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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Jan 17, 2014 -> 10:07 AM)
Sitting on a planning commission and dealing with a bankrupt developer, I have seen some of these things. The big thing you have to figure out is if there is anything in the platting that lists these kinds of items. If it does you can take it to whoever your planning agency is and complain about it, and it is their duty to enforce that agreement. If it is only a covenant between you and the HOA, you are pretty screwed. Your only real route would be the legal route, which is time and money intensive. If it were me I would start by calling your local City/County agency that oversees planning and go from there.

 

Contacting your local city/village/township office might help. The developer/management company might be in some kind of violation of a code about lighting, which could come with a penalty if it's not fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

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QUOTE (Jenksismyb**** @ Jan 17, 2014 -> 10:15 AM)
Contacting your local city/village/township office might help. The developer/management company might be in some kind of violation of a code about lighting, which could come with a penalty if it's not fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

 

That is also true. Your local planning ordinances should have minimal standards for specific types of developments that outline in minute detail all of the specifics that have to go into a place like that. (lighting, curbs, street materials, etc, etc)

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QUOTE (pettie4sox @ Jan 27, 2014 -> 12:56 PM)
Anyone know how to get a free background check on potential tenants?

I don't know of a free one, but if you got your new renter via a service or realtor, they will have access to a cheap one, or free if you are paying them a commission. If you are not, I'd say there are some cheap ones out there, and it is probably worth the investment, since it will cost you a small fraction of the amount of money they will pay you in rent. Insurance policy, basically.

 

Also, I have always looked around LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. for future renters just to get a feel for them if I can.

 

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Try and check the clerk of the circuit court for local counties. You can generally search for free and Id probably not recommend a tenant with a bunch of eviction lawsuits.

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Jan 28, 2014 -> 11:21 AM)
Stalinist Russia is preferable to many HOAs.

LOL

 

I have a funny story about that. My wife and I own some undeveloped property out west (mountain property), and it is part of a development and has a Landowners' Association. They charge $50 per lot in dues each year to maintain the private, dirt roads in the development. About half the lots are currently undeveloped.

 

A few years ago, I started getting weird mail from the LOA asking for extra dues from some road damage. Then mail came from a DIFFERENT address, claiming to be the LOA, and asking not to send more money. Then asking for more money a few weeks later. Kept getting mail from two parties claiming to be the LOA, each accusing the other group of some sort of coup de tat, replete with documents about lawsuits, etc. Then, the mail from all of them just stopped. For like 3 years.

 

Finally got a newsletter from the "LOA" like a year ago, showing financials, talking about missing money, and please pay your back dues so the roads can get fixed. I ended up calling a few people to get the story, and this LOA is apparently now in good standing, but there are some lot owners who refuse to recognize it. There is still a pending lawsuit, and someone got arrested for something in all that mess.

 

We are now trying to sell our lots. It sucks, but I can't deal with the drama, I'm not there to keep track of things, and half the neighbors are psychotic.

 

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Got a new event.

 

My gf and I decided to move in together and rent a place. We filled out the application got approved. We decided before any leases were signed that we didn't want the place anymore (over the span of 2 days and they are trying to rent this place August 1st mind you, this happened last Wednesday). They basically claim they can keep the deposit since we're reneging. Mind you that no leases were signed just the application which had legal jargon up the wazoo stating that if you sign this we can keep your deposit. However, the criteria that wasn't met because the lease wasn't signed. So they charge her credit card and are refusing to give it back. I'm letting her handle it since it was her credit card but this situation just seems shady. Most places, you just fill out the application and if you're approved, you sign a lease. I've never heard of putting a deposit down to fill out an application.

 

What do you people think?

 

Update:

 

They rented the unit for August 1st and are trying to charge her $408 instead of the $1679. To me that screams they are some shady f***ers.

Edited by pettie4sox

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I'd go directly to your credit card company and challenge it, as well as the BBB.

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QUOTE (pettie4sox @ Jul 14, 2014 -> 03:05 PM)
Got a new event.

 

My gf and I decided to move in together and rent a place. We filled out the application got approved. We decided before any leases were signed that we didn't want the place anymore (over the span of 2 days and they are trying to rent this place August 1st mind you, this happened last Wednesday). They basically claim they can keep the deposit since we're reneging. Mind you that no leases were signed just the application which had legal jargon up the wazoo stating that if you sign this we can keep your deposit. However, the criteria that wasn't met because the lease wasn't signed. So they charge her credit card and are refusing to give it back. I'm letting her handle it since it was her credit card but this situation just seems shady. Most places, you just fill out the application and if you're approved, you sign a lease. I've never heard of putting a deposit down to fill out an application.

 

What do you people think?

 

Update:

 

They rented the unit for August 1st and are trying to charge her $408 instead of the $1679. To me that screams they are some shady f***ers.

 

If you think you have a decent reason to contest it, report it to your credit card company. They'll usually give you the money back and then do an investigation.

 

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Additionally, if you have a lawyer write a demand letter, they'll most likely just s*** their pants and give it back.

 

This trick has worked well for me without having to involve many other parties.

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What city do you live in?

 

And are they trying to keep a "security deposit" or a "credit application fee".

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QUOTE (Jenksismyb**** @ Jul 14, 2014 -> 03:10 PM)
If you think you have a decent reason to contest it, report it to your credit card company. They'll usually give you the money back and then do an investigation.

Yep. Just make sure your girlfriend does it within 60 days of first receiving the bill that the charge appears on. Getting charged for services you don't receive is considered a "billing error" and the credit card company can't make you pay it.

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I live in Chicago Soxbadger. Also she used her debit card so I'm not sure how that changes things but the only thing I think we should be paying here is an application fee which I am more than happy to give to them but after this debacle, I'm ready to tell them to go kick rocks and give us everything back.

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QUOTE (Soxbadger @ Jul 14, 2014 -> 03:21 PM)
What city do you live in?

 

And are they trying to keep a "security deposit" or a "credit application fee".

 

They are trying to keep as it as a non refundable first month's rent deposit.

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Still, liquidated damages for what? They made $1600 off you for doing nothing, AND they already got someone to rent the place out, so it's not like they lost anything.

 

Might be worth a look at the Chicago tenant-landlord law to see if it covers unreasonable fees/deposit requirements.

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Well here's the kicker. No lease was signed. All the info she gave them was a credit authorization form.

 

The guy didn't even give us copies of any of the documents. So I have no idea if he added information.

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QUOTE (pettie4sox @ Jul 14, 2014 -> 04:49 PM)
Not sure if I'll get in trouble for this but here is the form.

 

http://www.apartmentsourcechicago.com/wp-c...Application.pdf

 

Sue them for violation of CRLTO, argue that its a security deposit and there lease is in violation. :)

 

Or threaten to. Id say better than 50% chance a cook county judge rules that it is an attempt to circumvent the security deposit rules.

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This is just BS...wtf is the $408 for again? There is no way the $408 can be just the application fee, is it?

 

"Do not complete this application unless you are willing to deposit first month's rent now, sign a lease, and when lease is signed, pay full security deposit if the landlord accepts your application."

 

WHAT?

 

There is a term for this type of contract...I can't recall it, but I vaguely remember the concept from law school.

 

Wtf is the point of the application if you have to be willing to deposit a month's rent, sign a lease, and pay a full security deposit IF the landlord accepts your application? Why not just be signing the lease to begin with if you have to be agreeing to the same terms regardless? Where is the consideration on the part of the landlord for you forking over all this money? The landlord can essentially just hold your month's rent for the pleasure of determining he would like to accept it.

 

Unconscionable contract of adhesion?

Edited by iamshack

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QUOTE (iamshack @ Jul 14, 2014 -> 05:32 PM)
This is just BS...wtf is the $408 for again? There is no way the $408 can be just the application fee, is it?

 

"Do not complete this application unless you are willing to deposit first month's rent now, sign a lease, and when lease is signed, pay full security deposit if the landlord accepts your application."

 

WHAT?

 

There is a term for this type of contract...I can't recall it, but I vaguely remember the concept from law school.

 

Wtf is the point of the application if you have to be willing to deposit a month's rent, sign a lease, and pay a full security deposit IF the landlord accepts your application? Why not just be signing the lease to begin with if you have to be agreeing to the same terms regardless? Where is the consideration on the part of the landlord for you forking over all this money? The landlord can essentially just hold your month's rent for the pleasure of determining he would like to accept it.

 

Unconscionable contract of adhesion?

 

The amount of days the unit was off the market. Basically they are charging us for rent for the days it was off the market. Funny right considering we signed no lease.

 

I really think they'll blink if we have a lawyer send them a letter.

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I feel like such an idiot. I generally read things but I have filled out applications for apartments/condos before and have never ever ran into something so shady in my life. Lesson learned to read everything even if it's an application.

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QUOTE (pettie4sox @ Jul 14, 2014 -> 06:16 PM)
The amount of days the unit was off the market. Basically they are charging us for rent for the days it was off the market. Funny right considering we signed no lease.

 

I really think they'll blink if we have a lawyer send them a letter.

 

Technically, based entirely on the application, they aren't doing anything wrong. But I think something is amiss with the "damages." They didn't actually have any loss since they filled the spot for the same time period. This is a penalty for reneging. Had you done something to prevent them from renting by August 1, then they are right. Here, though, I think you might have a case.

 

And don't feel too bad. We've all been there in one way or another.

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