Ask a Landlord-Tenant Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello my name isXXXXX will be happy to answer your question today.
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Was your check ever cashed by the management?
Hello. No they did not cash it. It was held 4 days and I was informed today they would not honor it.
Thank you for your follow up/
Do you have a written lease agreement that is currently valid? When is your rent payment due according to your lease?
I renened my agreement this month. Rent due date is by the 3rd of the month.
Thank you for your follow up.
Unfortunately, if your rent is not paid by your due day, under the law the landlord/management can serve you with a notice to pay or quit and if you do not pay the full balance of past due rent, the landlord can proceed with a legal eviction.
The rent payment does not have to be 30 days past due.
However, if you can prove that the management did accept your partial rent payment and also had agreed to give you some extra time to pay the balance, you would have a chance of avoiding the eviction and also any extra attorney's fees if this matter does go to court.
ok. I have a copy of the check. Today they informed me they would shred their copy. It may come to my word against theirs.
If the matter goes to court, the person who accepted your check can be subpoenaed to testify as a witness and if this person lied under oath, this person will be committing a serious felony.
Do you have any related follow up questions?
Should I draft another letter stating they accepted the check and said it "should be okay"? Therefore I was under the impression my terms were accepted. Again they waited 4 days to say they would not honor that dates indicated in my letter of intent to pay.
Absolutely. You can send them another letter and state all the facts and simply see if they would be willing other to forget about attorney's fees or at lease try to negotiate a resolution with you where you can pay reduced amount to settle this unfortunate dispute with them.
Do you have any related follow up questions for me?
what are you referring to when you say a reduced amount?
I mean if all else fails and you want to avoid wasting your time and energy going to court, you can try to negotiate a reduced amount of attorney's fees that you can pay to make this issue go away and to continue renting your place.
They requested an additional $700 dollars total for me to stay here. Why would I pay that amount to continue living here?
Is this amount in addition to any rent that is past due? What does this amount represent?
Yes that amount is in additional to the late fees due. I agreed to pay the late fees. Today I was told I would owe attorney fees and additional late fees if I stayed. I would have to pay 2K and then August rent if I stay.
Basically, if the management had retained and used attorney's legal services they can claim that you are liable for their legal fees, but once again you can contest it in court based on the promissory estoppel when they took your partial rent payment and agreed to wait for a few days for the rent of the payment.
So you can either try to resolve / settle this issue with them or go to court and let the judge decide.
Unfortunately, anytime any matter is litigated in court, there is never a way to predict the outcome with any level of certainty and that is the risk you might want to consider and factor into your decision.
Do I pay my July and August rent if I decide to vacate? I can I use those funds to relocate?
If you have a written lease with this landlord, you are legally obligated for the rent of the rental unit, unless the landlord is willing to release you from the lease earlier in writing.
Does you lease allow you to pay an early termination fee and to move out?>
That's what they're asking for an early termination fee, it is my rent amount.
If it takes 30 - 45 days to evict they'll ask for attorney fees, partial Aug rent while I'm here and the early termination fees for leaving after just signing a 12mon lease. So I'll owe $2,500 dollars when this is all said and done. I won't have the resources to pay 1st and last in a new place.
I understand and I agree that it is not fair, however this is a choice that you have to make now for yourself, as to which route you want to take with this landlord and having an eviction on your record can make it harder to rent a place in the future.
And that's the leverage (saving my credit score) their using to get me to pay additional fees. So my rights as a tenant are null and void?
Not really, you can take this to court and fight your case before the judge and the court is likely will allow you to continue living in the rental on your lease, as long as the court will agree that the management accepted a partial payment from you and also the judge is not likely to order you to pay any of the landlord's legal fees if he finds for you in this case.
Will I have to obtain an attorney? Can the court appoint an attorney for me? Is legal Aid an option if I cannot afford an attorney?
You have an option of either obtaining a private attorney or if you cannot afford one you can apply for free or low cost legal service with your local legal aid. Unfortunately, there is no right to an attorney in this type of civil proceedings and the court will not be able to appoint an attorney for you.
Okay. So when I get served the 3 day notice, if I decide to fight this in court, should I apply for an attorney with Legal Aid before it gets to court?
Can I obtain an attorney through Fair Housing?
You can apply now for legal services with the legal aid, but if you are getting served with an eviction, it is more likely that you will qualify for the service
they do not provide attorneys for tenants in this type of matters or pretty much any others
Sorry I don't understand your previous statement. I can apply for an attorney now with Legal Aide?
Yes. That is correct. You can apply at anytime that you have a legal problem and your income is low and you don't have the money to afford a private lawyer.
however, the resources at the legal aid are very limited, so people who are faced with an eviction generally given higher priority than people who simply have some type of legal issue but are not being threatened with court action.
Does that make sense?
Yes, makes perfect sense. I'll make one more attempt to resolve this issue with the Management Co. If that fails I will contact L.A. and let the chips fall where they may.
Sounds like a plan.
No. You've answered all of my questions. Thank you.
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