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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/any-suggestions-disclaimer-i-am-not-a-landlord-17686341.aspx

Subject:  Re: Need suggestions for disputing rent Date:  8/14/2002  1:06 PM
Author:  reverbbrad Number:  136620 of 308367

Any suggestions?

Disclaimer: I am not a landlord or a lawyer. I have been a tenant in a couple of bad situations, though.

The good news here is that you haven't paid them, so it isn't as though you are trying to recapture money.

If you don't pay them, (and write them a succinct letter saying that their facts are wrong, etc etc), then they only have so much recourse.

1) They can sue you. How much money are they claiming that BF owes? At some point, the trouble of a lawsuit may not be worth it to them.

If they try this, and you get a lawyer, start calling the lawyer whenever you feel like it to 'discuss' the case. Speak slowly.

Work in a story about that time that you bought a plant for the apartment, but forgot to water it, and then your neighbor was noisy, so you took the dead plant and put it at his doorstep with a note saying his noisy metal music killed the plant, and then you got to chatting with your neighbors and had dinner... roasted chicken with potatoes... where was I?

After their legal bills start coming in, the landlord may be less inclined to pursue. I am not kidding, I did this once (they were screamingly at fault, but wouldn't admit it), and it actually worked. YMMV. And, from what I understand, courts tend to be sympathetic to tenants who appear/have been responsible.

2) They can screw up your credit. I don't know how else to handle this other than dispute the claim. Other folks probably have better advice.

But that is really all they can do. Your options, of course, are a) to pay them (nnoooo....), b) to offer to settle or c) to fight them.

Unfortunately, these things are no fun all the way around. Chin up, you are doing the right thing by not letting jerks take advantage of you...

-Brad


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