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Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? - Landlord Forum thread 247307

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Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? by David A (Frankford,DE) on February 6, 2012 @17:16

I started renting this property back in April of last year. I have always paid my rent on time. I have done everything by the book. Every notice I give the landlord, is notarized, stamped by the post office, and sent certified mail where she must sign for it.

Repairs needed to be done in the house and I notified the landlord; however, she refused to fix them even after several notices. I fixed and paid for them myself. I did not take the money out of the rent due to threats.

I found out that the landlord spent the deposit money on drugs. Under the landlord tenant code of Delaware it states I must put in writing a request for the location of the deposit. If the landlord fails to give the location of the deposit or the deposit back within 20 days of receipt of that letter then landlord owes the deposit back. If the landlord continues for an additional 20 days after the initial 20 days to give the deposit back then the tenant gets double back. I sent her the letter and 3 months later we still don't have our money. She spent it on drugs.

Next up there are several things not working in the house properly. The is holes in the wall from previous electrical fires and the electricity is still unstable. The washer is unsafe, the dryer is a fire hazard. I personally fixed the stove. All this has been put in writing and she refuses to fix.

The rental unit came with a storage unit attached to the property. We never got access to that storage unit that was in the lease for our use. So, she owes us storage money.

We are currently attempting to move. We contacted her over the phone and she agreed that since she by law owes us double our security deposit that we could not pay rent for one month so we could move. We are attempting to move out next month. She is sabotaging our name stated that we have rented from her for a year and have never ever paid rent. We have receipts proving otherwise.

She arrives on the property unlocks the door without notice and walk right into the property. This is also a violation of the landlord tenant code. We call the police each time she does this for trespassing.

Recently, today, she did the same things but must of been high. She demanded rent saying we owed close to $12,000. And she was threatening us, stating if we didn't give her the money she would ensure her friends took care of us.

When we contacted the police about the threats and the trespassing all they stated that unless actual harm came to me, my family or my possessions it was considered a civil matter.

She has not given us anything in writing whatsoever.

We are having a hard time finding a place to live. We make 4 times the average rent cost around here. But due to this landlord we can't find a place to live.

If I take this to civil court whats going to happen? How do I fix this? What do I do? I pay for a lawyer but at $250 an hour is it really worth it?
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Re: Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? by Ryan Lavery (PA) on February 6, 2012 @17:48 [ Reply ]
Well, that was long.

Do you have a written lease?
What does it say about repairs?

You mentioned the landlord wants $12,000.

I'm wondering if you call the police each time the landlord tries to work on the property.

I know lots of landlords who may start threatening a tenant who refuses access for repairs and doesn't pay rent, but then again most landlords evict when the rent isn't paid after a couple of weeks.
$12,000. sounds like a long time without paying.

BTW: If things are so bad and you're not paying rent, why haven't you fixed the repairs and kept receipts.

You're gonna have to scat or get a lawyer.
Re: Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? by Anonymous on February 6, 2012 @18:18 [ Reply ]
What are your chances of ever getting any money out of this landlord? Sounds like none. So you would spend money on court costs, etc. A lawyer will run you up to $1000 in a heart beat. If any money she gets goes to drugs....there will be nothing to get from her....ever.

I think your first priority is to get out of there. Call the cops if she shows up threatening you. If your income is so high why did you rent this run down place? Some of your story is suspect that way - just saying.

Re: Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? by Jon (Delaware) on February 6, 2012 @19:22 [ Reply ]
I am a Delaware Landlord and I suggest you use the courts. It's only $40 to file.

Yes the landlord needs to have the security deposit in a bank stated on your lease. They need to provide proof if requested in writing. Recently I saw a lawyer on another matter and they mentioned this is a big deal if you go to doesn't mean squat until the judge is asks.

I'll also tell you a lot of Delaware landlords don't do background checks (I don't know why). When my tenant that I was in the process of evicting was trying to move locally, I got several calls from landlords who told me they don't do background checks. When I told them the truth (yes I could have lied), I suspected they acted on that info based on the fact that my tenants moved to Florida.

As said before, take it to court. Good luck.
Re: Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? by Anonymous on February 6, 2012 @19:25 [ Reply ]
Note on security deposit. Customarily, the security deposit is given back after the tenant moves. Unless Delaware is completely different where a tenant just has to write a letter demanding it back while they are still renting that place. That would make the whole point of a security deposit valueless because a person could live there 1 month into their lease and ask for it back and the LL wouldn't have anything to cover for potential tenant damages. You may want to recheck the law/codes to make sure you interpreted it correctly. I suspect that you are only entitled to it back after you have moved out of the unit and the LL has 20 days from that date to return minus any deductions and explanation.
Re: Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? by David (Delaware) on February 7, 2012 @08:16 [ Reply ]
Did a search on the Delaware court website. The landlord is has 4 lawsuits against her from the the county. She has 2 financial institution lawsuits against her. This lady is being sued left and right. I doubt I'll get anything but at least filed.
Re: Do I sue landlord? Is it worth it? by David (Delaware) on February 7, 2012 @17:10 [ Reply ]
I have a court date setup. I'll let you guys know how it goes. In case this ever happens to someone else. Maybe you could reference it.

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