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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #1 
If anyone could give advice on the matter, it would greatly be appreciated. 

We had tenants sign the lease and pay the security deposit. Originally, we allowed them to have a few days free if they paid the 1st month's rent early. They agreed, but they kept giving us excuses as to why they could not pay the rent and kept pushing back the date. The lease started August 1, and they still didn't have the rent payment until the following week. At the time, we were going to send a 3 days notice to pay or quit but we wanted to give them the chance to pay. The following week comes and there's no way to reach them (their phones were disconnected). We emailed them, where they told us we would meet that day at X:XXPM. Ok, no problem. We arrive at the property ready to make the exchange, and they are no where to be found. After 30 min we figured they wouldn't show up, but we stayed there for another hour. We emailed them and took screen shots of our location and attached it the emails. No response or prior warning that they would not be there. 

That same night we receive an email with yet another excuse and that they would like to meet the next day at X:XXPM. We were upset at that point, they called early the next morning. Which we tried returning their call (and we also emailed) to let them know that we will be there at X:XXPM. We were at the property once more where we waited yet another hour and a half. We only received their email telling us that we didn't confirm with them and they have to rush there in short notice. Yet we both called and emailed, but somehow they didn't receive our email 2 hours prior letting them know we would be there but they received an email from the mother that we did call. It became a little comical at that point. 

By then we were fed up and told them they breached the lease and forfeit their security deposit. However, they are still requesting a portion of it back. They signed a one year lease agreement. We completely stopped communication with them, and have sent them a certified letter. Now, I am getting calls from their pastor. This doesn't have anything to do with him, so I haven't returned his call. 

I'm really sick and tired of these games these tenants are playing. It is a simple transaction: you pay your rent and you get your keys. They have made this a very messy and unnecessary situation. Any input as to how it should be handled, any advice? Thanks.

Posts: 156
Reply with quote  #2 
As you probably have already surmised, never let a tenant sign a lease unless they give the full security deposit and first month's rent. Ever. As far as what you should do, you should keep the full security deposit, but the idiots may try to challenge you in court for at least a portion of the security deposit. You may consider just giving them half and renting the place out to other people and make sure you get the first month and sec dep from the new tenants before giving them the keys. Most prospective tenants, especially those who have their PASTOR call for rent, won't take something like this to court. They most likely gave you the deposit, then found a place they felt was better suited for them, and now want the money back to pay the new landlord. Not sure how it would fare in court because a case like this usually come down to the judge's interpretation of the situation. Also make sure that, if you somehow decide to take the deposit without the rent, that they sign something that states that the deposit is NON REFUNDABLE. Then there's no dilemma. Good luck...
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