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Old 01-17-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default When to lawyer up?

I know some of you bros on here know the law like its your job, maybe because it is, IDK. In any case, I decided to post up for some advice on the matter.

The freak storm we had in Oct left me in a little bit of a situation. Some of you may remember my thread about the trees landing on our cars, but for those of you that didnt see it, I'll make a long story short and post a few pics.

It started when we lost power and not before long it was freezing *** cold in the house. We bundled up and stayed put. At one point we were going to leave the house and head to my parents house, but the ------- property maintenance guy with the plow never came (he lives on the same property as us, plowed the other half and didnt come to do us until days later actually). This left us with no choice but to stay. Maybe around 9-10pm a tree came down, limb by limb, smashing BOTH our cars. We survived, but the next day when property loser was nowhere to be found, there I was hand sawing the tree off the cars. We stayed for another day before we left and didnt come home until 15 days later once power was restored.

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Fast forward to today >>> Her car is fixed and she's back to driving it again. It was $8500 worth of damage, $500 deductible and $1000 in rental overages due to the bodyshop taking so god damn long. The bodyshop actually covered both the deductible and the rental overage, but the LL's don't know this.

Landlord told me that his property insurance doesn't cover my car. After being told by countless people that it should, I looked into it. Turns out that unless the tree was visibly damaged (rotting, cracked, etc) BEFORE the accident, its not covered. I didnt have the right insurance to cover it myself either. I checked to see what the car is worth in its current condition and its ------- BEANS. I'd literally rather leave it sit than even pay to have it towed out of here.

Since the storm, there's STILL branches hanging all about the place! I've called the LL and even wrote him a letter with pictures attached that went out with the rent check, so I know he got them cause he cashed the check. He finally called me on Sunday to say he was doing his best to get a truck in here and gave me some more of the "yadda yadda" run around. In an attempt to keep myself from flipping the fack out on the guy I just OK'd him to death and got off the phone.

I'm at the end of my rope with this guy. I feel like the next face to face confrontation we have is going to end with me kicking his teeth in. I don't like the guy, I don't trust the guy and I don't even want to talk this out with him anymore. I've totally given him the benefit of the doubt with ALL the problems we've had since we moved in back in August, but this is it.

I'm thinking about what if we were out in the car with the heat running to keep warm when the tree came down? What if one of us got seriously injured or died? Then what? Meanwhile there's still trees hanging and this guy is just passing the time like its no big deal!

We plan on moving out before our lease ends, but I'm not exactly sure how to walk away. Mainly because he still has our security deposit. We don't need them for a reference, nor would I want them as one.

I really want to report this guy for everything that's gone on here, not just the situation the storm damage put us in. That was just the final ------- straw for me.

Looking for advice on whats the next move when you have ------- LL's that don't keep up their end of the lease agreement. Also when the property I live on becomes a safety concern. Who do I turn to? Lawyer? Town?
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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The only part I see where the landlord isn't doing his proper duty is not cleaning up the branches that could cause more damage at this point.

The damages to the car are NEVER covered under any sort of house/property insurance. In Fact... it is house insurance he is using most likely and not "property" insurance. A similar situation would be hail damage (another natural disaster)....wouldn't be covered either.

Is there a rentalsman agency/board in your state/town?? Look them up...even if the landlord doesn't have the damage deposit hidden through them, they can offer you help to a certain amount, especially when it comes to breaking your lease contract.

Its unfortunately, but by the time you get to small claims court... its usually not worth the money.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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How much is your car worth?

Lawyer will prob cost most of your cara value.
Getting ll to pay after jusgement may not work

You may be sol.

Cheap alternative to lawyer is small claims court. Still gotta get him to pay on a jusgement thoigh.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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A couple of random thoughts from a non-lawyer:

Walking out on a lease, beyond the immediate financial repercussions (loss of security deposit) can predispose you to future problems as well. The landlord can sue you, of course. He can also turn your account over to a collections agency, in which case it will also show up on your credit report.

You indicated that, in your opinion, the landlord has violated the terms of the lease. Can you give a specific example?
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:15 PM   #5
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You must prove negligence before the storm. There must have been a situation that an expert would have deemed a problem and the lardlord must have taken longer than reasonably expected in the given situation. Usually this is 1-7 days depending on severity. If this did not exist before, then you are boned.

On breaking the lease. If the branches are preventing you access to your driveway or house, then you can write a formal letter of demand for their removal and send it certified. If nothing is done after a reasonable amount of time, then you have possible grounds for termination of the lease. I would consult someone with that area of expertise though as it is not mine.

You can also take matters into your own hands if he doesn't take care of it by hiring someone to do it and take it out of the rent if it is more than what a reasonable person would deem a simple job. This also depends on how your lease is structured and if you are told that you are liable for all yard/landscape maintenance. Most of the time that is said in a way that leaves the renter liable for what would be called routine maintenance and not abnormal or "acts of god".

I hope that helps
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preluding View Post
Is there a rentalsman agency/board in your state/town?? Look them up...even if the landlord doesn't have the damage deposit hidden through them, they can offer you help to a certain amount, especially when it comes to breaking your lease contract.

Its unfortunately, but by the time you get to small claims court... its usually not worth the money.
Thanks for the info. I'll look into that and see what this town has listed.

I'm not exactly looking at this from a money standpoint, more of the principle. I don't necessarily want to sue him or anything like that. I'd just like to be able to move out ASAP and get my security deposit back (or stay the last 2 months without paying rent), as well as keeping him from renting this place in the future to anyone else. Seeing that he obviously cannot handle the responsibilities of a LL.

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Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
How much is your car worth?

Lawyer will prob cost most of your cara value.
Getting ll to pay after jusgement may not work

You may be sol.

Cheap alternative to lawyer is small claims court. Still gotta get him to pay on a jusgement thoigh.
Car isn't even worth mentioning. I'm talking less than $1000 bucks. Its not the value of the car that I'm after, but more so the fact that I lost my mode of transportation and have been struggling to borrow a car since then. Which now has me pressured into having to buy myself a replacement car, but no time to shop around for one and go test drive them, etc etc. Really just the huge inconvenience this has caused her and I since the storm.

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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
You indicated that, in your opinion, the landlord has violated the terms of the lease. Can you give a specific example?
Geez where do I start Joe?! Well the first issue was the whole ordeal with the heating/AC ducts. We had NO air circulation in the house for the 1st couple months we lived here. Once it started getting cold is when I had to start threatening him to fix it because we had no heat. That was the 1st issue.

Since then its been one thing after another. No place to put our garbage some weeks, leaving me no option but to leave it on the porch. No plowing us out when it snowed, clearly written in the lease "property maintenance". The property guy's kids riding their dirt bikes back and forth in front of my house (finally put a end to that). Half broken trees still hanging over the house. Etc etc. Leaving me with my deck in my hand because he would always give me a run around answer and never follow up with anything.

Now I'm not asking for much, really I'm not. I trudge around in the mud for work in the freezing cold all day long, so I'm no exactly the type that needs pampered, but when something is WRITTEN in the lease.....then nobody does a damn thing around this place.

Keep in mind the setup here is one of an old summer camp that now has a few families living here. The LL lives in this big brick mansion and the old logging buildings were renovated into single family houses. I think we are the only ones living here that pay anything though, the rest seem to be either family or charity cases. The entire property is actually currently for sale at $2.9mil I believe. He has cried to me in the past about the tax he pays on the place, his insurance deductible, blah blah blah. More things that aren't my problem, but part of his ploy to befriend me.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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Vash: First off, this is not legal advice. Go get a real lawyer, as my opinions are worth as much as you paid for them.

The best you can do is get out of the lease. It's not even worth going after the car if it's value is only $1000 - court fees + just preparing the case for an attorney will be more than that, let alone having him show up to court. Small claims is going to cost you at least a half day of work and court costs + filing, which will probably cost you half of the $1k if you even get awarded the full amount (You will likely get awarded something, but I think you would be realistically looking at breaking even on all of it.) I hate to be down on this, but it's not worth just going to court over the vehicle.

You've provided sufficient grounds to break the lease if you have documentation on what you claim, however, do you have sufficient documentation? Do you want to put up with a lot of headache the LL can put you through?

My advice: Just last out the final 2 months and GTFO there ASAP. The LL can make your life miserable potentially, and you can do nothing to prevent him from being a LL in the future. It's just not worth it for how little you are talking about - your LL could easily ruin your credit for a fair amount of time and force you into a situation where you have to get an attorney and take him to court. This will be MUCH more expensive than 2 months rent.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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Uh . . . why not talk to the guy about this. Tell him you need out because the property is currently not habitable due to the dangerous branches. In the alternative, you can hire a tree contractor to remove the branches and make other necessary repairs to the property and deduct that from your rent (just make sure it's not more than the remaining rent due on your lease). Contracts are not cast in stone. All contracts can be modified after the fact based upon a meeting of the minds (just make sure you put it in writing and get signatures). If you're his only paying renter, he may actually be motivated to keep you.

Bottom line, you need to calm down and get the emotion out of this. Also, it doesn't sound like this guy is put together enough to actually ding your credit. He sounds completely over his head and would probably be delighted to have a renter helping him out for a change.

Don't know either of you, but in my experience, the best thing a lawyer can do is ratchet down the emotions and apply some logic to a situation. Nothing brings people around like legal bills.

I know you're pissed about your cars, but that sounds like it is 100% Act of God and would have been covered by the comprehensive insurance you should have bought (or, that you made a financial decision not to buy because it made more sense to self insure). The only case you might have is to argue "but for" the LL's failure to dig you out, you would have moved those cars and they would not have been damaged. Given how unusual this storm was, it's not a great argument. In addition, there's not enough damages here to make it worthwhile to pursue.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:57 PM   #9
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Bottom line, you need to calm down and get the emotion out of this. Also, it doesn't sound like this guy is put together enough to actually ding your credit. He sounds completely over his head and would probably be delighted to have a renter helping him out for a change.

Don't know either of you, but in my experience, the best thing a lawyer can do is ratchet down the emotions and apply some logic to a situation. Nothing brings people around like legal bills.
^this. You'll get more flies with honey than ****. Also you'll smell nicer.

And it can't help to familiarize yourself with the law in your state: http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/titles.htm
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:15 AM   #10
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I think your being a whining bitch about the tree. ---- comes down from storms, its not his fault the storm came. You should have moved your cars if there was even a chance of that happening. Suck it up. The only problem I see is not being able to access your driveway. Honestly on that its 50/50 if its your problem or his.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
How much is your car worth?

Lawyer will prob cost most of your cara value.
Getting ll to pay after jusgement may not work

You may be sol.

Cheap alternative to lawyer is small claims court. Still gotta get him to pay on a jusgement thoigh.

I disagree. I think ur just fuc hed.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:17 AM   #12
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I think your being a whining bitch about the tree. ---- comes down from storms, its not his fault the storm came. You should have moved your cars if there was even a chance of that happening. Suck it up. The only problem I see is not being able to access your driveway. Honestly on that its 50/50 if its your problem or his.
I'm with this guy. You're being dramatic. The cars aren't even that smashed and if you happened to be standing under the branches at the time it probably would have sucked but I doubt you would have died. If you had been in the car it would have scared you but that would have been it. It's not as bad as you're making it out to be. I cut logs and firewood for a living, and I know that stuff isn't all that heavy.

As for it being his responsibility, as has already been said, unless there was a dangerous situation prior to the storm and you've documented it there is nothing you can do about it.

As for the REST of your complaints, I didn't read them. Good luck.

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Old 01-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #13
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do you have renters ins? check that policy.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:52 PM   #14
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I'm with this guy. You're being dramatic. The cars aren't even that smashed and if you happened to be standing under the branches at the time it probably would have sucked but I doubt you would have died. If you had been in the car it would have scared you but that would have been it. It's not as bad as you're making it out to be. I cut logs and firewood for a living, and I know that stuff isn't all that heavy.

As for it being his responsibility, as has already been said, unless there was a dangerous situation prior to the storm and you've documented it there is nothing you can do about it.

As for the REST of your complaints, I didn't read them. Good luck.
First off. Eat a dick.

I don't give two ***** if you cut logs for a living. WTF does that mean? You think I cut the sections into little baby logs for fire wood? The couple sections I cut (with a handsaw I might add) were probably in the 300lb range and I had to maneuver them off and around the cars. Not exactly the same as stacking little bitch logs.

Really I'm just more so worried about moving out before the lease is up and not paying my last 2 months. I could give 2 ***** about the damage to the cars cause I already handled hers and mine has been sitting since. Over and done with.

I just don't like losers and unfortunately for me I live on a property with like 10 of them. Number one loser happens to be the "property" guy that I have to rely on to get in and out of the place. I don't like that feeling one bit. The next confrontation I have with them wont be dramatic, it'll be violent. When someone tests me I don't get dramatic, I get crazy.

Regardless of my ranting and raving, I haven't had a thought about any of this since I posted it. I'm too busy with work and life in general to even be thinking about it. When the spring time comes I'll deal with it then. In the meantime, if this farking guy doesn't plow me out the next time it snows (snowing right now), I'll be on his porch banging on his door at 6am screaming my ------- head off (possibly tomorrow morning).

Thanks for the responses. I probably wont even mention it to a lawyer only because I don't care "that" much. I sent a quick email to our realtor, but that's about it for now.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:44 AM   #15
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Post pic of your fuc d up miata.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:37 PM   #16
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Post pic of your fuc d up miata.
Twas not the miata. Twas the Ford Taurus.

The miata has been sitting inside our shop because I can't seem to find the will to want to fix it. It has about 1" of dust on the fresh paint job..... again.....

If these excavator guys hurry up and finish these footing drains, maybe I'll get done early enough to work on it today.

BTW, I HATE typing on this ------- iPhone!!!!!!! Ffidjfhfjfjcjdkskfjfkd
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Vashthestampede View Post
Twas not the miata. Twas the Ford Taurus.

The miata has been sitting inside our shop because I can't seem to find the will to want to fix it. It has about 1" of dust on the fresh paint job..... again.....

If these excavator guys hurry up and finish these footing drains, maybe I'll get done early enough to work on it today.

BTW, I HATE typing on this ------- iPhone!!!!!!! Ffidjfhfjfjcjdkskfjfkd
??? Taurus ???

Well, in that case, didn't your LL do you a favor? The jury of your peers is starting to see this situation more clearly. Be careful before we start awarding money to your LL for doing a good thing and getting you re-motivated on your Miata.

What's broken on your Miata?
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #18
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Are you serious??? You wasted our time ove your shiity taurus? F you
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:25 PM   #19
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(Edit) Double post, wtf is it today with MT's servers?

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Old 01-20-2012, 03:26 PM   #20
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......... You are this badly pissed over some shitty Taurus?
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