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Landlord vs. Tenant Issue (1 Viewer)

cineMANIAC

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I've been summoned to court for non-payment of rent - my court date is Monday. I've received word indirectly that the case has been dismissed because the whole thing was a misunderstanding (my check was applied to someone else's account by mistake) and told to ignore it. Only thing is, I don't trust these people. Is there a way to verify that the case has actually been dismissed so that I don't waste time going to court and paying fees? I still feel like showing up just in case. Appreciate any advice.
 

David Norman

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Unless you directly/officially/legally get notification of the dismissal I certainly would show if at all possible with a copy of the cancelled/deposited check and whatever other documentation is necessary
Surely there is a way to contact the Court itself to find the information

At the very least go to the Landlord and request a letter/receipt showing that you have been cleared and your account is in good standing and that the case has been withdrawn
 

cineMANIAC

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Unless you directly/officially/legally get notification of the dismissal I certainly would show if at all possible with a copy of the cancelled/deposited check and whatever other documentation is necessary
Surely there is a way to contact the Court itself to find the information

At the very least go to the Landlord and request a letter/receipt showing that you have been cleared and your account is in good standing and that the case has been withdrawn

This landlord has been anything but approachable. No one ever seems to be available at their offices and my communication with them has been through my building Superintendent. I've got the text message exchanges between the Super and the Landlord which were forwarded to me, the letter the USPS sent me showing that the check was indeed cashed and the Money Order receipt and tracking info showing that the letter containing the check was delivered so I should be covered. I'll try contacting the Court to verify the dismissal but that could take a while. I think my best bet is still to just show up.
 

Jeffrey D

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I've been summoned to court for non-payment of rent - my court date is Monday. I've received word indirectly that the case has been dismissed because the whole thing was a misunderstanding (my check was applied to someone else's account by mistake) and told to ignore it. Only thing is, I don't trust these people. Is there a way to verify that the case has actually been dismissed so that I don't waste time going to court and paying fees? I still feel like showing up just in case. Appreciate any advice.
The landlord didn’t notify you of non-payment first before getting the courts involved? Wow-
that’s a hard assed landlord.
 
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JohnRice

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I want to remind everyone that we are not lawyers and taking advice from random posters on the internet is bad mojo =)
That's the truth.

I will just say this. If you fail to appear without official notification from the court that it has been dismissed, a default judgment can be entered against you. If that happens, believe that you will regret not appearing. Show up and take all the info you've mentioned, including the the text messages.
 

cineMANIAC

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That's the truth.

I will just say this. If you fail to appear without official notification from the court that it has been dismissed, a default judgment can be entered against you. If that happens, believe that you will regret not appearing. Show up and take all the info you've mentioned, including the the text messages.

Oh, I definitely plan on showing up - armed with all the relevant Xeroxed receipts and a hard copy transcript of a text message conversation between the Manager, the Super and myself where the error was found and acknowledged. I fully expect to win this case; my only question now is - can I do this without an attorney present? I have no idea what to expect when I walk into that courtroom on Monday. There was a phone number on the summons to call to request legal advice but no one ever answers. I'll be so happy when this is over.
 

cineMANIAC

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So, what was the outcome?

I showed up like I was supposed to. My name was called, someone in the Juror's gallery (probably the landlord's lawyer) yelled out "please dismiss", and I walked out - exactly the outcome I was expecting. What I was NOT expecting was to encounter dozens of other people in the courtroom for the same reason as myself. Many didn't show and their cases defaulted. I was a nervous wreck the whole time because there was someone with an infant in the row behind me who was fussy and the clerk warned everyone that they needed to listen to their names being called. I don't ever want to go through that again - which is why, from now on, I'm going to pay my rent on the 31st :)
 

JohnRice

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Is it possible these are rent controlled units that landlords are trying to get people kicked out of?
 

cineMANIAC

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Is it possible these are rent controlled units that landlords are trying to get people kicked out of?

As far as I know, these are not rent controlled. What they are, are apartments that are difficult to fill because the owners are basically slumlords. The buildings are old and hardly maintained, and the heat supply is sporadic at best. I've seen families move in and then they're out 2 months later. I've stuck around because, well, the rent is cheap compared to my old neighborhood and I really HATE the stresses of moving. I suspect the owners are just trying to amass a collection of properties so that when the area is gentrified, which is just a matter of time, they'll be able to make a killing by selling the properties. I guess I should start looking for another place to live because I now live in constant fear of being told that next month will be my last (I don't have a current lease - it's month-to-month).
 

cineMANIAC

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Update: the owners have sold the property to an Investment company so I've decided to cut my losses and vacate on my own before they start throwing people out. I got lucky and found another apartment in another town 20 minutes away almost overnight. My question is, am I supposed to give my current landlord advance notice of my departure, taking into consideration I don't have an actual lease? My plan was to call or email them the day before my actual move - I don't want to give them any reason to potentially harass me or give me a problem. Am I violating any kind of landlord-tenant rule by not informing them early?
 

JohnRice

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I would definitely notify them in writing, with delivery confirmation, of the specific date you will vacate the apartment.
 

cineMANIAC

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I believe John is saying a certified letter with tracking and delivery confirmation sent through USPS is admissible in court. An email may not be.

Got it :thumbsup:

Sorry if this all seems silly - this is my first rodeo with a rental so I'm not familiar with general Landlord-tenant etiquette. So it's OK if I send this letter towards the end of my tenancy? Advance notice isn't necessary?
 

DennisBassi

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I don’t knew when you are planning on vacating, but in most jurisdictions 30 days written notice is required, even if you are month to month. Letter should be sent to the contact point indicated in your rental agreement, certified with return receipt.
 

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