Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Jan 17, 2014 11:59 AM|
Lawsuit and sold property (by Barbara [VA]) Jan 17, 2014 12:10 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Jan 17, 2014 12:15 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Jan 17, 2014 12:18 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Jan 17, 2014 12:25 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Jan 17, 2014 12:38 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Jan 17, 2014 12:56 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Beth [WI]) Jan 17, 2014 1:13 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 17, 2014 1:20 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Moshe [CA]) Jan 17, 2014 1:37 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Jan 17, 2014 3:06 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Jan 17, 2014 3:26 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Moshe [CA]) Jan 17, 2014 3:54 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by V [OH]) Jan 17, 2014 4:20 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Beth [WI]) Jan 17, 2014 4:41 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Jan 17, 2014 4:52 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Mike45 [NV]) Jan 18, 2014 11:06 AM
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Jan 18, 2014 11:21 AM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Blue [IL]) Jan 19, 2014 10:34 AM
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Jan 19, 2014 10:58 AM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Chris [CA]) Jan 19, 2014 8:49 PM
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 11:59 AM
State Specific Question About: MINNESOTA (MN)
1st time landlord. Townhome. Tenant moved out. Property was damaged in various ways and well documented with photos and estimates of repairs (for your morbid curiosity - cat urine with no pet clause in lease, wall damage, smoking with no smoking clause in lease, painting with no painting clause in lease, oil stains in garage/driveway, dirty, etc). Landlord kept damage deposit and notified ex tenant of excess damage. Property sold before repairs could be made to the property. New owner does not rent.
It seems reasonable that I can still sue the ex tenant and recover damages above what damage deposit covered as I was the owner at the time of damages and time of lease. I came to this conclusion by thinking of other types of property, damage, ownership, and what seems fair.
However, unreliable sources have told me that I am on very shaky ground. I am open to be corrected if anyone have advice that can be backed up with experience or a citation.
Ex tenant sent a letter via their "retained lawyer" and said to not bother suing as they will remove the judgement to district court and take my house, ruin my marriage, and make it expensive and painful. I do not like to be scared by crooks and bad lawyers. As of today, I play to continue proceedings against them. Again, I open to be corrected it anyone has advice that can be backed up with experience or a citation. --164.159.xx.x
Lawsuit and sold property (by Barbara [VA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 12:10 PM
I am not a lawyer, so take my opinion for with it's worth. You have the issue of no receipts for repairs since you didn't make any, so on one hand you aren't out any money for damages. But you probably can create an argument for money lost from sale due to damages. How easy would it be to prove? Is it even worth going after? I would probably drop it if it were me, and go on with life. But it's the lawyer that would tempt me to fight. I might go after him/her instead. That letter/threats to ruin your marriage probably is illegal. --72.218.xx.xxx
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 12:15 PM
Confirm the person making the threats is a licensed attorney first. It could be the ex-t or friend who whipped up a letterhead off of their computer.
Assuming this is in MN:
If it's not in MN, try Googling (state) + attorney license search
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 12:18 PM
BTW, if this is an attorney and they crossed the line, I'd report them to their State Bar. Make sure this person doesn't already have discipline action against them via the above search.
lprb.mncourts.gov/Pages/Default.aspx - this is for filing a complaint. --71.177.xx.xx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 12:25 PM
If the damage was only $500 over the damage deposit I could see letting it go. When I got estimates for repairs for cleaning, trim replacement, carpet replacement, carpet underlayment replacement, sealing the subfloor, repainting, etc. and it came to over $6000.00.
I do not know how I can prove it, but the difference between the asking price and the selling price just happens to be about $6000.00.
It was unintentional, but my note about the lawyer was not exactly true. He wrote in the letter they will remove the judgement. Wrote in the letter they will sue me for slander, emotional distress, medical damages, etc. Requested that I call him. When I did call him, I asked him to have his clients join me in mediation. He refused. Thats when he verbally said those things about my marriage, etc.
He is a real lawyer. Mostly DUI, drug arrests, defender of sex crime, domestic abuse defense type of cases. My real question about that is if it is very common to have landlord /tenant disputes over things like cat urine rise to the level of a jury case in district court? --164.159.xx.x
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 12:38 PM
For example, they consider my visits harassment.
I thought they were examples of a reasonable business purpose include checking on a tenant the landlord believes is violating the lease. The visits were not daily or weekly and were notified well in advance and during day hours as to not inconvenience tenants - they were at work.
Followup visit after a normal inspection when I found possible fire hazards - charcoal grill on a wood deck of multi unit structure. Or I found spilled fluids that were damaging cabinetry that they were not cleaning up and I was afraid the painting and surfacing will get bubbled, discolored and ruined. --164.159.xx.x
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 12:56 PM
Stop communicating with his lawyer. You'd better get your own to deal with the other side. Really, I know it's expensive but it's money well spent. You really need to stop talking to them and let your own mouthpiece do your talking.
Gather all of your evidence like your notifications to enter, etc. and have all of that ready. It will save you time and money when you consult with a lawyer.
I would find an attorney who specializes in LL/T disputes, too. Don't pick some random lawyer who practices some other specialty or general law. --71.177.xx.xx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Beth [WI]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 1:13 PM
I don't believe you will be charged for the initial meeting with an attorney to discuss whether it's worth pursuing the case.
If the attorney will do the case for a % of the claim awarded to you, then it is worth it. --66.190.xx.xxx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 1:20 PM
I was on the floor laughing it up. You should be a stand up comic! Your idea of collecting money from someone's ex-tenant is a joke. All of the deposit was used up at the time that tenant moved out. You have no direct knowledge as to the condition of the unit when it was first rented nor at time of move out. It's all "Here-say".
I purchased a property missing a fence on one side. The building next door had a fire and the fence was destroyed in the fire. Four yeas passed and I purchased the property. I surveyed the property line and installed a new fence on my side of the boundary. The neighbor sued me in court to remove the fence because he said he now had an easement to cross over from my property to his to gain access on that side.
I proved in court that his fire caused the old wooden fence to burn down. Only 4 years passed since there was a fence there to separate our properties and it takes a minimum of 5 years to get an easement. I also proved he rents to bad people and I had a need to keep others from entering my property -- tenant safety.
I counter sued for 1/2 the cost of the fence.
My legal fees.
Half the cost to survey to boundary.
The judge said I couldn't sue because I purchased the property as is and it was up to the previous owners to sue or replace the fence, when the fire took place. Also I couldn't prove is money exchanged hands or if an insurance company paid a claim. No one would go on record.......
Lawsuit and sold property (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 1:37 PM
What you described (letter from lawyer, not bother suing as they will remove the judgement to district court and take my house, ruin my marriage, and make it expensive and painful, sue me for slander, emotional distress, medical damages, etc, refuse to mediate, etc) is what lawyers do. For the most part, you will not get any disapproval from the bar, and will in fact, to them, look like a fool.
I once had an attorney harass me by constant calling after I said that I did not want to talk to him. I filed against him for a harassment restraining order and won, despite the fact that he had a big name Beverly Hills lawyer to represent him. In announcing his decision, the judge said that "You harassed him. Any one of us (lawyers) would have done what you did, but he said NO and you continued".
Basically, you can believe his threats or reject them. If you are afraid of the consequences, then you need to do what he says. If you reject his advice, be prepared to defend yourself against what he threatens to do. You can probably get rid of the lawyer by simply telling him to stop bothering you, but whatever threats he makes will have to stand on their own merits.
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 3:06 PM
I think you misread Robert ca. I was the landlord and the person wanting to sue for damages beyond damage deposit.
The new owner purchased the home as is. The new owner was never a landlord.
I know and documented the condition before and after the lease.
The home sold for less than asking price, about the same amount of written estimated damages.
The property sold for less than the asking price, which was about the same estimate to repair the damages. --68.117.xx.xxx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Brian [MN]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 3:26 PM
I am in process of finding a good ll/ t lawyer.
I will hire him if it gets removed to district. I was just curious how often thar really happens. I just can't seem to believe there could be a jury case over cat urine, but I do not spend much time in court. I would have hoped there would be some type of review process to remove a case, to ensure it is not frivolous or an attempt to prolong or outspend. --68.117.xx.xxx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 3:54 PM
Remember that the tenant would have to pay a lawyer, too. How much do you suppose it is worth to him to evade payment of the damages? What do you suppose is the likelihood that he would actually be able to win?
Usually, such claims are settled by Small Claims lawsuits. Here in CA, they are conducted without attorneys, with the laws of evidence suppressed, and the judge is empowered to make his judgment on the basis of intrinsic fairness. This attorney is talking about removing the case to a higher court, counter-suit for slander, emotional distress, medical damages, etc. That takes a lot of attorney time ($$$) and everything would have to be proven in a full-scale trial, maybe with a jury. Attorneys don't work for free. Are the damages that you are demanding really worth it to the ex-tenant? Does he have money for that?
Remember that, subject to your being able to prove the claims of loss because of cat urine, wall damage, smoking, painting, oil stains in garage/driveway, dirty, etc., YOU have a RIGHT to press a claim to be reimbursed. Where would responsibility for slander, emotional distress, medical damage, etc. enter the picture?
Lawsuit and sold property (by V [OH]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 4:20 PM
Here we restore the property to move-in condition, if sold the estimates are valid, why is this awkward to determine? The claim is with the person who owned the property when the accounting statement was prepared and the party who did the damages - where do you fit this? --75.94.xxx.xxx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Beth [WI]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 4:41 PM
After thinking about this again... I don't think you have a case (I am not an attorney btw). You did not spend money to fix the repairs.
As far as I know, damages must be fixed FIRST with receipts to take before court. You can get a judgment for unpaid rent, but I don't think for "unfixed" damages. Maybe I am wrong.
In order to get the 6K, you would have to spend the 6K to fix it up. THEN, you go to court. Will you get the money even if a judge rules in your favor? Maybe, maybe not. And then maybe the judge rules you only get half the money. Or maybe the tenant is a really excellent liar and convinces the judge of something else. 6K is a small amount, and you would do this in small claims court without a judge.
To hire an attorney... what $300/hour. After 10 hours of work... what have you really won?
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 4:52 PM
They're calling Brian's bluff through the attorney to drop the damages or the ex-tenant will sue. I would call his bluff and get my own lawyer, but I'm not Brian.
I don't see why Brian couldn't claim the damages since he had to discount his sale price to cover that, and he has pictures and records of the damage. But this is more complicated than non-lawyers not in his state can address. He should spend an hour with a real lawyer at whatever the hourly fee to advise him what move, if any, to make next as well as a likely outcome based on the law.
Most people wouldn't do their own dental work or surgery, and most people shouldn't think they're a great legal mind unless they've graduated law school and passed the bar. You want the best lawyer you can afford when someone throws down the gauntlet like this. To me, it is tantamount to legal blackmail.
Lawsuit and sold property (by Mike45 [NV]) Posted on: Jan 18, 2014 11:06 AM
You stop by to conduct inspections when you know tenants are at work? That is harassment! I agree with the Tís lawyer!! How often did you invade their home in their absence for your inspections?
If you were making inspections while they were at work, why didnít you see the cat? If you did see the cat, why did you allow it to remain there? You might have acquiesced to the cat.
I think that you have a decent case, technically. The tenant clearly owes YOU for the damage that he caused to your property, regardless of whether you did the repairs. But I think you will have a hard time (impossible in a cost effective manner) proving your damages. Maybe the buyer hated the carpeting and was going to replace it even if it were perfect. You cannot show that the sales price was lowered based on the damage to the carpet. Etc.
Is the ex-tenant collectable? First question I always ask before wasting my time pursuing them for excess damages and/or past-due rent and/or future rent.
Your asking price has nothing to do with anything. The difference between your asking price and the sales price is completely irrelevant. If you listed the house for $1 million, and it sold for $125,000, what does that prove? There is usually a difference between asking price and selling price, having nothing to do with damages. The selling price might prove the market value of the property in its damaged condition, but it does nothing to establish the diminution in value caused by the damages. For $20,000 or so, you might be able to present a strong case, with an expert witness as to your damages. But I doubt you can recover that $20,000. And it seems foolish to me to invest $20,000 to chase $6,000.
And then, add in your inspections and the possible waiver of the cat. Not worth pursuing, in my never humble opinion.
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Posted on: Jan 18, 2014 11:21 AM
Brian could call their bluff for an hour or two of a good lawyer's time. Compared to a $6,000 loss, I'd pony up the $300-600 fee for the lawyer to review the facts and write them his own nastygram. --71.177.xx.xx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Blue [IL]) Posted on: Jan 19, 2014 10:34 AM
Property is gone, emotionally this would not be worth it for me to pursue. Lesson learned, move on with your life.
I'm not a lawyer either. --66.87.xx.xx
Lawsuit and sold property (by CarolJ [CA]) Posted on: Jan 19, 2014 10:58 AM
Actually, what Blue says makes more sense. It probably isn't worth it at this point.
I just can't stand the thought of some sleazebag ambulance chaser bluffing this guy out of $6K. --71.177.xx.xx
Lawsuit and sold property (by Chris [CA]) Posted on: Jan 19, 2014 8:49 PM
Whoa - all this in writing by a lawyer with his stationary? I would sent this to the Bar and complaint about this conduct.
OTOH, dogs that bark don't bite. I've heard too many tenants bark and not one ever retained a lawyer, while many talked the talk.
You got all the damage documented? Got any witnesses to that and photo evidence? A sworn affidavit might help...
I would come after these folks, but NOT in Superior Court. --180.183.xxx.xx