Ex-Landlord Problems

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Sarvis
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Ex-Landlord Problems

Postby Sarvis » Thu Apr 22, 2004 6:59 pm

Ok, new problem for those inclined to help!

Background:

I had decided to move back home in January, due to bleak job prospects and growing resentment of my roomate. I found someone who was going to sublet at the end of January and moved out myself in midJanuary. The guy backed out, but through email with my old roomate I found out another friend of his was going to be subletting. That's pretty much the last I heard. I am resonsible for the lease until October though.

Today I got a letter from the ex-landlord stating that no one subletted the apartment, and am now responsible for 3 months rent. She did try to email me once in March, according to the letter, but I never recieved it. She mispelled my name in the letter so I am inclined she mispelled my email address as well (since my name is my email address.) However, she obviously has my mailing address and I gave her both my new home phone number and my cell phone number. She also threatens that unless I come up with the $750 my ex-roomate will be evicted.

She has also turned away people that are interested in the apartment because she does not consider it clean enough.

I'm about to draft a reply to her, but I wanted some other opinions on the matter.

My opinion:

I should not be held responsible for the rent, because I had no idea that it had not been sublet and had had no contact with the landlord stating so. Nor do I have any control over the cleanliness of the apartment, and it was her choice to turn people away rather than mine.

She still has my last month's rent and security deposit, and frankly I never expected to see those back anyway so she can certainly take two month's rent out of that. But there's no way for me to come up with the rest of the money, even if I did feel responsible.
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Postby Zen » Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:54 pm

My understanding of such things is that you and your ex-room mate are both responsible for the rent until the lease expires, presuming you boht signed it. If your ex roomate wants to live there, he'll have to pay the money. While you can simply refuse and put the burden on him to pay the rent or be evicted, any legal action, eviction or collection is likely to be against the both of you.

Room-mates suck.

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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:55 pm

You signed the lease, so if you sublet that's your responsibility. Most places don't allow subletting at all. It's also your responsibility to make sure the apartment is as clean as possible when you move out... moving out meaning when your lease is up. Why is she trying to move people in if your lease isn't up?

Bottom line is, if you signed the lease, you're responsible. That's just one of the responsibilities of being an adult and maintaining your own place of residence.
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Re: Ex-Landlord Problems

Postby Gurns » Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:36 pm

Just saw this link, it might be of interest:
http://houseandhome.msn.com/Rentals/Bre ... ease0.aspx
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Postby Demuladon » Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:44 pm

My wife worked as an apartment leasing consultant in the US - when she did credit checks of potential renters their entire rental history was listed.

At least in the case of the company my wife worked for, if the potential renter had a blemish like non-payment of rent or had done a runner at some stage, it was policy to refuse them an apartment.

Edit:

It's what they record on your credit history that's important, the "system" doesn't care what the circumstance was that leads to the blemish on your record. Definitely worth trying to rectify the situation.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:01 pm

I understand my responsibilities, but I feel like without any notification of the situation I was unable to do anything to meet them.

I'm more worried about my roomate being kicked out than my credit rating, which is already shitty.

Also, we each signed a seperate lease if that's somehow important.

Overall the whole situation just sucks.


Oh yeah, according to my roomate the apartment is in great condition, but the landlord wants to repaint it since she never got the chance to before we moved in. She also hasn't mentioned anyone calling to him, but states several people have called but been turned away by her in the letter she sent me.
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Postby Sesexe » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:10 pm

Did you inform your property owner of your desire to break the lease and move out early? They normally require 30-60 days advanced notice even when you don't have a lease.

If you didn't contact them before you decided to move out, and make arrangements financially with them, you are libel for the rest of your lease regardless if you were notified by them after moving out or not. It's most likely in the contract you signed/lease just to move in originally.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:20 pm

Yes, I notified her beforehand. We'd even agreed on the person who was going to sublet and everything, before the bastard backed out.

I guess the other guy that was going to sublet it just disappeared at some point in march...
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:00 am

Ok, emailed my old roomate and got a response from him. Apparently he has kept the apartment in great condition, and she has not told him about anyone calling about the apartment.

Apparently, however, they had a disagreement about something a couple months ago and she wants him to move out and terminate both our leases in May. So this may just be some fallout of that, where I am getting hit too. However, if she is actively preventing people from renting the apartment I really feel like it's beyond my responsibility here...

It's funny how these types of people only prey on those who can't afford lawyers... bleh.
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Postby kiryan » Tue Apr 27, 2004 4:45 pm

whats in your lease.. most leases are air tight giving you no rights and forbid subletting. the landlords rarely exercise their considerable rights granted under contract, and renters even more rarely exercie their rights, there should be a state commission that deals with your rights and responsibilities beyond contractual agreements.

I know of cases where someone moved out, the landlord held them responsible to the full terms of the lease (ie rent through the contractual termination date) AND RENTED THE APARTMENT OUT TO SOMEONE ELSE AT THE SAME TIME... essentially making a double profit.

find out what kind of "depsoit" you paid. There are certain restrictions and rights in regards to deposit. Just because you owe them money for rent dosen't mean they can keep a "cleaning" or "pet" deposit.... course, its probably stated in your lease and covered, and they could probably refuse to return it then get it awarded in a court judgement.

the reasons why this and that and who did what typically dont matter unless someone acted fraudulently or was grossly negligent. verbal contracts are hard to prove and usually require specific language... the landlord is gonna say breakign your contract was contigent on the inception of a new contract with the person you found. since the contract was never formalized their "deal" with you is off.

but seriously if your up for a serious confrontation, check the state commission, renters do typically have a lot of rights that are rarely exercised.
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Postby Delmair Aamoren » Sun May 02, 2004 8:52 pm

All depends on the verbage in yer lease. Most really do bend you over. Sucks, but that is life. Best bet is to stay in an open-ended, or 6 month renewing lease. Perhaps this can just be tallied up to "lesson learned".
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Postby Deltin » Mon May 31, 2004 3:09 pm

Sarvis wrote: However, if she is actively preventing people from renting the apartment I really feel like it's beyond my responsibility here...


Actually if I remember correctly from my classes, the landlord has a duty to minimize their loss of rent by re-renting a vacated apartment asap. Since both parties agreed to terminate the lease I don't really see you owing much of anything. In New York you do have to give a 30 day notice of leaving, usually you have to do it before the 1st of the month. A landlord must keep the security deposite in a seperate account, if you were renting for a while it probably earned a little interest, which is technically yours.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:51 pm

Interesting.

I actually just emailed her, told her to keep my security deposit/last months pre-payed rent and that should almost even things out anyway. I guess my roomate found another place to live and just ditched his lease, so that isn't a problem. But she never responded, so I have no idea if she just removed us from the lease or what.

Not going to worry about it now though, because I don't have any money to pay her anyway... heh.
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Postby Vigis » Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:37 pm

Sarvis,

Did you sign lease as head of household? If you did, they will come after you first. It happened to me when I had a roommate and left for a couple of months, he misrepresented his income so that the rent would stay low. When taxes came through, they saw that the rent wasn't up to par, they slapped me with a collection agency without notifying me of a damned thing.

If you signed as head of household, they will come after you. Only choice you have left is whether it will cost more to hire a lawyer or pay the bill.
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Jun 07, 2004 12:17 am

Vigis wrote:Sarvis,

Did you sign lease as head of household? If you did, they will come after you first. It happened to me when I had a roommate and left for a couple of months, he misrepresented his income so that the rent would stay low. When taxes came through, they saw that the rent wasn't up to par, they slapped me with a collection agency without notifying me of a damned thing.

If you signed as head of household, they will come after you. Only choice you have left is whether it will cost more to hire a lawyer or pay the bill.


I don't think either of us signed any kind of ead of household thing. We actually signed exactly the same lease, only seperate copies.

Don't landlords and roomates suck though?
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Postby Grizz » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:49 am

At times like these you have to stop and think....WWJJD (What Would Judge Judy Do)?
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Postby moritheil » Fri Jul 23, 2004 5:06 am

Sarvis wrote:
Vigis wrote:Sarvis,

Did you sign lease as head of household? If you did, they will come after you first. It happened to me when I had a roommate and left for a couple of months, he misrepresented his income so that the rent would stay low. When taxes came through, they saw that the rent wasn't up to par, they slapped me with a collection agency without notifying me of a damned thing.

If you signed as head of household, they will come after you. Only choice you have left is whether it will cost more to hire a lawyer or pay the bill.


I don't think either of us signed any kind of ead of household thing. We actually signed exactly the same lease, only seperate copies.

Don't landlords and roomates suck though?


The irresponsible ones do. Here's hoping you're done.
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Postby Asilin » Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:00 pm

The most important lesson here is not to ever, EVER split obligations with someone else. But, if you do, get specifics in writing, and get any changes comfirmed on the original agreement.

If she moves someone else in, you can probably get released of payment beyond that point. If she won't release you, make her keep an apartment empty just for you (even if you don't live there). You are paying for it, you should have it.

P.S. Friends and family will screw you over worse then anyone else when it comes to money.

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