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Old 10-20-2015, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Hammond
245 posts, read 386,405 times
Reputation: 261

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First time post. I'd like to get everyone's thoughts on the following predicament:

My partner and I moved into a new apartment in June with a rental company that we have rented from for 2 years, and so far been reasonably happy with. We intend to stay here for a few years while saving up money to purchase a condo. Around the same time my partner opened a new bank account. It was our agreement that he would pay rent this year, since I covered our rent for the previous year.

We received the first month free. My partner paid his first rent at the beginning of July by hand delivered check. We checked that the payment had processed both through his bank and on our online rental system and went on with our life. August was paid with a cashier's check also hand delivered. A few days later we logged into our account and noted that both checks were marked as returned and that we had racked up late fees. My partner's bank account on the other hand still showed both checks as successfully deposited.

We immediately got in contact with our landlord's accounting department, who were as helpful as they could be, pulling up the records on each of the checks. This went on back and forth through September. Meanwhile two more rent payment did the same thing. My partner tried paying the balance due with a cashier's check from his savings account and received the same result: his account was debited, but the landlord's bank claimed that the check bounced. We have been working with my partner's bank, who has traced all involved checks reached the landlord's bank account. We have also contracted my partner's financial adviser and lawyer to look into the issue, both of whom have stated that they don't think it is our problem.

But what really annoyed us is that our property manager seems to be going about trying to solve this in the most inappropriate matter. He didn't even get involved until late-September--2 months after we first started working with the accounting department--and did so only to demand that we immediately get in contact with their bank to resolve the issue.

Then one week later, we were served a 5 day notice to pay rent or quit. We sent a few emails showing everything that we were doing to try to solve the problem, noting that we believe the issue to be with the landlord's bank, not ours. I contacted upper management, and they said they would look into it. It was a stressful week. Then the deadline came and everything went quiet. Both the landlord and their bank stopped returning our calls and emails. Now about a week later, we have been served another pay rent or quit notice and an invoice for 5 months of rent and over $1000 in late payment. Looks like I will need to make another call to upper management.

Our position is that we have paid rent. In fact, we have paid 7 months rent in a 4 month period. The landlord owes us money. We don't appreciate being bullied by our landlord, when we have stated our opinion and shown evidence that the problem is theirs, and demonstrated that we are putting effort and money into getting this resolved. We don't want to pay yet more money from a different account, as the landlord and their bank would then consider the matter solved, and we would be out 7 months of rent plus late fees, and it would be the equivalent of admitting fault.

Any thoughts? (or further questions? This has been a complicated issue to work through)
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
6,803 posts, read 5,668,295 times
Reputation: 15168
Actually, I would send the landlord a certified demand letter for overpayment of rent and indicate you will move and expect they pay your moving expenses.

That's what I would do to light a fire under them.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
8,377 posts, read 14,475,215 times
Reputation: 27089
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned B View Post
We received the first month free. My partner paid his first rent at the beginning of July by hand delivered check. We checked that the payment had processed both through his bank and on our online rental system and went on with our life. August was paid with a cashier's check also hand delivered. A few days later we logged into our account and noted that both checks were marked as returned and that we had racked up late fees. My partner's bank account on the other hand still showed both checks as successfully deposited.

We immediately got in contact with our landlord's accounting department, who were as helpful as they could be, pulling up the records on each of the checks. This went on back and forth through September. Meanwhile two more rent payment did the same thing. My partner tried paying the balance due with a cashier's check from his savings account and received the same result: his account was debited, but the landlord's bank claimed that the check bounced. We have been working with my partner's bank, who has traced all involved checks reached the landlord's bank account. We have also contracted my partner's financial adviser and lawyer to look into the issue, both of whom have stated that they don't think it is our problem.
OP, this makes no sense at all. What is the accounting department SAYING when you show them evidence from your partner's bank that the checks cleared?

There is no way that something this simple should take this long. Something is off (I seem to be writing that a lot today).

Can your partner go to his bank and have them deal directly with the LL's bank, while he is sitting there listening?

(Is the LL's bank in another state? another country? Again, this just doesn't make any sense at all. Proving debits is, or should be, very easy.)
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Hammond
245 posts, read 386,405 times
Reputation: 261
Karen, thank for your reply. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about banking, and my name is not on the account, so I can only speak as an observer, but this hasn't made any sense to me either.

The LL bank is in this state, in fact our property management and their bank are owned by the same corporation. My partner's bank is headquartered in another state, but has many branches here in Illinois. I don't have a lot of confidence in his bank, and he will likely be moving the money to a different bank as soon as he can get another account open. They have been difficult to work with--we did not find a reasonably helpful representative until early this month--and his account has been slightly messed up ever since they managed to open one account for two unrelated people and pool all the money together. But if their trace of the transfer shows that it was successful, I don't have any reason not to believe them.

Communication between the banks has been difficult too. We didn't get a contact from the LL bank until mid-September. And she pretty much never answers her phone or returns calls. My partner has been on a joint call between his bank and the LL's bank (a different representative than the contact given, and that's when he got the response "we'll look into it." Another call was scheduled between the 3 parties last week and my partner's bank said they were too busy to do it at the last minute. Etc. Etc.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:11 PM
 
27,481 posts, read 56,516,150 times
Reputation: 21883
Have you gone to the media?

This is the kind of stuff consumer reporters love...

The money has to have gone somewhere and since you are not on the account another level of complexity has been introduced.
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:55 PM
 
11,162 posts, read 15,321,955 times
Reputation: 16880
This is getting overly complicated over a simple fix. If you are saying that the rent was paid and the money deducted from the account, why are you going around in circles creating some obstacle course when all that is needed are a few simple sheets of paper?

The account holder needs to go to their bank, ask for a copy of the paid checks. If the checks were cashed, there would be a paper trail at your partner's bank proving it was paid and not returned. If as you say, the checks were cashed and not returned, your partner's bank will have the paid check with no indications of it being returned. That's all you need; that's all the proof the landlord should need; and, that's all the proof the court will needs to say the rent was paid.

Did the landlord provide a copy of this "returned check" as proof of the refusal? Just because their internal system says "returned" doesn't mean ti was returned. Even if their bank messed it up, that's on them and their bank, not on you. You should be dealing only with your bank and your bank alone.

So, you can go to court on the date of the eviction date with your solid proof the rent was paid and let the judge decide. You won;t be evicted if you paid the rent.
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ area
3,338 posts, read 3,862,760 times
Reputation: 4112
My guess is you are either being lied to by your partner or not listening to the management about getting them the proof they need to show the checks are cashed. You claim to have paid some months with a cashiers check which is certified funds and on the bank issuer to resolve that dispute not you. Get a copy of the cashed checks, and the cashiers checks, from your bank and the statements for all months that your landlord claims to have returned checks. It will take you less than an hour to go into a branch and get all this information, except the cashiers check may be a little longer to get the cashed copy from them. Turn this all over in person to the manager, not the assistants but the actual on site manager, and sit there while you go over it all with them and get it resolved on the spot. One afternoon and your problems are solved, phone conversations are the worst way to try and work this stuff out.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:06 PM
 
2,950 posts, read 4,885,164 times
Reputation: 2907
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Manager View Post
My guess is you are either being lied to by your partner or not listening to the management about getting them the proof they need to show the checks are cashed. You claim to have paid some months with a cashiers check which is certified funds and on the bank issuer to resolve that dispute not you. Get a copy of the cashed checks, and the cashiers checks, from your bank and the statements for all months that your landlord claims to have returned checks. It will take you less than an hour to go into a branch and get all this information, except the cashiers check may be a little longer to get the cashed copy from them. Turn this all over in person to the manager, not the assistants but the actual on site manager, and sit there while you go over it all with them and get it resolved on the spot. One afternoon and your problems are solved, phone conversations are the worst way to try and work this stuff out.

I was thinking the same thing. The OP paid the rent to the same management company for a year with no problems & suddenly the partner is supposed to pay the rent & everything goes wrong.

OP - have you actually seen the bank accounts (either on-line or on paper statements) showing that the rental checks were cashed? Or, are you relying on your partner's word only?
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:15 PM
 
27,481 posts, read 56,516,150 times
Reputation: 21883
A good strategy has been laid out and now it is up to the person with the bank account to follow through.

Short of this... I would prepare to move. Notice has been served so why wait to be put out?
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Hammond
245 posts, read 386,405 times
Reputation: 261
I have seen the account statements. I spent a whole evening working through them earlier this month when were trying to verify that the accidental combined account had been resolved and that only his transactions were still showing. All of the transactions showed as debited and did the money did not reappear at any point as returned.

I have also been included on email chains, at my request so I know whats going on. The property manager has only been in contact with us to tell us once, to contact their bank, twice to confirm that their first notice could only be satisfied by working things out with their bank, and once to ask for contact information for someone at my partner's bank. Then nothing since.I've never met the guy, but I do know that he is a pretty recent college graduate and has only been a property manager for 4 months, though he has about 4 years working other positions in a rental office.

Thank you all for the comments. I am going to get back on this tonight; it's a little hard working from the sidelines, but I agree a person to person meeting should go far in wrapping up something that has been going on for too long.
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