Former Landlord is a Crook!

I wanted to blog about this for two reasons:

a) Therapeutics

b) Public shame


I moved to the Seattle area a year ago and thought it better to rent for a year until the housing prices went down.  So a fellow Microsoft employee rented one of his homes to me.  Worked out great, at first.  Sure I had to pay for a cleaning service to clean up–and I had to do some cleaning outside from trash, but it was no big deal.  He put in a patio in the back yard which looked OK, except the excess bricks and wooden pallets were left.  Even after emails to have him have the contractors clean up did no good.  I paid for the removal which cost almost $300.  Other than those incidents most things were fine.

When the opportunity came to move I needed to break the lease almost a full year early.  He suggested three options:

1) Find a responsible subtenant to take over the lease.

2) Transfer the responsibility to a good property management company, who would take care of all the nitty-gritty details from marketing to upkeep of the home.

3) reach a settlement to mutually void the reminder of the lease term for a fraction of the remaining total rent. one-third of the remaining rent is what he asked (~$10K)


So I found a tenant, paid for the background check and application fee and the landlord accepted it.  What transpired immediately following was when the truth about his nature came out.

The new tenant wanted to pay less than the rent.  It was an amount that I found comfortable paying for a year, so we wrote up a contract between us that had me paying him the difference every month.  The landlord requested a copy of this contract; for some unknown reason but we gave him a copy out of courtesy.  The new tenant asked for some things to be done to the house which the landlord agreed to do.  The thing was:  he wouldn’t commit to a date to have it done.  His excuse was that he needed to get quotes; but I had already done that for him.  I received FOUR WRITTEN quotes and told both the new tenant and the landlord that they could agree to one of them.

The next issue was that that he now wanted a contract with the new tenant.  The new tenant objected.  Technically the landlord could collect twice having two lease agreements with two separate parties.  The landlord agreed to terminate the lease agreement with me and signed the addendum (with witnesses present).  So now that the lease agreement terminated, according to the contract (AND Washington State Law RCW 59.18.270) he must, within 14 days, return the full deposit OR a letter outlining why a part of it was retained.

After multiple emails and phone calls I send a nasty email to him.  He calls me and says that he couldn’t respond because he was "offsite" so he couldn’t respond.  That sounded like an excuse my kids would give.  Even an email that told me he was offsite would have been sufficient but he chose to totally ignore me and use being offsite as an excuse.  sheesh.

Then he hangs up on me.  He calls back and apologizes for hanging up (I’m thinking someone came into his office and he needed privacy.  I let it go.  As the conversation continues he says that I already received the deposit from the new resident.  He said that I admitted to receiving it from him.  This was totally untrue and I’m wondering what dope he’s smoking.  And even if I *had*, it would have been a deal between the new tenant and myself–something that did not concern *him*.   He calls me a crook.  I ask him why he thinks I am a crook and he hangs up on me.  I haven’t been hung up on since Junior High…ok maybe High School.

I’m thinking about calling his manager and telling him what type of employee he has.  I am really not wanting to go the legal route as I would have to go back to Washington….sigh…what a punk he is.



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2 responses to “Former Landlord is a Crook!

  1. colleen

    I\’m thinking maybe if you just threatened to take legal action he would cave as he knows you are clearly in the right according to the law he would be an idiot to try and fight it especially since he has no proof you recieved the deposit, He may try and get the tenent involved but I would just let them no it would not be in their best interest if it was to go to court no one wants to perjure themselves thats just what I would do, I\’m not sure calling his manager would do much good as far as you getting your money back, whatever you decide I hope it works out for you, Best of luck to you.

  2. PAUL

    You should reshearch the "Landlord Tenant"  statues in the county or state, then get an attorney to review and advise. If your attorney agrees that you have a good case sue your landlord not only for the deposit, but fot attourney fees and cost. Do yourself a favor and not contact him anymore; because at this point would be useless and will only add fuel to the fire. Also let an attorney advise you about going to managment about this issue, because he may  constitute defamation on your part. Not good. Finally, never, every rent from a friend, co-worker , or family (even parents, siblings, or children). Comingling relationships only muddy the waters and generally turn out like the situation you are in. Hotep and God bless you.

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