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Re: Roommate horror story

Posted by me again on February 07, 2002 at 23:34:36:

In Reply to: Re: Roommate horror story posted by vexed on February 07, 2002 at 10:30:22:

: She paid the 1 month by check and yes we signed an agreement which stated the amount of rent she would pay, which was $1.31 less than half my rent. She is claiming that she paid 3 of the months in cash and gave the D.H.C.R. these "rent receipts", typed up, with my name and address at the top and some signature that is clearly not mine. She also gave a written share agreement, handwritten by her with a signature that is again not my own. All I have as evidence is the real, bonafide, official Apartment Roommate Share Agreement, neatly typed (like a real lease or document should be) with both our signatures, and of course a copy of the check she gave me. That's all I have because that's all she gave.

on the up-side, that first rent check is probably your best defense. hopefully, it had some sort of notation in her handwriting about it being 'rent for jan 2002' or something similar. you have her signature on the check, and her signature on the agreement. along with anything else you can find with your signature, etc., to try to make the case for forgery of the receipts etc.
if it goes as far as court, the key is to be calm, and organized, and present only the facts. the construction in and around your apartment, from the sounds of things, have no bearing on her case, or yours, and would just add more static to a rather straight-forward situation, don't even bring it up. bottom line is, either you overcharged her, or you didn't. as far as proving whether the receipts from her are valid or not, is up to the judge decide, either he believes you, or he believes her, and if you have enough documentation to prove your side, you *should* win.
you should also realize that when they say 'is the defendant here', that will be you, and you will soon find out which way the judge leans, pro-tenant (her), or pro-landlord (you).
if, after this ordeal, you decide to rent to a roommate again, suggest you get an application, check out EVERYTHING, and get an application fee ($30-40) to run credit/criminal checks. if you don't know how, there are screening services that will do this for you for about that price. the fees they charge for the services you get are worth far more than what you pay. good luck.

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