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Tenant wants to sue me

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Hodge, 23rd Nov, 2015.

  1. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    How's this for a joke!!

    Tenant calls me 9.10pm Sunday night to inform me she is making a "legal complaint" against me and will sue me. Her English isn't very good but below is why. The property is managed through a real estate agency so why she's calling me I don't know.

    • Tenant moves in 4 years ago with a friend. Only one name on the lease.
    • Last week tenant and friend have a fight and tenant gives her friend 30 days to vacate the property.
    • Tenant's friend calls me to "fix things" and to put her name on the lease so she doesn't have to leave.
    • I explain to her several times it has nothing to do with me speak to the agency and the lease has another year to run so bad luck.
    • I'm the bad guy, her lawyer says she has a strong case to sue the landlord as I have the power to alter the lease and magically fix things. :confused:
    So now I am getting sued :p:p

    Any one wanting to be a PM needs their head checked!
     
  2. RetireRich101

    RetireRich101 Well-Known Member

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    Is the tenant's friend ( and laywer) trying to make an accusation that even though her name wasn't on the lease, but evidence suggest she's has been living there for 4 years and is paying rent on time, which make she has declared interest in the Lease?

    Is it more like a scenario where 2 couples lived together, but not officially married, when they split, both assets are on the table...?

    Just thinking out aloud, to see her crazy accusation warrant any concern whatsoever..
     
  3. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Is the one that is staying on the lease?
     
  4. Special order

    Special order Well-Known Member

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    Sue her for harassment
     
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  5. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I don't think she has a case as you are not obligated to add another person to a lease. However with law suits - act very quickly defend and punch back - hard!

    The law system is not ethical, solicitors will file law suits whether they are logical, have grounds or not and a judgement will go against you very quickly if you don't act.

    Counter sue and hit them back harder than they can hit you, especially if you are in the right. If she does sue (may be just an idol threat - tenants try this on regularly), then be prepared to go for the jugular! It's worked for me many times.
     
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  6. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    Their English is bad but when they originally moved in only one wanted to be on the lease. She let her friend move in with her and her name is not on the lease but property manager and myself knew about this.

    Fast forward 4 years later they have a fight and the person with the name on the lease orders her friend out (not on the lease) and must leave within 30 days.

    They're not in a relationship just friends (both females).

    They called me no less than 6 times today! I told them make up and carry on with life.
     
  7. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Run & hide...

    How did they get your number?

    Bit inconsiderate, not like the plumbing wasn't working
     
  8. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    If there was domestic violence involved then yes, you need to help them out.

    This comes up a fair bit though - couples, siblings, friends, housemates, etc. They all want to move in or out sooner or later and fail to realise that they're on a binding contract.

    Things you can do (if one is leaving):
    1) Nothing if you so choose ;)
    2) Reassess staying tenant to ensure they can afford whole rent on their own
    3) If staying tenant gives an amount equaling half the bond to the leaving tenant, change the bond to be just in staying tenant's name so that they get all of it when they eventually leave.

    Or if they're adding one:
    1) Nothing if you so choose ;)
    2) Assess new applicant and edit lease

    Either way,
    Inform PM that tenant contacted you directly so that they can tell them off.
    Inform the lawyer that both they and their client should go via the PM for everything (and that they don't have a case as you're not obliged to edit the contract)
     
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  9. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    She left me a voice mail saying " please call back very urgent, please please, please!!"

    I thought the house caught fire only to discover some petty fight they had between them.
     
  10. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    @D.T. PM reckons she has no case and spoke to them today. It's not my fault she didn't want to go on the lease day one. Too late now.
     
  11. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    If their English isn't very good then I assume they're a migrant - they're probably trying to add someone to the lease who is trying to prove residency.

    It's in your court and up to you whether you help them out or not, there's no obligation to.
     
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  12. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    Why do they have your number if you have a PM?
     
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  13. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    I see it more of an issue between the two friends rather than the tenant and landlord.

    What possible grounds could she have to sue considering her names not on the lease? I should sue her for calling me on a Sunday night.
     
  14. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Nothing to do with you mate - unless /until it comes time to approve them.

    It's nothing that a little rational thought can't fix :)
     
  15. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    They have my number for extreme emergencies only like leaking plumber, power outage, etc. Probably a bad mistake!
     
  16. fullylucky

    fullylucky Well-Known Member

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    Tell her 'No'.

    This ain't america... in Australia you have to pay for your legal fees even if you don't win a lawsuit.
     
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  17. Hodge

    Hodge Well-Known Member

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    Fully lucky i told her in Australia it's not worth to sue someone as legal costs will cripple you. She'll learn the hard way.
     
  18. Jamie Moore

    Jamie Moore MORTGAGE BROKER - AUSTRALIA WIDE Business Member

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    Sounds painful. I would just direct all correspondence to the PM - they'll keep a record of everything and follow the correct processes.
     
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  19. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    Doesn't sound like fun, that's for sure.
     
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  20. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    They have remedies under the states tenancy act and even a tribunal to have it heard in. Thats their avenue, not to sue you. Let your PM handle it

    As for suing them back... dont bother. Lets all waste 10-50k in legals when VCAT costs next to nothing.
     
    Last edited: 23rd Nov, 2015
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