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My mom recently gave notice that she would have to move out…

Customer Question
My mom recently gave...

My mom recently gave notice that she would have to move out of her apartment , she paid 700 in advertising and was prepared to honor her agreement until it was rented. On November 30, she received an email stating they were cancelling her automatic draft payment and thanking her for doing business with them. The next day she received a call asking for the return of all keys. She vacated the apartment and moved out honoring their request for the keys. Yesterday, she had an email asking her to pay the rent. She refused stating they released her of her obligation and she had no access to the property anymore. The realtor emailed her and said if she didn’t pay they would turn it over to collections.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

North carlonia

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Not yet

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/19/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
RealEstateAnswer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,907
Experience: 10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Good afternoon. Does she have anything in writing advising they were releasing her from any further obligation? Once she was aware of this, did she not speak with them and ask about this?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No she has nothing but the email stating they were cancelling the automatic payment and thanking her for choosing them. She has no access to the property.
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Thank you for the reply. Unless she vacated already and voluntarily turns in the keys, they would have no right to keep her out. As you shared, she had a legal obligation to pay the rent and if she did, she should still have access to the rental. If a tenant was found, that would change the situation but if they refuse to accept the rent and asked for the key and now want her to still pay, she needs access to the rental. It would not make sense to get her to still pay and not have access since she is paying rent until a new tenant is found. She can tender the payment and ask for the key or a release or will have to fight this with collectio , if she has made a good faith effort to pay and they have rejected it and will not allow her access.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Based on her being released of the payment, she moved out and returned the keys. She doesn’t need or want access to the apartment. She already rented another property place. She would have stayed there until it was rented but the company acted irresponsibly by canceling her payment and asking for the keys
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Yes, if she was misled, she would have a defense. It would not make sense for them to cancel her ability to pay, if she was willing to do it and to ask for the keys and possession, when she wanted to stay.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Whatever the rental company had in ace fell through. They should not have cancelled the payment and asked for the keys if they wanted her to call continue payment
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Yes, which needs to be argued and used as a defense if they sue her and she can dispute this if it goes to collections.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
How would you dispute this in collections?
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

It would be done in writing, advising of the situation and what your reason and defense is for not paying and that this is disputed.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Is that something we would do or do we need an attorney to dispute it. My mom has excellent credit as of now and she is worried about what this would do.
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I think based upon what you shared and the actions of the rental company that she may want to be proactive and speak with an attorney if she refuses to pay this and wants to try and settle it. If it goes to collections and this cannot be settled and she refuses to pay, the burden would shift to them to sue and she would already have an attorney to fight this.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
How much would this cost? If it’s more expensive than the rent it may not be worth it
Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

If she defends this and prevails she can ask the Judge to award her attorney fees and that they pay for hers. The cost depends on how long this takes to resolve and if it can be settled or needs to go to trial. It could end up costing a few thousand dollars when all is said and done

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Real Estate Lawyer: RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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