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  1. #1
    alloftheabove13 is offline Junior Member
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    Landlord threatening to kick me out tonight.

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Wisconsin

    I have been renting the upstairs of a town house from my aunt for about 3 years now. Today they threatened to kick me out because I am behind on rent. However the house is not up to electrical code, I don't have fire alarms, and my stove does not work. I have also never signed a lease. I have never received receipts for rent I have paid and my records of rent paid do not match theirs (personal records on an excel spreadsheet). I already have found a new home to live in but I can't move for another week or two and they are telling me I have to get out tonight. What would be the best way to handle this in a civil/legal manner?
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloftheabove13 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Wisconsin

    I have been renting the upstairs of a town house from my aunt for about 3 years now. Today they threatened to kick me out because I am behind on rent. However the house is not up to electrical code, I don't have fire alarms, and my stove does not work. I have also never signed a lease. I have never received receipts for rent I have paid and my records of rent paid do not match theirs (personal records on an excel spreadsheet). I already have found a new home to live in but I can't move for another week or two and they are telling me I have to get out tonight. What would be the best way to handle this in a civil/legal manner?
    **A: stay put. Only court action can force you to leave.
  3. #3
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    **A: stay put. Only court action can force you to leave.
    ...x2. If they try, just say NO. Then call police if they attempt to force you out or remove your belongings. The police will advice them that they are not allowed to do so, and will probably advise them that this is a civil matter, and instruct them that they must follow the law and evict you if they want you out.
  4. #4
    alloftheabove13 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice. So my next question would be: If my aunt tries to sue me for the rent I owe, will I have anything to worry about considering the condition of the house and lack of lease?
  5. #5
    Gail in Georgia is offline Senior Member
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    So, DO you owe rent or not?

    The fact that you have no lease plays no role in this matter; it simply means you have a month to month tenancy.

    In some states, one can withhold rent if a landlord fails to make repairs but only after taking several important steps such as notifying the landlord in WRITING of required repairs and giving them a reasonable amount of time to address these. Some states require that a tenant continue to pay rent into an escrow account that is held by the court.

    In other words, if you've not paid your rent, you can't pull the excuse that the house was not "up to code" out of your hat (or a body orifice) as your justification while not informing the landlord about these matter and/or continuing to live in a unit that you now suddenly see as uninhabitable.

    If you are sued for owed rent and haven't done your homework, the court may likely see this as just an excuse.

    Gail
  6. #6
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloftheabove13 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. So my next question would be: If my aunt tries to sue me for the rent I owe, will I have anything to worry about considering the condition of the house and lack of lease?
    **A: yes, you have lots to worry about. why have you not paid your rent?
  7. #7
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    This is your aunt! A pair of smoke detectors can be bought for $10. Buy them and deduct them from your rent. And pay the rent. A stove is not an excuse for a free ride on rent. Just what "doesn't work"? A burner? All burners? The broiler, the oven? Can you still prepare a meal at home? Stovetop? Microwave? You still live there, you should pay rent.

    Personally, I always make my tenants provide own appliances so they can't try to stop paying because of a burner element not working. I get a tad less rent, but don't get bothered about tempermental stoves and fridges.
    Last edited by nextwife; 10-12-2011 at 10:03 AM.
  8. #8
    applecruncher is offline Senior Member
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    The fact that you continued to pay rent in the past and didn't INSIST of getting an excuse (or pay by chaek so you would have proof) is your own fault.

    Any WRITTEN proof that you notified LL of repairs needed? If not, that's also your fault.

    You can't just stop paying rent because something needs fixed.

    However, LL has to legally evict you. If she changes locks or removes your things, call the police.
    Last edited by applecruncher; 10-12-2011 at 10:18 AM.
  9. #9
    alloftheabove13 is offline Junior Member
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    No I don't not have any written proof of the problems with the unit, only verbal notification was made on several accounts. There is no written proof of anything though for that matter, no lease, no record of rent paid (she gave me her personal account bank statement with cash deposits and said "This is what you have paid me."), and no written eviction.

    I know some of you out there are saying "omg! this is your own aunt, you're a horrible person!" I have my own reasons for doing what I'm doing. During spring and summer I was paying her 2 months worth of rent every month just to get ahead and still she claims I'm more than 2 months behind when my records indicate I'm only 1 month behind at most.

    Here's a list of problems with the unit as well, even though I don't have any written proof, I might be calling a home inspector if it comes down to that: Oven does not heat up at all (stove still works), my microwave has a 50% chance of tripping the breaker off and I lose power (breaker is located in the down stair unit's basement where I am not allowed). There are no smoke alarms in any rooms (2 bedroom, living room, kitchen) and only the living room and kitchen have places to mount them, the bedrooms do not. I only have 2 breakers for the entire upstairs unit which are also shared with some rooms of the downstairs unit, if they are using a space heather downstairs and I turn on my TV, there's a high chance my power will go out.

    My aunt's daughter (my cousin) lives in the downstairs of the townhouse. For the past year she has been threatening me in many different ways, parking sideways in front of the garage so I can't park my car, stealing my magazine subscriptions and mail. At one point I called the police because I received 3 unemployment checks on the same day because she was holding my mail. I've been going to therapy and sleeping in my car before and after work and returning home only when she is at her job (I work 3rd shift) just to avoid confrontation in this hostile living situation. And there's nothing I can do because her mom owns the building and she lives in the downstairs for free (or so I have been told). My cousin even told me that if I talk to "HER" neighbors about any of this again (I've talked to them in the past) that shes going to show me how ugly of a person she really is (which I took as a threat).

    I've called the police about 3 times in the 3 years I've lived here and nothing has been resolved because it's a "family matter", at least that's what the police keep telling me.

    I'm just trying to get out of the house ASAP, I've already found a place which I am hopefully moving into by Sunday. I guess this is a lesson learned for both me and my aunt though, and I'm just trying to move on with my life and put this all behind me.
  10. #10
    Gail in Georgia is offline Senior Member
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    "Here's a list of problems with the unit as well, even though I don't have any written proof, I might be calling a home inspector if it comes down to that: Oven does not heat up at all (stove still works), my microwave has a 50% chance of tripping the breaker off and I lose power (breaker is located in the down stair unit's basement where I am not allowed). There are no smoke alarms in any rooms (2 bedroom, living room, kitchen) and only the living room and kitchen have places to mount them, the bedrooms do not. I only have 2 breakers for the entire upstairs unit which are also shared with some rooms of the downstairs unit, if they are using a space heather downstairs and I turn on my TV, there's a high chance my power will go out."

    And yet none of these things seemed to be an issue for the past three years until the aunt threatened eviction due to owed rent.


    "My aunt's daughter (my cousin) lives in the downstairs of the townhouse. For the past year she has been threatening me in many different ways, parking sideways in front of the garage so I can't park my car, stealing my magazine subscriptions and mail. At one point I called the police because I received 3 unemployment checks on the same day because she was holding my mail. I've been going to therapy and sleeping in my car before and after work and returning home only when she is at her job (I work 3rd shift) just to avoid confrontation in this hostile living situation. And there's nothing I can do because her mom owns the building and she lives in the downstairs for free (or so I have been told). My cousin even told me that if I talk to "HER" neighbors about any of this again (I've talked to them in the past) that shes going to show me how ugly of a person she really is (which I took as a threat)."

    None of this plays any role in the current issue.

    " I guess this is a lesson learned for both me and my aunt though, and I'm just trying to move on with my life and put this all behind me. "

    You do realize that your aunt can still sue you for owed rent, correct?

    Gail
  11. #11
    Searchertwin is offline Senior Member
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    Plus any damages.
    Last edited by Searchertwin; 10-14-2011 at 02:27 PM.
  12. #12
    alloftheabove13 is offline Junior Member
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    Today my aunt served me a 7-day eviction notice with the amount of rent owed. I'm just gonna suck it up and pay the amount it says, it's under a $1000 and its not worth going to court over. If I pay the amount indicated on the eviction notice I assume there isn't much else she can come after me for other than "damages" which would be pretty hard to prove since the unit was never in good shape anyways.
  13. #13
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloftheabove13 View Post
    Today my aunt served me a 7-day eviction notice with the amount of rent owed. I'm just gonna suck it up and pay the amount it says, it's under a $1000 and its not worth going to court over. If I pay the amount indicated on the eviction notice I assume there isn't much else she can come after me for other than "damages" which would be pretty hard to prove since the unit was never in good shape anyways.
    I thought you had a place you were moving into by tomorrow. What happened to moving out and getting rid of the problem?

    You do realize that just by paying the back rent, it will reinstate your tenancy, but if the house is as you say, you will be having the very same problems all over again in no time.

    IMHO, you probably should just go ahead and move out to a different place. But if you DO decide to stay and pay the past due rent that your aunt is demanding, be sure to GET A RECEIPT THIS TIME. If she doesn't have one or won't offer one, have one ready for them to sign upon receipt of your rent payment. Or pay by check (either personal or a bank check), so that your check can be your receipt once cashed. Do the same for future rent payments as long as you decide to remain living there.
  14. #14
    alloftheabove13 is offline Junior Member
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    I'm going to pay the amount she claimed I owe on the eviction notice she served me (strangely enough it's less than what her and my records indicate). I'm still moving out by the 20th because I wont be able to pay it within such a short amount of time. I'm going to send her a letter with a cashier's check or some type of certified payment so we both have records, and I'm probably going to make 2-3 payments since I have to start paying for rent at the new house I'm moving to. Hopefully with the rent caught up and me out of the house I can put this behind me.
  15. #15
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    You can certainly report her to the postal police if have reason to believe she is stealing your mail. (and refusing to give it to you timely is stealing it). That is a federal offense and the police inspectors are not people you want to mess with. Nothing gives her the right to steal your mail.

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