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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11580
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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My wife and I have had some arguments lately and the neighbor

Customer Question

My wife and I have had some arguments lately and the neighbor complained to the leasing office of our apartment complex of this, seemingly several times. On one occasion the complex's security came to our apartment and told us that the neighbor had complained and that we had to keep it down,which we did. After that my wife and I had three more arguments and last week we received a notice from the management office saying that we have to vacate because 1) we violated the lease for not putting my wife in the contract, and 2) because of repeated domestic dispute complaints. My wife was living abroad and when I renewed my lease I simply signed the new papers forgetting that I had to add her. I understand both points well, but we were never given written notice or a phone call with a warning (we had no idea that these complaints had escalated, much less that they were about domestic disputes.) our only concern is that, with this eviction notice (from the management office, not from court) we are forced to relocate AND still owe the remainder of the lease term here. Is this legal? Can we petition something to the leasing office? If not, do we still need to pay the rent for the remainder of the term after we are gone? Needless to say, we have no money for that at all. Which choices do we have?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to assist you in any way that I can,

 

I am sorry to hear about the complaints your neighbors have made and their "Holier than thou" attitude, as if they never argued with their spouses,

 

1. Did the management company give you a date by which you had to vacate ?

 

 

2. How many more months are left on your lease term ?

 

 

I will have an Answer for you within 10 minutes of receiving your reply,

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
1) yes, they said we had to vacate 30 days from the day of that notice. The actual day written on the notice is October 10.

2) After that there will be five more months in the lease term.

Thanks a lot!
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your reply,

 

The fact that your wife did not sign the lease is simply an excuse and the management company was "grasping at straws" to find additional grounds to demand that you vacate the property. This could very easily be remedied by having your wife sign the lease also and this argument would never hold up in Court if it ever came to that.

 

If the notice that the management company gave you states that you have breached the lease then they could conceivably try to charge you rent for the balance of the lease term. However, you stated that the notice said only that you have to vacate. In this case, I would write them a short note and take the offense as well, something like,

 

"Dear ___________

 

This shall confirm receipt of your letter dated _____________ , 2013 in which you make some unwarranted accusations and demand that we vacate the leased property by October 10, 2013.

 

First, We deny that my wife and I have had repeated domestic disputes. Like any married couple, my wife and I have occasional disagreements; to call these "repeated domestic disputes" is not only inaccurate, but it is as far from the truth as any statement can be.

 

Second, I signed the lease when my wife was abroad. You accepted the lease with only my signature without objection or complaint. This complaint can readily be remedied by her signing the lease. Therefore, this is not a ground for you to demand that we vacate.

 

We are prepared to fulfill our obligations of the lease for the balance of the lease term. Demanding that we vacate on such short notice will put an unnecessary financial burden on us which we had not planned for. However, we are willing to vacate the property and forego filing a lawsuit against you and the owners of the property if you compensate us in the amount of _______ Thousand Dollars ($ .00) which amount would not even cover our moving expenses, looking for another property in which to live, and the tremendous inconvenience which this move will cause us.

 

I will await your reply.

 

Very truly yours,,

 

_________________________

 

 

You can insert any number you want as financial compensation. The phrase, "The best defense is an offense" is very true in your situation. By writing this letter, you are letting them know that you deny their accusations and that they are placing an unwarranted financial burden on you, but you are willing to leave if they compensate you for the inconvenience,

 

Please be kind enough to give a rating of "Excellent Service" because that is the only way that I will receive credit for my time and effort in researching your question and furnishing you with Answers. It will not cost you anything additional to leave a positive rating,

 

 

ANDREA

 

 

Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11580
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
Andrea, Esq. and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you very much for the information. There is just one thing that it is not clear. Their notice does say that we have to vacate, but it also mentions my wife as the "unauthorized female occupant". Specifically, the nature of violation reads: "this is the third documented disturbance involving an altercation between occupant and the unauthorized female occupant who will be included in the eviction case." My concern is this: do we have a chance at all? I mean, what if they decide to say "yes, let's go to court and have an eviction case in your record." I am just trying to protect my wife and daughter, not the least financially. This will be my only follow up question to not abuse your help.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

I welcome your follow up question and the opportunity to clarify anything you do not understand. You said "...not to abuse your help." You made me laugh, Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX that at this hour. You are not abusing my help. Believe me, this is not abuse, you have not seen abuse, if you think this is abuse. If you have a few minutes, take a look at some questions I have Answered where I get 62 follow up questions and then they casually forget to leave a rating and I do not receive credit for my time and effort, Hah! That is what you would call abuse :)

 

A couple of questions -

1. When you signed the lease while your wife was abroad, the management accepted it with only your signature, correct ?

 

2. A lease usually says something like, "...Leased premises shall be occupied by ____________ and ______________ and no other individual .......... " or words to that effect which limit he Lessee from bringing in a dozen people with whom he can share the rent. Does your lease state who shall occupy the premises ?

(Even if it does not have this limiting language, a spouse is by no stretch of the imagination, an "unauthorized female occupant" and there is no Judge in the world who would interpret it otherwise)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Believe me, I will leave a grateful rating!

1) She was abroad, and therefore, the lease has only my name on it. She was abroad for close to a year fulfilling a J1 visa residency requirement, so I rented the apartment for me. When she finally arrived I had renewed the lease papers with only my name on it; I had forgot to add her name.

2) specifically, the language reads: "1. Parties. This lease is between you, the resident(s) (list all people signing the lease contract): Jesus Ramos, and us, the owner: Property name. The terms "you" and "your" refer to all residents list above, and a person authorized to act in the event of a sole resident's death.. 2. Occupants. The apartment will be occupied only by you and (list all other occupants not signing the lease contract): N/A - No one else may occupy the apartment. Persons not listed above must not stay in the apartment for more than 14 consecutive days without our prior consent, and no more than twice that many days in any one month.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

1. I do not believe that he fact that your wife is not on the lease have any impact either way in any Court case. As I said previously, your wife was abroad and you would explain this to the Judge. I seriously doubt that any Judge would characterize your wife as an "unauthorized female occupant" regardless of what the management company says. You can also add that your wife's return date was uncertain because of her obligations to fulfill her J1 status obligations and the Judge would not doubt that for a second;

 

2. With a good lawyer, I think you have an excellent chance at winning, especially if you took the offense, starting with the writing of the letter I drafted because it will exhibit your righteous indignation at being accused of "repeated domestic disputes". One of the questions I would ask (After I ascertained that the answer was "No") if I were your lawyer would be,

 

1. "Were the police ever called to the property to investigate these alleged "repeated domestic disputes" ?

 

2. "If they were "repeated" why didn't anyone see fit to call the police ?"

 

3. "If they sounded violent, why didn't anyone see fit to call the police?"

 

 

Please be kind enough to give a rating of "Excellent Service" because that is the only way that I will receive credit for my time and effort in researching your question and furnishing you with Answers. It will not cost you anything additional to leave a positive rating,

 

 

ANDREA

 

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Andrea,

Thank you for your excellent help. I left the biggest smiley face I could find. Last question, then (promise!): no one called the actual police department, but the apartment patrol people (officers?) did come on one occasion and we stopped the argument. If property security was called later we do not know because we didn't hear anyone in the door. Is this the same as Police? I just wonder about your questions on your last reply because somebody came once. But hten, we never got any warnings from management about anything.

Thanks again! And I hope it does not come down to us having to go to a lawyer!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Dear Andrea,


 


Thank you for your follow-up e-mail. For now it seems that our situation is settled somewhat satisfactorily. After submitting the letter we were asked to sit down and talk with the management office. They finally agreed to let us stay for the remainder of the lease term with the condition that neighbors don't be bothered anymore. A little bit of a subjective call but at least it allowed for us to be heard. Many, many thanks for your help, we really appreciate it!

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hi, and Thank you for following up and letting me know the outcome. I sincerely always want to know how things turn out for my customers because first, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction knowing I was able to help someone by offering constructive and viable options and, second, because it helps me to improve my service to my customers.

 

I hope that my letter helped. It just proves that these property management companies "rule by intimidation" and when they receive a letter outlining in no uncertain terms what a tenant/occupant intends to do and makes demands which are reasonable under the circumstances, it knocks the air out of these property management companies. All an individual has to do is stand his/her ground, and follow through on any action one states they will take (So they are not perceived as simply bluffing) and communicate in an impartial, civil manner and things get done.

 

Please do not hesitate to come back and ask me additional questions, if you need further assistance on this matter, or in other situations. I am assigned to the following categories - Legal, Real Estate Law, Employment Law, Consumer Protection, and Traffic Law,

 

 

Kindest Regards,

 

 

ANDREA

 

 

 

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