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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118635
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My friend and I purchased a house in Flint Michigan as an

Customer Question

My friend and I purchased a house in Flint Michigan as an investment. The house is in her name. The taxes are unpaid for 2013, 2014, and 2015. The water bill is around 1,700$ and still in her name. She (home owner) lives in Nevada and I was living in the home while I fixed up the house. Earlier this year, a stalker began terrorizing her, her boyfriend, myself, and our families and coworkers. The stalker sent out disturbing letters and packages to all of our neighbors and family. We know who the stalker is. Her boyfriend, and myself pooled our money together and hired ICSworld to investigate the stalker. ICS did nothing to help except provide a background check on the stalker. We later discovered that ICS is a scam and now we are struggling to simply survive and can not afford to pay the owed taxes and water bill for the Michigan house. The only option we had to save the house was to have friends move in and pay 400$ rent and pay their own power and water useage. The stalker has been sending letters to the Michigan house and continues to this day. We do not want the friends currently living there to have access to the stalker letters and packages. We also do not want the friends to become targets which is why we do not want the water bill in their name, or any utilities and paperwork for that matter. The friends moved in about 45 days ago and a week prior to that, the power was shut off. There was no other option but to have the power put into one of the friends name so they could have service. The power was only turned on because there are children in the home. The power was in my name before it was shut off and I still owe about 500$. We have no experience with renting out a home. We did not know about all of the forms and processes involved to legally have the house rented. We were going to make me the landlord because the home owner lives in Nevada but would like to avoid that process if possible. They understandably want receipts for the rent payments they make each month, and receipts sent to DHS as proof that they are paying rent so they can get their food assistance which they have not gotten for two months now because they have not yet shown proof of rent payment. They could even get assistance paying the water if it was in their name. Flint has an ongoing water crisis. The city is not currently disconnecting peoples water service, but cat start up again at any date. The mail quit being delivered to the house, and we recently found out that there was a mail hold placed on the house. The home owner did not do it, and nor did I. Just so happens that the mail for her apartment in Nevada was also placed on hold for a week until she contacted the post office and had it turned back on. We believe it was the stalker that initiated the mail holds, but it could also have been the city's, which we do not know if a city can even do that. I would have had a mail hold done for the Michigan house regardless, so have not yet bothered to release the hold yet. We have been working with local authorities, and the FBI is finally taking our situation somewhat seriously and we each are going to have meetings with the FBI and provide all postal mail, emails, and texts from the stalker as evidence. The late fee percentage of the taxes is what is hurting us the most. I am worried that myself or the home owner will be in legal trouble for having people living in the home without any of the proper actions taken. Inspection fee is 225$ and the rental license is 112$ and we can not afford it at the moment. The 2013 taxes must be paid by early March 2016 or a lien will be placed on the property. I need you to lay out a plan for us to save the house with the steps to be taken in the proper order.
How do we take on the taxes and seek financial assistance and avoid further late fee percentages?
How do we take on the water bill and seek financial assistance and avoid further late fees?
How do we get the house legal to rent without getting into trouble for having people already living there?
How can we keep the water service in the home owners name without effecting the friends living there.
How can we prevent any mail being delivered to the house without effecting the friends living there, and how do we prevent the friends from getting mail delivered to the home in their name until the stalker is dealt with?
How do we ensure the friends get the DHS assistance they need without having mail in their name coming to that home?
How do we take action against ICS?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

You have multiple issues going on here. First of all, there is really no way to stop this idiot from mailing things to that address. You have to work with the FBI and US Postal Inspectors regarding his violations of US law and sending illegal mail and harassment through the mail. So in addition to the FBI you need to contact the US Postal Inspector as well.

As far as the rental, you should apply for all of the proper local rental permits, which will help you with everything else going forward. It would allow you to give your tenants a lease so that they can obtain assistance in getting financial aid for services at the premises.

You also need to contact the tax assessor to ask about working on a payment plan for the taxes due and you need to start using any rent money from your tenants to try to get that paid.

Same thing with water company, they are not turning off water right now, but you need to contact them for a payment plan, since your bill right now is not that high and it is manageable. You need to let the tenant get the water in their name so they can get assistance on their bill.

Finally, you can sue ICS in court to recover your money by suing them in small claims for breach of contract and proving they did not provide the services they advertised and promised and get the court to award you the money you paid them returned to you.