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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Looking for advice...

We verbally agreed to rent to a tenant on the condition that he could come up with the other half of the move in fee (rent $500, SD $500) within 5 days with the verbal understanding that leases would be signed in 5 days when he came up with the other halfand if he didnt come up with it he would forfeit the money he had given us and would have to leave. The tenants father is the one who fronted the money for him. We always do written leases but we screwed up this time.
The day before he was supposed to have the money he informed us that was wasn't able to get the rest and couldn't afford it and would have to leave. He said he could have all his things out within 30minutes. I told him that wasn't necessary and said he could take until 6pm the following day, he agreed.

8pm rolls around the following day and he is no where to be found. Alot Trash and and meaningless belonging left behind also including a head board and mattress. We wait at the property until 9pm and still hear nothing from him. We gather all the belongings and set them outside on a covered porch and change the locks as he didnt return his key.

The belongings sit outside until 1pm the next day, still no word from him so my husband begins to load the things up to dispose of them

At 9pm that night (28 hours after the deadline to get out and still no word from him) the tenant's father calls demanding his money and belongings (already at the trash dump) because he only stayed there 4 days

I refuse because, imo, he broke our verbal agreement, we worked four nearly 3 hours removing belongings and he also spilled hot candle wax in several spots on new carpet. He says he will see me in court.

This is my first instance of money changing hands without a written contract, and although I feel I'm in the right by keeping his money, I'm worried and really need to know where I stand. I am in WV. Any advice is appreciated, even if you feel I am wrong. I need perspective please!!

Posts: 431
Reply with quote  #2 
Did he pay you the rent or deposit? If it is rent, it may be easier to just give him the money back. If it was deposit, give him the money back minus itemized expenses (3 hours at $50, landfill, carpet repair, etc.).

Did you try to make contact in the 28 hours or get any sort of confirmation from him that he was out, indicating he was actually out? If he paid for 30 days, he is probably entitled to 30 days. The agreement doesn't say he has to live there or be around, but if he paid for 30 days and you went in before then without his authorization, that could be a big problem for you.

When people need exceptions, there is a reason, and it almost never works out.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Since posting this, we finally resolved the matter. But what a nightmare. It turns out they were basically street people and the dad just fronted to money to get them out of his hair. They have no phones or anything. My husband came to an agreement with the father just mailing half of it back just to be done with it and he was happy with that. He didnt care about their belongings. And these people totally fell off the grid, not even he can find them. Its all so bizarre. But lessons learned FOR SURE.
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