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View Full Version : Anyone able to help with a couple Legal Questions (Roommate/Apartment problems)


Doggcow
07-07-2010, 06:27 PM
I just moved and am having roommate problems.

My roommate is refusing to pay me my portion of the deposit because it wasn't "clean enough" apparently.

However, the paper he signed says he agrees to pay me my portion of the deposit by June 15th. He hasn't. It does not specify ANYTHING to the effect of me cleaning the apartment, it says "(Roommate) agrees to pay $120 to (me)" and then in the next section "(Roommate) agrees to accept all damages to apartment." Finally "(Me) agree to relinquish any claim to the deposit"

_________________________________________

Also my new apartment complex told me they were pet friendly. I went and bought my dog (a pretty penny), and now they tell me I have to have rented from them for a year.

Our lease has NOTHING that specifies this however, says we would be required to pay a pet deposit (which I'm fine with). It ALSO has in the same section "Subject to approval by management" and "must qualify with attached pet policy" (There was no attached pet policy to our lease, nor were we shown one at the time of signing).

Thanks in advance!

gunns
07-07-2010, 06:35 PM
Your roommate was an idiot to sign something like that but your only recourse may be small claims court. (and why didn't you clean your portion?)

As far as the dog, I'm not sure. Living in a "landlord state" as I do, they may not have attached the pet policy as you said, at the time, you didn't have a pet. You should have read the lease before getting one and got a copy of that pet policy. That's just my opinion.

cutthemdown
07-07-2010, 07:44 PM
Small claims court only recourse with roommate.

As for dog things who knows. Probably not much you can do in that situation other then just keep the dog and see if they kick you out. I doubt they will if they let others have dogs.

Abqbronco
07-07-2010, 07:49 PM
When does training camp start? It can't be soon enough.

RhymesayersDU
07-07-2010, 07:50 PM
Take the guy to small claims, but don't threaten actually file for it. Guarantee it won't come to that if he's at all smart.

cutthemdown
07-07-2010, 07:56 PM
If he makes you go to small claims, keep track of all the time you spend on the case, missed work if you do etc etc, add that on to the total he owes you. But if you're leaving stuff I out I suggest not going to a judge with a BS story. Judges are not to be messed with.

TheReverend
07-07-2010, 07:57 PM
http://hollywoodroaster.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/judge-judy.jpg

Popps
07-07-2010, 07:59 PM
If you're representing the story 100% correctly, this would be a very simple small-claims case. You'll need to sue for the filing expenses, as well... as that's like $75, at least here in CA.

Doggcow
07-07-2010, 08:14 PM
Your roommate was an idiot to sign something like that but your only recourse may be small claims court. (and why didn't you clean your portion?)

As far as the dog, I'm not sure. Living in a "landlord state" as I do, they may not have attached the pet policy as you said, at the time, you didn't have a pet. You should have read the lease before getting one and got a copy of that pet policy. That's just my opinion.

We told them when we were going through the leasing process: "We will be getting a dog soon." and were told "The only thing you will need to do is bring in a pet deposit before you get your dog."

I was there, and my girlfriend were there. Nothing anywhere talks about this "1 year period." that we were just told about.

Also, we did clean, in fact we spent about 10 or so hours cleaning, and filling nail holes, as well as shelling out the money for deep cleaning in the high traffic areas of the apartment.

Doggcow
07-07-2010, 08:16 PM
If you're representing the story 100% correctly, this would be a very simple small-claims case. You'll need to sue for the filing expenses, as well... as that's like $75, at least here in CA.

The only reason I'm even going after the money now (I was going to just say whatever and be done with it) is because he refuses to send back his directv receiver. All the bills were under my name, so directv billed me for his receiver, since he wouldn't send it back, so I'm just recouping the cost.

Archer81
07-07-2010, 08:22 PM
1. Make sticky on roommate's face. After that, put it in his butt. Then call it even.

2. I agree with other posters in the thread. You got the dog because you thought you could. Getting rid of it would be cruel and unfair. So the pup stays. If you pay the animal fee or whatever the fook that is they should be fine with it, especially if its a lease for a year. Do they want to lose the year's worth of income from the rental or have an empty space because they were acting like used douches?

:Broncos:

Florida_Bronco
07-07-2010, 08:38 PM
I just moved and am having roommate problems.

My roommate is refusing to pay me my portion of the deposit because it wasn't "clean enough" apparently.

However, the paper he signed says he agrees to pay me my portion of the deposit by June 15th. He hasn't. It does not specify ANYTHING to the effect of me cleaning the apartment, it says "(Roommate) agrees to pay $120 to (me)" and then in the next section "(Roommate) agrees to accept all damages to apartment." Finally "(Me) agree to relinquish any claim to the deposit"

It's not up to your roommate to make that decision really. If the owner/landlord saw fit to return your deposit I don't any legal way the roommate would be able to keep it from you.

The only reason I'm even going after the money now (I was going to just say whatever and be done with it) is because he refuses to send back his directv receiver. All the bills were under my name, so directv billed me for his receiver, since he wouldn't send it back, so I'm just recouping the cost.

Include that cost when you sue him.

bpc
07-07-2010, 08:58 PM
1. Small claims court.

2. Just bitch from the manager all the way up to the regional and VP. Run that bitch up that flagpole far enough and they'll grab ankles for you.

Either that or you could claim you have your dog for a medical reason, and produce some sort of medical note and they'll have no choice but to allow it. People who are depressed commonly have dogs for "medical" purposes.

Garcia Bronco
07-07-2010, 09:24 PM
Get another place.

LRtagger
07-07-2010, 10:09 PM
Why would they make you live there for a year before you can bring a pet in? That doesn't even make sense.

Paying a pet deposit and having your pet approved makes sense. Usually they only allow certain breeds and under a certain weight, but the 1 year thing makes absolutely no sense.

If you pay the non-refundable pet deposit and get the pet approved I'm sure they would be willing to work with you. Otherwise, just keep the dog anyways and let a friend/family member watch your dog whenever they do maintenance.

Mogulseeker
07-07-2010, 10:39 PM
I happen to know for a fact that Casey (BroncoBuff) is a pretty good lawyer. I'm waiting to see his response.

That One Guy
07-07-2010, 11:10 PM
Pack up and move with the dog to Myrtle beach. Don't worry about a job, they're abundant and you'll probably find one.

HAT
07-07-2010, 11:23 PM
Pack up and move with the dog to Myrtle beach. Don't worry about a job, they're abundant and you'll probably find one.

And even if you don't......I know a chick that lives there who is looking for a roomie. :rofl:

broncocalijohn
07-07-2010, 11:33 PM
Just take him to small claims court. I just got done with the appeals process and won that too (as the plantiff). It will take some time but he might not even want to go to court. Dont let him off the hook. He owes u the deposit, the receiver and the court fees.
As for the apartment manager, let him know you will take this to his boss if there isnt an amendment to the lease concerning the dog. Be cool about it because he is in charge with getting your deposit back when u move out so you do want to be on his good side but you let him know things need to be worked out.

meangene
07-08-2010, 03:27 AM
We told them when we were going through the leasing process: "We will be getting a dog soon." and were told "The only thing you will need to do is bring in a pet deposit before you get your dog."

I was there, and my girlfriend were there. Nothing anywhere talks about this "1 year period." that we were just told about.

Also, we did clean, in fact we spent about 10 or so hours cleaning, and filling nail holes, as well as shelling out the money for deep cleaning in the high traffic areas of the apartment.

Your roommate issue issue is cut and dry. Take him to small claims court. You are entitled to the money he owes you and your filing fees but not lost time, etc.

As for the lease, it will be construed against the landlord if it is unclear. Since they did not provide the pet policy and the lease only says that a pet deposit is required and subject to landlord approval, your evidence as to what was said verbally would probably prevail. I would pay the deposit, and, if they try to evict you, go to court and fight it.

Doggcow
07-08-2010, 10:58 AM
As for the lease, it will be construed against the landlord if it is unclear. Since they did not provide the pet policy and the lease only says that a pet deposit is required and subject to landlord approval, your evidence as to what was said verbally would probably prevail. I would pay the deposit, and, if they try to evict you, go to court and fight it.

That was my plan, but they wouldn't take my pet deposit. So I figured I would just drop it for now, and bank on them not noticing. School starts back up soon and they wont know who is who when everyone moves back. Since I already have the dog what kinda trouble can I get in?

Rabb
07-08-2010, 11:09 AM
The only reason I'm even going after the money now (I was going to just say whatever and be done with it) is because he refuses to send back his directv receiver. All the bills were under my name, so directv billed me for his receiver, since he wouldn't send it back, so I'm just recouping the cost.

that is going to suck later, they will put that on your credit report until the equipment is returned

broncocalijohn
07-08-2010, 11:11 AM
Dogg, make sure you tell your ex roommate that you are planning on taking him to court. That is one of the provisions when filing that you let the defendant know your intentions. This will also give him the chance to give back everything and save $75 in court costs (which you should tell him he will need to pay if he loses).

oubronco
07-08-2010, 11:23 AM
Kick his ass to the curb and get another one..........Sheesh

Beantown Bronco
07-08-2010, 11:30 AM
As for the lease, it will be construed against the landlord if it is unclear. Since they did not provide the pet policy and the lease only says that a pet deposit is required and subject to landlord approval, your evidence as to what was said verbally would probably prevail. I would pay the deposit, and, if they try to evict you, go to court and fight it.

I'd go the other way with this. He signed a document that clearly said that there was an exhibit attached. You have to make sure you get a copy of that exhibit at the time of signing. Rule #1 in law: NEVER sign anything unless it is a complete document. That means "all exhibits attached".

Would you sign a document on "page three of three" if page two was missing? No way.

If he was so inclined, the landlord can pretty much bring anything he wants to court with him and say it was the pet policy in question. It's not his fault if, for instance, the tenant simply lied about not getting it and ripped it from the back of the lease before appearing in court. The burden of proof is not on him to prove that it was attached when the tenant signed the document saying that it was.

meangene
07-08-2010, 12:13 PM
I'd go the other way with this. He signed a document that clearly said that there was an exhibit attached. You have to make sure you get a copy of that exhibit at the time of signing. Rule #1 in law: NEVER sign anything unless it is a complete document. That means "all exhibits attached".

Would you sign a document on "page three of three" if page two was missing? No way.

If he was so inclined, the landlord can pretty much bring anything he wants to court with him and say it was the pet policy in question. It's not his fault if, for instance, the tenant simply lied about not getting it and ripped it from the back of the lease before appearing in court. The burden of proof is not on him to prove that it was attached when the tenant signed the document saying that it was.

Again, the policy was not attached and he has evidence it was not. He specifically asked about it and was told he only had to pay the pet deposit. And, it is the landlord's burden to prove that it was attached as the moving party. Given that the tenant is not on equal footing with the landlord as far as bargaining position, and that the landlord drafted the lease, it would be construed against him where ambiguous. Clearly it is - it states a pet deposit is required, says subject to landlord approval (whatever that entails) and then refers to a pet policy which was not included. In all likelihood, it is just rules regarding size of the dog, leash rules, nuisance rules, etc. IMO, he would prevail if the landlord attempted to evict him over the dog in almost any court. I would recommend including the pet deposit in the next rent check and noting "rent / pet deposit" on the check. I would also request a fully executed copy of the lease in writing. I would normally charge for this advice BTW. Ha!

Beantown Bronco
07-08-2010, 12:15 PM
Again, the policy was not attached and he has evidence it was not.

Ummmm, no he doesn't. That's the whole point.

Beantown Bronco
07-08-2010, 12:18 PM
And, it is the landlord's burden to prove that it was attached as the moving party.

The court should rule that the tenant's signature is proof that it was attached. I'm not guessing here.

Given that the tenant is not on equal footing with the landlord as far as bargaining position, and that the landlord drafted the lease, it would be construed against him where ambiguous.

It is not ambiguous. It's clear to me. The lease says it was attached. Both parties signed acknowledging that it was attached. Therefore, it was attached.

Clearly it is - it states a pet deposit is required, says subject to landlord approval (whatever that entails) and then refers to a pet policy which was not included. In all likelihood, it is just rules regarding size of the dog, leash rules, nuisance rules, etc. IMO, he would prevail if the landlord attempted to evict him over the dog in almost any court. I would recommend including the pet deposit in the next rent check and noting "rent / pet deposit" on the check. I would also request a fully executed copy of the lease in writing. I would normally charge for this advice BTW. Ha!

Hopefully not much.

meangene
07-08-2010, 12:37 PM
The court should rule that the tenant's signature is proof that it was attached. I'm not guessing here.

Not if his signature is not on the attachment. I have encountered plenty of contracts which refer to items which are not attached.



It is not ambiguous. It's clear to me. The lease says it was attached. Both parties signed acknowledging that it was attached. Therefore, it was attached.

See above. Did he sign an acknowledgment that he received the the attachment or just sign the lease? I'm guessing the latter.



Hopefully not much.

Commensurate with 24 years of practice as a trial attorney and having taught contracts at the college and law school level.

underrated29
07-08-2010, 01:02 PM
The direct TV receiver is not his property, neither is it yours. (unless you purchased it)..Therefore you should be able to call the cops and have them force him to give it up (maaaybee:wiggle:) there on the spot, or face possesion of property or whatever the eff it is called.

(happened to me once- needless to say he unplugged it and gave it to me to return)

The money can also be easily received from small claims and you do not need a lawyer for small claims. Also most people will fold when they hear this. If you have $50 you can probably get a lawyer to write a little formal letter regarding this matter. If you can't find one, I have a lawyer on my hockey team, I bet he would do it for a few bucks. This always works...My old roomates didnt buy that I was going to take him to court for my money.....Lawyer sent him a letter and there was a nasty envelope with my money. But hey I got it back.

Mountain Bronco
07-08-2010, 01:15 PM
Commensurate with 24 years of practice as a trial attorney and having taught contracts at the college and law school level.

24 or 2 years of practice means nothing. I know attorneys with 30 years of practice experience that shouldn't even be licensed.

BMF Bronco
07-08-2010, 01:47 PM
Use the 3 S's, shoot, shovel, shut-up

worm
07-08-2010, 01:56 PM
Use the 3 S's, shoot, shovel, shut-up

The 3 S's are a reactive measure I only employ when my preventive 3 F's fail to work.

If it floats, flys or f^^ks ...rent it.

Beantown Bronco
07-08-2010, 02:32 PM
Not if his signature is not on the attachment. I have encountered plenty of contracts which refer to items which are not attached.

See above. Did he sign an acknowledgment that he received the the attachment or just sign the lease? I'm guessing the latter.


Commensurate with 24 years of practice as a trial attorney and having taught contracts at the college and law school level.

I sincerely doubt this. I don't want to bust balls over this, but you don't even come close to writing as if you have that level of experience. One glaring example is, above, you said that there was "proof" that the exhibit was never attached. Please provide said proof.

12 years myself, in real estate and corporate.

Mountain Bronco
07-08-2010, 02:34 PM
A reputable attorney is not going to be giving legal advise to a poster on a broncos message board.

meangene
07-08-2010, 02:37 PM
24 or 2 years of practice means nothing. I know attorneys with 30 years of practice experience that shouldn't even be licensed.

I would say as a general rule practicing law and teaching it might give one a little more insight on a legal topic. Doesn't mean a person is necessarily correct, but it doesn't generally mean nothing either. But, hey, thanks for sharing your insight. :notworthy

Lev Vyvanse
07-08-2010, 02:52 PM
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meangene
07-08-2010, 03:00 PM
I sincerely doubt this. I don't want to bust balls over this, but you don't even come close to writing as if you have that level of experience. One glaring example is, above, you said that there was "proof" that the exhibit was never attached. Please provide said proof.

12 years myself, in real estate and corporate.

Ok then... I would say that the lease is an expression of a final agreement between the parties, a meeting of the minds. All the elements of a contract are present - offer, acceptance, consideration. The essential terms are present - lease term, property description, rent, etc. However, I would not say that there is not a complete integration but only a partial integration as the terms regarding the pet are ambiguous or incomplete. The lease contains a provision for a pet deposit and also says something to the effect that it's subject to landlord approval. Thus, the court would be able to hear extrinsic evidence as to the meaning of that term. The lessor, and his girlfriend, would be able to testify as to the conversation with the lessor's agent in regard to the meaning of that term. They would testify that they were told they need only provide the pet deposit. I think the fact that he went out and purchased a pet shortly after executing the lease in reliance on the agent's binding representations would bolster that testimony. I suppose the agent could lie about the discussion but I believe the lessee would receive the benefit of the doubt by the trier of fact particularly given that this was, in all likelihood, a landlord form lease which created the ambiguity.

As for the pet policy, the lessee and his girlfriend could also testify that he did not receive it. That is evidence. Typically, when such are made part of a lease agreement and provided to the lessee, there is some signed documentation reflecting same. The landlord's inability to produce same would reflect poorly on him. Also, you assume that the pet policy somehow prohibits him having a pet which seems at odds with the lease terms of which we are aware.

I don't mind debating the issue with you and we can agree to disagree as to the law or likely outcome. The personal commentary is non-productive and does not reflect well on the profession.

As for the comment by Mountain Boy about giving advice on a message board, I was simply trying to help out a fellow Bronco fan who solicited some legal advice. Your opinion on that matters little to me.

meangene
07-08-2010, 03:01 PM
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Hey, I'm not that old! ;D

Chris
07-08-2010, 03:44 PM
I think you're going to serve hard time.

Doggcow
07-08-2010, 05:18 PM
I'd go the other way with this. He signed a document that clearly said that there was an exhibit attached. You have to make sure you get a copy of that exhibit at the time of signing. Rule #1 in law: NEVER sign anything unless it is a complete document. That means "all exhibits attached".

Would you sign a document on "page three of three" if page two was missing? No way.

If he was so inclined, the landlord can pretty much bring anything he wants to court with him and say it was the pet policy in question. It's not his fault if, for instance, the tenant simply lied about not getting it and ripped it from the back of the lease before appearing in court. The burden of proof is not on him to prove that it was attached when the tenant signed the document saying that it was.

I signed it with my girlfriend, and she also can testify that we were told when we asked the only stipulation was the pet deposit.

Does that help?

Doggcow
07-08-2010, 05:25 PM
The only reason I asked this message board is because I already have the dog and was wondering if I have a beef, so I can plan ahead. I haven't had a chance to go into Student Legal at my College so I was asking here ahead of time to prep a little.

I'd rather not move, but I do not mind moving on principle since I already invested in my dog, it's a non issue if it comes to that, I have 6 months left on my lease, and if I can avoid the issue until then, no problem at all.

Btw, how do I prove that something was not attached? I feel like I'm in the same situation as a Celebrity that is tabloid'd as cheating on his wife... You can't prove you didn't.

Doggcow
07-08-2010, 05:40 PM
Here's the roommate contract word for word:

Apartment Address XXXXXXXXX

(Doggcow)'s share of the deposit in the amount of $120 and last months rent in the amount of $N/A will be reimbursed to her/him/them, no later than, JUNE 15, 2010 by (Roommate)

because f circumstances I agree to accept the above listed apartment in the present condition. I assume responsibility for any damages, which may have been incurred by the previous tenant(s) in the above listed apartment.

(A section about a non refundable pet deposit, we had no pet at the time btw)

The deposit is transferred into my/our names and will be returned to me/us less any damages other than charges as per lease agreement.

NEW TENANTS SIGNATURES
(Roommates sig)

All monies owed with regard to last months rent and security deposit will be between the terminating tenant and the new tenant. I hereby acknowledge that I am aware that I will not be reimbursed any amount from Summer Hill Rentals

(My Sig)

Pontius Pirate
07-08-2010, 05:42 PM
http://www.gifbin.com/bin/25yuswsw28295.gif (http://www.gifbin.com/981291)