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Shitty Renters

silence1186silence1186 Character shields down!As a wingmanRegistered User regular
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So. I just finished renting my summer house to some mid-20s kids, from this past August up until the end of this past June. Rent was 1500 dollars a month, with security being equal to one month's rent put down at the start. However, rather than pay the last month's rent, these kids decided to use the security money as their last month's rent, and take off without paying for all the repairs the house needs (which is around $500 dollars worth). Is there anything I can do to get them to pay for trashing my house with their wild parties? Or whatever it is they did to shit all over my house?

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  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    this is pretty dependent on the lease/rental agreement and the laws of where ever you are.

    you say 'these kids decided'. Does that mean they just didn't pay you last months rent? Or that they asked and you agreed to it? Was it a verbal agreement or in writing or what? These things all probably matter (again, depending on rental agreement and laws).

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Just a thought, it may not apply:

    Are they affiliated with a college or university? contacting the school's Residential Life office is often a non-legal and effective means of solving the problem without involving exact legal issues as the school will often be more interested in holding students to their own honor code than the letter of the law.

    Take photographs of everything now and have them dated and signed by witnesses.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    You're basically going to have to track them down and take them to small claims court.

    Exactly how to go about that, and what your chances are of recouping your losses, depend entirely on what state you're in and what your lease agreement said - as Serpent mentioned.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • DrHookensteinDrHookenstein Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    In Florida you are not legally allowed to use your security deposit as a rental payment.

    Of course, as a deposit holder you are also required by law to (a) provide the precise location and holding manner of the deposit on the day it is given as well as during the course of the lease should any of that information change, and (b) return 5% interest on that original amount when returned irrespective of how much is removed for repairs.

    "He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it." -Moby Dick
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    If worse comes to worse, you can file a claim against them in small claims court in your jurisdiction. Getting a judgment against them in abstentia will, at the very least, fuck up their credit something awful.

  • LanthisLanthis Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Of course, as a deposit holder you are also required by law to (a) provide the precise location and holding manner of the deposit on the day it is given as well as during the course of the lease should any of that information change, and (b) return 5% interest on that original amount when returned irrespective of how much is removed for repairs.

    OMG is this the law?????? I'm about to move out of my place I've been at for 4 years and they have had 250$ of mine. Please point me towards something where it says this legally. Thats like 300 bucks after 5%.

  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The laws on this matter are highly dependent on your jurisdiction.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Lanthis: It entirely depends on the state or city you live in. However, MOST places require that the interest is paid -- it is money held by the landlord that is the property of the tenants, and is to be used for repairs. However, the interest charged technically should accumulate for each year that the property was rented.

    So if you only receive $250 back, with no detailing of money removed, you should contact them and ask them about it. Some will be stingy and just keep the whole thing, claiming random repairs that should fall under normal wear and tear as the renter's responsibility, but many will return the entire deposit if the place is clean and relatively problem-free. However, the % is different, and I believe is often listed on the original lease. In MN, it was 6%. In MD it's 4%, I believe. It is pretty common as a deterrent against just claiming a large chunk of money of the tenants and using it for your own investments -- imagine landlords requiring double-rent and no need to keep track of it.

    As for the OP, you can sue them in small claims for the $1500, and then utilize the security deposit for the repairs. Suing tenants for missed rent is pretty standard most everywhere in the US. Unfortunately, a lot of deadbeats will just not show up to court, losing by default, and simply try to avoid paying. That's not to say that it's not worth it, just that a lot of time and effort can go into getting the money. But $1500 isn't exactly a small sum of money, and if there's a group of them that all had their name on the lease, it's more likely that you'll at least get a portion of the funds.

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  • LanthisLanthis Registered User
    edited July 2007
    I'm in Florida. The lease states it is held in an interest free account. I was just wondering if they are *supposed* to give us 5%, and aren't...

  • DrHookensteinDrHookenstein Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Fla. Stat. § 83.49 is the one in question.
    (1) Whenever money is deposited or advanced by a tenant on a rental agreement as security for performance of the rental agreement or as advance rent for other than the next immediate rental period, the landlord or the landlord's agent shall either:

    (a) Hold the total amount of such money in a separate non-interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenant or tenants. The landlord shall not commingle such moneys with any other funds of the landlord or hypothecate, pledge, or in any other way make use of such moneys until such moneys are actually due the landlord;

    (b) Hold the total amount of such money in a separate interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenant or tenants, in which case the tenant shall receive and collect interest in an amount of at least 75 percent of the annualized average interest rate payable on such account or interest at the rate of 5 percent per year, simple interest, whichever the landlord elects. The landlord shall not commingle such moneys with any other funds of the landlord or hypothecate, pledge, or in any other way make use of such moneys until such moneys are actually due the landlord; or

    (c) Post a surety bond, executed by the landlord as principal and a surety company authorized and licensed to do business in the state as surety, with the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the dwelling unit is located in the total amount of the security deposits and advance rent he or she holds on behalf of the tenants or $ 50,000, whichever is less. The bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful compliance of the landlord with the provisions of this section and shall run to the Governor for the benefit of any tenant injured by the landlord's violation of the provisions of this section. In addition to posting the surety bond, the landlord shall pay to the tenant interest at the rate of 5 percent per year, simple interest. A landlord, or the landlord's agent, engaged in the renting of dwelling units in five or more counties, who holds deposit moneys or advance rent and who is otherwise subject to the provisions of this section, may, in lieu of posting a surety bond in each county, elect to post a surety bond in the form and manner provided in this paragraph with the office of the Secretary of State. The bond shall be in the total amount of the security deposit or advance rent held on behalf of tenants or in the amount of $ 250,000, whichever is less. The bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful compliance of the landlord with the provisions of this section and shall run to the Governor for the benefit of any tenant injured by the landlord's violation of this section. In addition to posting a surety bond, the landlord shall pay to the tenant interest on the security deposit or advance rent held on behalf of that tenant at the rate of 5 percent per year simple interest.

    Looks like it was slightly different than my recollection--specifically 1a allows the lessee to hold the money in a non-interest bearing account, though with particular restrictions that it not co-mingle.

    If you want to make it an issue, you could ask to see proof that it was held in such an account at all, and by itself as well instead of co-mingling (which just means that it can't have been deposited into an account that has other funds in it as well of any type).

    Sorry it took so long to respond! :(

    "He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it." -Moby Dick
  • noobertnoobert Registered User
    edited July 2007
    I've been collecting rent for awhile, to avoid shit like this i always make the tenants pay a week before the start of their next month of rent. In that, they pay me the money then stay for the month, instead of staying the month then paying the money... They are also paying a week early.

    This way gives you a lot more control. Doesn't really help you too much ATM, but it is something you should consider doing in the future.

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