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I rented a 3 bedroom townhome and 2 months into my lease I decided to have a roommate, both to help me out with rent and to help him out because he was a close friend who needed a place to stay and help with transportation to and from work. I know, I'm a pushover, because I tried to help him and he ended up completely screwing me over, although I thought I did everything right to protect myself...

Prior to moving him in I talked to the property manager to make sure it was okay. She was fine with it and said I could allow someone else to live there if I wanted to, but rather than adding them to my lease we would just have our own separate agreement. So we drew up a very professional roommate lease agreement, similar to my lease but between me and him with our own personal terms. It was set to be month to month with 30 days advance notice to vacate.. We both signed the rental agreement and everything worked out great for a while.

The first 4 months he paid rent on time every month. He paid me cash and I would purchase a money order for the full amount of the rent every month. I did not give him receipts as we were friends and he never wanted or requested one, but I did write the date and amount paid on the back of the hard copy of our rental agreement everytime he gave me money.

Then he lost his job and everything went to hell. He was out of work for almost 4 months and didn't pay anything. After 2 months of this I asked him to move out because he wasn't looking for a job and was just leaching off of me. I was also paying all the bills and paying for food and necessities for both of us during that time while he layed around all day, which I'm not expecting to recoup. So I asked him to move and also emailed him a 30 day notice, which wasn't really necessary but I wanted him know I was serious since I've had issues trying to get people out of my house in the past. I would have never just kicked him out, but wanted him to leave on his own free will, knowing he had the option to stay with his mom or brother for free. He understood and was fine with it.

After 3 1/2 months of non-payment we mutually agreed to terminate our roommate agreement and he moved out. We remained friends after this and he told me as soon as he had income (which he did find a job and start working again that next week), that he would make payments to me every two weeks until he was caught up. He even would still come over a lot and hang out, but was no longer living there. At some point I also lent him $250 as well so he could take a class to get his servsafe certificate and keep his job. It's been 6 months and I haven't received one penny from him. Since we had other issues as well that we've had words about, we are no longer friends and I won't deal with him at all, so he says I will get nothing from him and to stop "harassing" him. By that he's referring to some angry texts and emails that I sent although he requested I not contact him.

I'm not expecting to recoup a lot of the money I'm out for choosing to help him out, but being as I covered his half of the rent for 4 months and as he signed an agreement to pay it, I know I am at least entitled to recoup the back rent. He is working now and I know where he works, so assuming the judge decides in my favor I will be able to collect as well through garnishment of his wages.

I am planning on taking him to small claims court asap, and have already picked up the necessary paperwork to fill out and file. My question is, in Lake County IL, who has the burden of proof regarding whether he paid rent or not? He says I can't prove it since he paid in cash and I never gave him any receipts...and that he will deny owing me anything and bring a witness to lie for him too, so I'd just be wasting my time and money. He was cautious not to admit guilt via text or email recently, but I do have an email from him from a few months ago stating that I will get my money when he has it but right now some things came up...and I have a text from him stating that I will get nothing from him. I have nothing stating the exact amount though and I'm not sure if texts and emails are even admissable or not. He also said he would countersue me for harassment because I had sent angry emails and texts. Ugh!

I do have the lease agreement he signed and like I said the text and email. He owes me thousands but I'm only asking for $1350 for back rent plus court costs as that's all I can prove. I have the receipt for his servsafe class too but nothing stating it was a loan. Is it possible that he could win this even though he screwed me over? Or is he just bullying me? I always thought the burden of proof was on the tenant to prove that they paid? He can't prove he paid because he didn't, and he can't even show that he had income during that time because he wasn't working. If he had paid he would be able to show his check deposit and a withdrawal for rent as he could in past months... so I'm not sure why the burden of proof would need to be on me because I accepted cash.

It's been 6 months, so I've been very patient in waiting for these so-called biweekly payments he promised me, and yet I've received nothing. I also read a message where he was bragging to his cousin about intentionally screwing me over. I assume he can't get away with this but I want to make sure first before I go ahead with this.

Please advise and thank you in advance for your help.

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my mom had this problem. the solution was to bag up all their belongings, place it outside and change the locks when the... (more)

Darith (Jan. 24, 2017 @ 10:39a) |

Try that in CA and your mom would be in jail.

forbin4040 (Jan. 24, 2017 @ 11:50a) |

Yeah. Self-help evictions don't go well for the landlord. Unless she also had an order of protection.

TravelerMSY (Jan. 24, 2017 @ 1:05p) |

tl;dr version:

OP's ex-friend/ roommate was a deadbeat and owes OP money.
OP plans to sue ex-roommate in small claims.

 
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rated:
My advice? Paypal me 5 bucks for making it just past the halfway point of your novel.

Seriously though, don't spend another second dealing with this. The problem is over. Move on. Life continues.

rated:
did op use her real name

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Call your sister/cousin Tonya Harding and have her call her people on this dude.

Or, live and learn. As soon as you stop receiving rent, start the eviction process. Are you in a state where the security deposit can be applied to missed rent? Why didn't you get first/last and deposit when you started?

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I'm surprised you didn't notice you had a deadbeat living in your house. Close friend eh? I know all my 'close friends' and which ones are deadbeats.
I'm would also think he might've stole some of your stuff.

You can always sue, if it is juicy enough, then you get to court tv and they pay you instead of him.
Good luck

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Your window of opportunity is gone. Chalk this up as a lesson learned about "friends" and move onwards.

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You probably won't get anything from this guy. That said, if your claim is that he lived in your apartment for X months, but only paid Y months' worth of rent, and his defense is going to be that he actually paid Y months' worth of rent, the fact that there isn't a receipt for any of it doesn't help him, either.

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Make sure you can garnish wages for a small claims judgment before you bother filing. You could also hire a collection agency to report the debt and screw with his credit.

i agree with the others though. Write it off and get on with your life. It's unlikely you'll see a dime of it.

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shannonharding said:   I rented a 3 bedroom townhome and 2 months into my lease I decided to have a roommate.....
††
That's about as far as I got. †File small claims for what you think you are owed and let the judge decide.

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Judge Judy!

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Sounds like even if you win in small claims, the likelyhood of collecting anything from him is little. You're throwing good money after bad at this point. If you're out $1350 then I'd call it a $1350 life lesson and move on.

Civil cases are won based on preponderance of the evidence meaning whoevers story seems more likely based on the evidence presented. I doubt the lack of rent receipts would help or hurt either of you at this point.

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I don't know about your state, but in mine, judgements are good for 20 years. You have the signed lease agreement, that's all you need. It's up to him to prove that he paid. If he doesn't have any receipts, it's worse for him, not you. You're just being a nice guy by saying that you did get the money from him, but you could also say that you never got it and he wouldn't be able to prove otherwise.

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You can take him to small claims court or you can let it go. That's about your options. Given the relatively small amount at stake, the difficulty collecting from him, and your informal status, I'd go with letting it go. Consider it a relatively cheap lesson.

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Okay, you're getting mostly joke answers, so here's a serious one.

Sue him in small claims. The burden of proof is on him to prove he paid, not on you to prove he didn't. (Hint: You can't prove a negative). In your shoes, whether or not I'd recoup it, I'd do it to spite him, honestly.

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They may man up some or settle once they have a small claims case summons. †Or they may show up and play the game. †You could win but will you be able to service the debt with a writ of garnishment or do they have any money to chase? †How much do you value your time. †If it were me I would have started eviction 2 weeks after the rent was due to me to let them know another person is coming in to cover the part I cannot pay for.

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Time for some vigilante justice! Slash his tires!

Just kidding... time to walk away from this. The probability of you getting a settlement and being able to collect is less than 10%. You'll just end up wasting your time. In a few years you'll look back at it as a cheap lesson.

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Even if you win in small court - still matter of collecting it. Your friend may simply refuse to pay even if you get judgement against him/her in small court. Then you go through another set of trouble collecting it.

Is it worth the trouble/time/anxiety? Especially in the end if you're not able to collect anything.

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shannonharding said:   He says I can't prove it since he paid in cash and I never gave him any receipts...
Ahahaha, luckily there was something amusing in that wall of text. No, that's not how things work, exactly the opposite is true! He can't even prove he paid the first 4 months...

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I hope you had the locks re-keyed after getting permission from your landlord.

As others have said, if you think this is worth pursuing, than do so; otherwise, chalk it up as a life lesson and move on.

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brettdoyle said:   Just kidding... time to walk away from this. The probability of you getting a settlement and being able to collect is less than 10%. You'll just end up wasting your time. In a few years you'll look back at it as a cheap lesson.

† disagree on the 10%....and frankly, you shouldnt be giving out advice like that. if the deadbeat ex-friend is gainfully employed and OP knows where, then the likelihood of getting paid from that judgment increases a lot.

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Depending on your location, the judgement may be worthless, if you can't garnish wages. A judgement may hurt his credit, short term, but if he is an ass, it isn't going to make him pay you.

It usually cost money to file in small claims court, and fees for serving him by local sherriff. In my area, if he is not personally served with papers, then it's a complete waste of time. If the sherriff just "posts" them at his residence, then it means nothing. Your area may be different than mine.

You need to research what you can do at the end of the process to see if its really worth proceeding.

rated:
prozario said:   Even if you win in small court - still matter of collecting it. Your friend may simply refuse to pay even if you get judgement against him/her in small court. Then you go through another set of trouble collecting it.

Is it worth the trouble/time/anxiety? Especially in the end if you're not able to collect anything.

that's exactly what wage garnishment is for.

it's all about the amount due. OP, how much are we talking about?†

also, did you get a promissory note on the $250?

rated:

rated:
solarUS said:   
prozario said:   Even if you win in small court - still matter of collecting it. Your friend may simply refuse to pay even if you get judgement against him/her in small court. Then you go through another set of trouble collecting it.

Is it worth the trouble/time/anxiety? Especially in the end if you're not able to collect anything.

that's exactly what wage garnishment is for.

it's all about the amount due. OP, how much are we talking about?†

also, did you get a promissory note on the $250?

††
I don't know what state he is in, but that doesn't apply in NC to individuals. † Only the gov can garnish wages in NC. †He needs to research his area for what applies.

rated:
solarUS said:   
prozario said:   Even if you win in small court - still matter of collecting it. Your friend may simply refuse to pay even if you get judgement against him/her in small court. Then you go through another set of trouble collecting it.

Is it worth the trouble/time/anxiety? Especially in the end if you're not able to collect anything.

that's exactly what wage garnishment is for.

it's all about the amount due. OP, how much are we talking about?†

also, did you get a promissory note on the $250?

††
That probably varies from state to state, but in my state, if you make less than $400 a week, the judge won't garnish your wages. If the guy is working in food service, he might not make much more than that. Filing in small claims is usually pretty cheap, anywhere from $20-$100 depending on the state and the claim amount. But if you get a judgement good for 20 years, he might move up in the ranks after 5-10 years.†

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I didn't read the thread, but has anyone asked for pics yet?

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forbin4040 said:   I'm surprised you didn't notice you had a deadbeat living in your house. Close friend eh? I know all my 'close friends' and which ones are deadbeats.
I'm would also think he might've stole some of your stuff.

You can always sue, if it is juicy enough, then you get to court tv and they pay you instead of him.
Good luck

I read the whole thing... we all know what "close friend" really means.

Definitely Judge Judy material.

rated:
DTASFAB said:   
forbin4040 said:   I'm surprised you didn't notice you had a deadbeat living in your house. Close friend eh? I know all my 'close friends' and which ones are deadbeats.
I'm would also think he might've stole some of your stuff.

You can always sue, if it is juicy enough, then you get to court tv and they pay you instead of him.
Good luck

I read the whole thing... we all know what "close friend" really means.

Definitely Judge Judy material.

††Funny -† "close friend" screwed no pun intended.

rated:
shannonharding said:   I rented a 3 bedroom townhome and 2 months into my lease I decided to have a roommate, both to help me out with rent and to help him out because he was a close friend who needed a place to stay and help with transportation to and from work. I know, I'm a pushover, because I tried to help him and he ended up completely screwing me over, although I thought I did everything right to protect myself...

Prior to moving him in I talked to the property manager to make sure it was okay. She was fine with it and said I could allow someone else to live there if I wanted to, but rather than adding them to my lease we would just have our own separate agreement. So we drew up a very professional roommate lease agreement, similar to my lease but between me and him with our own personal terms. It was set to be month to month with 30 days advance notice to vacate.. We both signed the rental agreement and everything worked out great for a while.

The first 4 months he paid rent on time every month. He paid me cash and I would purchase a money order for the full amount of the rent every month. I did not give him receipts as we were friends and he never wanted or requested one, but I did write the date and amount paid on the back of the hard copy of our rental agreement everytime he gave me money.

Then he lost his job and everything went to hell. He was out of work for almost 4 months and didn't pay anything. After 2 months of this I asked him to move out because he wasn't looking for a job and was just leaching off of me. I was also paying all the bills and paying for food and necessities for both of us during that time while he layed around all day, which I'm not expecting to recoup. So I asked him to move and also emailed him a 30 day notice, which wasn't really necessary but I wanted him know I was serious since I've had issues trying to get people out of my house in the past. I would have never just kicked him out, but wanted him to leave on his own free will, knowing he had the option to stay with his mom or brother for free. He understood and was fine with it.

After 3 1/2 months of non-payment we mutually agreed to terminate our roommate agreement and he moved out. We remained friends after this and he told me as soon as he had income (which he did find a job and start working again that next week), that he would make payments to me every two weeks until he was caught up. He even would still come over a lot and hang out, but was no longer living there. At some point I also lent him $250 as well so he could take a class to get his servsafe certificate and keep his job. It's been 6 months and I haven't received one penny from him. Since we had other issues as well that we've had words about, we are no longer friends and I won't deal with him at all, so he says I will get nothing from him and to stop "harassing" him. By that he's referring to some angry texts and emails that I sent although he requested I not contact him.

I'm not expecting to recoup a lot of the money I'm out for choosing to help him out, but being as I covered his half of the rent for 4 months and as he signed an agreement to pay it, I know I am at least entitled to recoup the back rent. He is working now and I know where he works, so assuming the judge decides in my favor I will be able to collect as well through garnishment of his wages.

I am planning on taking him to small claims court asap, and have already picked up the necessary paperwork to fill out and file. My question is, in Lake County IL, who has the burden of proof regarding whether he paid rent or not? He says I can't prove it since he paid in cash and I never gave him any receipts...and that he will deny owing me anything and bring a witness to lie for him too, so I'd just be wasting my time and money. He was cautious not to admit guilt via text or email recently, but I do have an email from him from a few months ago stating that I will get my money when he has it but right now some things came up...and I have a text from him stating that I will get nothing from him. I have nothing stating the exact amount though and I'm not sure if texts and emails are even admissable or not. He also said he would countersue me for harassment because I had sent angry emails and texts. Ugh!

I do have the lease agreement he signed and like I said the text and email. He owes me thousands but I'm only asking for $1350 for back rent plus court costs as that's all I can prove. I have the receipt for his servsafe class too but nothing stating it was a loan. Is it possible that he could win this even though he screwed me over? Or is he just bullying me? I always thought the burden of proof was on the tenant to prove that they paid? He can't prove he paid because he didn't, and he can't even show that he had income during that time because he wasn't working. If he had paid he would be able to show his check deposit and a withdrawal for rent as he could in past months... so I'm not sure why the burden of proof would need to be on me because I accepted cash.

It's been 6 months, so I've been very patient in waiting for these so-called biweekly payments he promised me, and yet I've received nothing. I also read a message where he was bragging to his cousin about intentionally screwing me over. I assume he can't get away with this but I want to make sure first before I go ahead with this.

Please advise and thank you in advance for your help.

† QFP

rated:
I miss Judge Wapner.

rated:
DTASFAB said:   I miss Judge Wapner.
† I remember there was an episode where they brought in a class of law students to ask questions after a session. †One of the student disagreed with the ruling that was just filmed and outlined the reason. †He thought for a minute and said, well, you are probably right.

rated:
shannonharding said:   ---so he says I will get nothing from him and to stop "harassing" him. By that he's referring to some angry texts and emails that I sent although he requested I not contact him.---
††
In some states, this would have landed YOU in jail!†

Burden of proof is on you to prove non-payment.† Sounds like the kind of winner to walk away from and chalk up to a lesson learned.††

rated:
ensignlee said:   The burden of proof is on him to prove he paid, not on you to prove he didn't. (Hint: You can't prove a negative).
††
stinkydooky said:   Burden of proof is on you to prove non-payment.

It looks like the burden of proof [for your statements] is on both of you.
††

rated:
This says in Illinois you can garnish 15% of their wages if they make over 45 x federal minimum wage per week :
http://www.cccircuitclerk.com/forms/Small_Claims_Your_Rights_Aft...

Have to go through a couple steps first to get there.

rated:
is this deadbeat a mellenial..

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You have all the proof you need, just file a small claims and be done with it. You tried to be a nice guy and that didn't work. You can keep waiting but he did exactly what he's bragging about, he screwed you over.†

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trumpotron said:   is this deadbeat a mellenial..
Is this poster who can't spell millennial a Trump enthusiast?

... Tune in tomorrow boys and girls for another exciting episode of Fun with Stereotypes.

rated:
Who stopped putting out first?

rated:
NoMoneyInMyWallet said:   
ensignlee said:   The burden of proof is on him to prove he paid, not on you to prove he didn't. (Hint: You can't prove a negative).
††
stinkydooky said:   Burden of proof is on you to prove non-payment.

It looks like the burden of proof [for your statements] is on both of you.
††

Burden of Proof

Generally used to describe the threshold that a party seeking to prove a fact in court must reach in order to have that fact legally established. †For example, in criminal cases, the burden of proving the defendantís guilt is on the prosecution, and they must establish that fact beyond a reasonable doubt.††In civil cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proving his case by a preponderance†of the evidence. †The burden of proof is often said to be comprised of two distinct but related concepts: the burden of production,†and the burden of persuasion.†

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/burden_of_proof


Skipping 18 Messages...
rated:
Yeah. Self-help evictions don't go well for the landlord. Unless she also had an order of protection.

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