TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others

Landlord throwing charges at me after I move out ?

Moderator: TenantNet

Landlord throwing charges at me after I move out ?

Postby oconnr » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:37 pm

I'm in a sticky situation here in Minnesota. My landlord is good friends with the upstairs tenant at the previous house I was renting at. I was living in the basement. For weeks, there was a leaky pipe connected to the furnace, which was in a closet in the middle of my unit. I called the landlord several times to come by and fix it, the first time he said it was just 'condensation in the pipes' and would go away. It kept leaking, and 3 times a day, I needed to put a water bowl under the leak to prevent more water from getting underneath the walls of the closet (which at this point, there was a lot of damage to the walls). Besides that, the place was starting to smell, the landlord built a garage on my side of the property, destroying and removing most of my backyard, and restricting one of my two parking spots. On top of it all, the lady upstairs complained about issues to her friend/landlord that me and the upstairs lady had already worked out a deal over, and the landlord called me on my lunch break at work to chew me out saying I was "irresponsible, and all I do is take-take-take from a poor old lady, and that I'm a f***er." Yes, he called me that, even though the whole time I was polite with him. At this point, I had recently signed a lease renewal about 2 months back, and I begged the landlord to give me options on moving out. He said if I could find a new tenant that had worthy credit/background checks, that he would let me off the hook and have this new guy sign a lease with him. The new guy came in, put down his deposit, and signed an exact copy of my lease after he was cleared on May 9th. On May 10th, I was supposed to have a move-out inspection with the landlord. He never showed. He had a personal family matter to tend to, and his fiance stopped by to say we'd be "fine". I moved all of my stuff out by noon and the new tenant moved in later that day. Almost a month passed, after I had called the landlord several times wondering where my security deposit was, along with a pro-rated rent refund, and several emails asking him to confirm that my lease was terminated. He ignored all of my questions, and eventually called me to tell me "not to call him anymore, only email him", rudely, and hung up on me. (which I got on tape) He then sent me a letter in the mail saying that I owed him money for several charges, and he threw on a provision saying that he "documented" my fiance stopping by, and that I either had to pay 900 (100 a month) for the 9 months he claims my fiance was a *tenant* there, or I had to pay "9 months x 4 wks/mo x 4.5 days a week @ $20 a day = $3,240". He guesstimated all of this in his head, by the way. He has no proof, and my fiance DIDN'T live there. She has her own apartment an hour away from that place, and was a full-time student from the time I started dating her, all the way til when I moved out. Oh, and he threw in that I have to now pay 2/3 of all the utilities at the house instead of 1/2. Leaving me with a $500 bill after he keeps my security deposit and my rent refund. There was a provision in the lease that said no "overnight" guests for more than 2 nights in a 15 day period, but he claimed when I moved in that the provision was to "make sure that tenants didn't throw parties and have random guests passing out there all of the time." Can he throw all of this at me almost a month after I have moved out of the place and get away with it??
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:41 pm
Location: Minnesota

Postby JohnMI » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:58 pm

Well, at a minimum, he'd never win in court if he tries to get 9 months worth of BACK fees for an extra person. Even if they DID live there that entire time, by claiming that he knew about the extra person all that time and charged nothing -- he loses some rights to try to go backward that far. (Similarly, if you were late every month and he never charged you a late fee, he can't suddenly decide, after 9 months, that you owe him an extra 9 months worth of late fees -- even if the lease allows for a late fee.)

Can you tell us more about the other charges that he tried to ding you for? Anything reasonable on there? Or all of it made up?

One thing to note for next time, make ALL repair requests in writing -- just so that you have lots of documentation next time. So, each of those requests to fix the leak should have been written to him. Now, if it went to court, he could lie and say that you never notified him of the leak. Granted, he could lie about written stuff also, but you'll have a better chance with a judge if you have some written documentation, at least.

In any case, if it were me, if there was nothing reasonable, then I would reply with a letter that you disagree with the amount owed. If you still want your deposit back, you may need to sue him.

He may try to sue you for what he says you owe, but I doubt that he will -- and I doubt even more that he'd win for a lot of what you've described.

Also, how long did he wait after your lease was terminated before he finally sent you the letter about why he was keeping your deposit and that you owed him more money?

- John...
[I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. Your mileage may vary. Look both ways before crossing.]
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:35 pm

Return to General Discussion - beyond New York

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest