. just forward her the payment minus the security and if she wants more let her sue you (of course you will be a couple of hundread miles away so that might help)

This is not advisable. Should op be served with a summons before he left the state, he would be in a really tough spot because he would have to choose between sticking around to defend himself or having a default judgment entered against him. article 4, section 1 of the US const. provides that when you have a judgment docketed in one state, the creditor may have the judgment moved to another state if the debtor moved to that state. So if the tenant gets served in his current state, he must defend the lawsuit there in his home state. The wheels of justice move very slowly, it can take more than a year for the case to reach trial. If he moves out of state and fails to defend himself in his previous state, a default judgment will be entered. That default judgment can be moved to the state he moves to. Since it is a default, the tenant will have no opportunity for his day in court. His wages might be garnished, his motorcycle seized and sold at auction - who knows!
But realistically, who knows if the landlord will have the time, training or inclination to take all these procedural steps, including working with a collection agency that will probably charge 50% of the loot obtained from the tenant.
In closing, I hope mickey3 who is sooooo butthurt about a discussion we had regarding federal courts in another thread does not come here and give me red, without contributing to the thread, just sum foo come in and give red and run out the door straight away. He is so butthurt he stalks all my posts and gives me red in any/all threads I post in lol.

tremwill said:    If you're moving hundreds of miles away, the landlord shouldn't be able to sue you in small claims Court because the Court wouldn't have personal jurisdiction over you.


How is it that you give advice on the internet?

I'm no attorney, but I'm 98% certain that moving away doesn't mean that a local municipal court can't grant a judgement. The OP signed a contract in local jurisdiction. Moving away does not grant change of venue. Even if it did, it wouldn't be automatic.

Generally, in order to successfully sue, you'd need to have another party served (proves that they were given notice). This is easily done across jurisdiction.. Trust me.

tremwill said:   Even if the landlord isn't required to place your deposit in an interest-bearing account, I'd be willing to bet that if your deposit is in an interest bearing account then the interest is yours, not the landlords.

That's not true unless state law explicitly grants the tenant interest... Bet on it the other way.

woowoo2 said:   Have you considered backing a truck into your balcony whe
you move out?

LOL

sgogo said:   
1 - Yes, it does flip who is right, but it might be worth it in this case. I normally would never give that kind of advice, but I have dealt with the "unscrupulous" landlord and once you pay them that last rent payment, the cost to get back the security becomes more than the security.


I understand that you're trying to flip who has the money in hand. I think that's a valid strategy where the payoff is 1:1. The payoff isn't necessarily 1:1 here.

The "cost" here is one of two things:
1) The amount of time it takes to deal with small claims yourself.
2) The up front cost of an attorney to litigate it for you.

Again, we don't know the state here... But in Texas, the small claims court (my time) might be worth it at 300% of the deposit, plus the fact that I might be able to show that she rented the place after left. It could very easily be for fun and profit...

They attorney has less "hassle" but more financial risk.

And both can be losers if the LL doesn't have a dime... Then again, this wouldn't be a protected asset in most cases, so there's at least one thing to go after. Plus the OP already knows where the LL's bank is.

woowoo2 said:   Have you considered backing a truck into your balcony when you move out?

LMAO +1 Green for balcony thread reference.

The American Bar Association has a program, call your State Bar Association and they will provide you a attorney with a half-hour consultation for $35.

lol, if I were you, I would live til the end of the lease. If the landlord want to break the lease, it's his fault. There should be a penalty for him to break the lease. The carpet should be part of the wear and tear after 8 years which you should not even pay a cent. Most likely your rent is low and the landlord tries to kick you out earlier so he can remodel the unit earlier for the next new tenant.

Solution: live there til the end of lease. Most likely this landlord will try to keep the full deposit, document everything, sue him in small claim court if necessary.

Don't know if someone else already commented and I am not going to read the full string to provide this info - however, carpet is a depreciable asset. After 8 years, a landlord would be expected to have to replace the carpet under most standard conditions. Check with a local tenant association to determine what your state mandates or supports for deposits and capital assets and what a tenant can be charged on moveout. I know where I am if I tried to charge a tenant for carpet after 8 years, I wouldn't want to face them in small claims court.

woowoo2 said:   Have you considered backing a truck into your balcony when you move out?


HAHAHA

I disagree. Absent statutory authority to the contrary, the security deposit is held in trust for th tenant and is the property of the tenant as is any increase.

OliverQuackenbush said:    if she bitches, explain that you may be entitled to triple damages plus attorneys fees (if this is true, look up what remedies are available in your state).

I would wait until it was time for my day in court to explain that to her.
Her attitude to date would make me WANT to sue her ass, especially if I could profit from it.

FinPat said:   She doesn't seem to have any regard for the laws that apply. We provided her with a formal written document stating that we are vacating the unit and we are trying to compensate her for 3 months' rent, and she can rent out the unit to a new tenant, in which case she will release us from any obligation of paying rent, use the deposit for repairs, and return us some portion, if not all, as long as the repairs are beyond normal wear and tear. The document clearly cited the security deposit law in our state (how it can be used, landlord cannot keep deposit just because they can, etc). The document was emailed to her, she called us to let us know that she won't be accepting that offer, and that she now wants us to pay the full cost of new carpet (she had previously demanded "only" half the cost from us).

At this point we have realized that there is no way to reason with her. And that's very frustrating.


I may have missed it, but make sure you have documentation of the pay half of the carpet offer and the offer for you to pay for the entire replacement of the carpet. This will be very forthcoming of the landlord if you choose to take this to small claims.

Great advice regarding documenting, maintaining records, taking pictures and reviewing your lease. As an agent, the law is on your side. The landlord has no reason to hold your deposit unless there was unusual wear or major damage. In many states, the landlord should have an escrow account with YOUR money. Although states vary in laws, do your research based on your state laws. If the landlord is an agent, they are held to an even higher standard, especially dealing with security deposits.
Make sure YOU follow the rules and you'll be just fine.

Why don't you just say what state you live in?

Leave landlord notice currently. Take lots of pictures of apartment after you move out. Judging from your post I'm betting you will leave the apartment clean.

When you move out, do walk through if applicable and ask for deposit to be returned. Send a letter asking for it to be returned. Leave a forwarding address with the Landlord

Don't pay any more money after moving out. Do you think the landlord is really going to sue over their non-existent damages when you've lived there for 8 years? Any judge is going to think she's nuts. Many people on here may or may not agree with this, but think about it. You've lived there for 8 years! Do you really owe them any more money even though you've given them sufficient notice. Document everything and you may be able to prove that Landlord didn't try to rent the space (Or did rent the space during the time frame.

If applicable leave some sort of fairly written online review of the landlord to warn future renters (This could work against you concerning landlord finding a renter before your lease is up. You might wait until after May to do this.)

If landlord has nerve to take you to court after you've vacated apartment show up. - You probably won't have to say much as this person ruins their own case. (If they file for eviction against you, bring copy of the written notice you gave. It's the landlords responsibility to be looking for another tenant. - Not evicting someone from an empty unit.)

062703 said:   FinPat said:   
I may have missed it, but make sure you have documentation of the pay half of the carpet offer and the offer for you to pay for the entire replacement of the carpet. This will be very forthcoming of the landlord if you choose to take this to small claims.


The landlord isn't taking anyone to small claims the way things stand. The way things stand she's keeping all of the rent (to be paid) and 100% of the deposit (already paid).

Either you have cash in hand and you might get sued or you're out cash and will have to sue to recover it. Those are your two choices.

Documenting the "half carpet" and full rent offer might work the other way - the judge could say that this is what the OP "agreed" to and put that in motion. If I was to go to court on this, I'd want to follow state law, which is likely very much below what the OP offered the LL.

yogutt said:   I don't understand why you would need a lawyer. just forward her the payment minus the security and if she wants more let her sue you (of course you will be a couple of hundread miles away so that might help)

If you pay less than the rent, she can begin eviction which will be a real mess, in which she's in the right. No need to muddy the waters.

OP, I noted that all of her communications with you are not in writing. Send her something in writing in which you claim that you are not able to track her positions in phone calls, and request that all further discussions be in writing and stick to it. My guess is that she knows that her position is untenable and is trying to negotiate without a paper trail that will make her look ridiculous. You have a solid paper trail at this point, and she doesn't.

I suspect that her hope now is that you won't show up at a hearing.

dcg9381 said:   062703 said:   FinPat said:   
I may have missed it, but make sure you have documentation of the pay half of the carpet offer and the offer for you to pay for the entire replacement of the carpet. This will be very forthcoming of the landlord if you choose to take this to small claims.


The landlord isn't taking anyone to small claims the way things stand. The way things stand she's keeping all of the rent (to be paid) and 100% of the deposit (already paid).

Either you have cash in hand and you might get sued or you're out cash and will have to sue to recover it. Those are your two choices.

Documenting the "half carpet" and full rent offer might work the other way - the judge could say that this is what the OP "agreed" to and put that in motion. If I was to go to court on this, I'd want to follow state law, which is likely very much below what the OP offered the LL.


The landlord made two offers. One for half carpet and one for full. That is what OP needs to have documented. Those are the kinds of things that lead to treble damages.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014

It's time for an upgrade!

After a decade on our current platform, we're upgrading our plumbing. The site will be down for a few hours starting at 12:00AM CST (Midnight) tonight.

At FatWallet we strive to bring you the best coupons, deals and Cash Back. So please come back and check us out.