Stiffed on Subletter Rent?

wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I recently got a job in a different city and needed to bail out of my apartment on a very fast basis (one week). I was able to arrange housing in the new city with a friend for the month, and given the popularity of the town I was moving from, I didn't think it would be very hard to fill the room. I was actually living as a subletter myself, though long-term (eight months), and things worked well enough that I never bothered to get on the lease.

I posted the room on craigslist after checking with my room-mates (both of whom were on the lease) and my landlord. Had a dozen replies in the hour, and the first girl who checked out the place took it on the spot. We worked out a moveout day, agreed to prorate the days that I was living in the apartment, and we met later that week. She showed up with her stuff, wrote me a check, I got in my car and moved to my new city.

Deposited her personal check for the amount of the month she was taking the lease up for, and the last month's rent that I wasn't going to be using. Everything went fine, until I checked my bank account a few days later and found that her check bounced. Called her up to see what was up, she said she "couldn't think of a reason why that would happen", and I told her we needed to fix it sooner than later. I told her I'd be back in town later that week to pick up some of my things, so I'd get it from her then. I did come to town that weekend (last weekend) but was never able to get ahold of her until I was on my way out of town and she claimed to be going to yoga and she'd just drop the check in the mail the next day. I gave her an address, and called her the next day to double check. She said she sent it, and we were fine.

As you might suspect, I never got anything. She claims she sent it, and my friend I"m living with says "occasionally letters don't make it to our house if you'r not on the mailbox, my girlfriend had the same problem". I talk to the girl on the phone, make it clear I need the money before the end of the month (it's been 3 weeks since she moved in at this point), and I'll be in town specifically to pick up cash or check. She says "Great, call me when you're here, I'll give you cash".

I get here yesterday and call her immediate on arriving - no answer. Leave a message, call her again two hours later, no answer. Two hours later, no answer. Now 10pm, I decide to deal with it today. Call her when I wake up at 8:30am, no answer, and drive by the place. Her car is there, I need to run an errand so I decide to wait and give her a chance to call back before just showing up at the place. On my way back, her car is gone. Call her at 10, 12, 1, and it's now 1:30. No answers.

What course of action to I have available to me? I have to work in the city tomorrow morning. I have a place to stay in town, but it's clear to me this girl may just do everything she can to not pay me my $800.

wallabeeX on

Posts

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Can you phone your old roommates? Maybe get them to get her to send the cheque.

    saggio on
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  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Yea, one of them I'm pretty close with and she's assured me "I'll get my money", but apparently she just flew to India for two weeks. Right now I'm just driving by the apartment every hour or so - I really just want this taken care of today.

    wallabeeX on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Also, do not allow her to write you another check. Offer to drive her to the bank to withdraw cash, if necessary, but after the first check bounces it's usually a safe assumption to assume that subsequent checks will also bounce.

    Daedalus on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2008
    wallabeeX wrote: »
    Yea, one of them I'm pretty close with and she's assured me "I'll get my money", but apparently she just flew to India for two weeks. Right now I'm just driving by the apartment every hour or so - I really just want this taken care of today.

    It's pretty clear at this point that she's avoiding you. If, by chance, you don't get your money this visit, I wouldn't tell her when you're coming next time. Just show up at the door and offer to drive her to the bank to get cash.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Yea, my current plan is to just not call her for the rest of the afternoon. I told her I was trying to leave town before noon, and stopped calling at 1:30, so my hope is that she either A) calls, and I explain I'm still around and we can arrange something right now or B) thinks I've left, and goes home, where I can do what you've suggested.

    As I said, I'm not leaving town until I have some form of payment. She slept there last night - I can wait until she comes home to do it again.

    wallabeeX on
  • NPNP Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Well, while it is your money and all, make sure you don't do anything stupid while trying to get it back, like physically forcing her to go to an ATM or something.

    NP on
  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Well, she never called me back. I stopped in at a coffee shop that I frequent on the way back to the city, and a bunch of guys did some digging and got the info for her parents. In that time I also realized that the photocopied check the bank sent me when it bounced was actually a certifiable, depositable check. I'm going to stop by the bank the check was issued from tomorrow and hopefully the funds'll be available. With any luck.

    wallabeeX on
  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Just a brief update:

    Got a call from her boyfriend today who was an incredibly condescending asshole to me on the phone. He claimed that due to a series of miscommunications we'd gotten into this situation and they both felt that I was handling it the wrong way. My calling was making the situation unliveable, and so during the night they moved her out of the place. They would be paying for the month that she lived there, and he needed to know where to send the money. I asked him how I could've handled the situation better given that she had specifically agreed to having me drive two hours to get the money from her in cash only to have her not meet that agreement, and he said that he didn't like my tone and didn't think we had anything else to discuss.

    I put the place on Craigslist, had a number of replies and drove out to show it tonight and tomorrow morning. Check was here with the extra key, though not a cashier's check as I request. Going to *her* bank tomorrow to cash this, and hopefully I'll be free of this mess by tomorrow afternoon.

    On a side note, the guy who lives here said she never even moved most of her stuff out of the living room where she left it when she moved in. Part of me definitely thinks that the single month was the plan all along.

    wallabeeX on
  • TheDragonTheDragon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Maybe she copied the key and she'll loot the place later.

    TheDragon on
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Yeah, asking the landlord to change the locks would be a great idea at this point, considering. That whole thing is suspicious.

    Nova_C on
  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited July 2008
    I found someone to fill the room last night who paid me with a bank check, and cashed the deadbeat's check she left me at her own bank. As for the locks, the landlord is very aware of the situation and incredibly appreciative that I'm handling the situation as I am. It's a bit of a moot point, the only reason the two people I used to live with started locking the house was because my replacement asked them to. Prior, we never locked the house - rural area, nothing of value kept there while people weren't home, etc.

    wallabeeX on
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    wallabeeX, out of curiosity (and need for context), where is this all taking place?

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  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Western MA, I now live in Boston.

    wallabeeX on
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