Last year Hurricane Ike destroyed my apartment. We were given 72 hours to be completely out. My brother and sister in law had the same thing happen. It was about 3 weeks after Ike that they finally gave us notice to get out (after telling us they'd fix it with us still in it), so every good place in town was already claimed. It sucked. Us 'n the in laws ended up sharing a 3br house in the 3rd ward for a year.
The place was a complete dump. You name it, it happened. Complete shithole. At the end of the day, we just wanted to escape from our slumlord. Our deposit was a couple of thousand bucks. We used to joke about the shit he was going to make up so he wouldn't have to pay us back the deposit. We had already decided not to fight with whatever method he came up with, figuring he probably didn't have it anyway and wasn't worth the time in small claims over a stain or a nick on a wall or whatever foolishness he was going to cook up. He's one of those complete fools that did the whole buy houses and flip em and rent em and shit. He was upside down, as was evidenced by the notices we got to the house in his name from the lender and IRS.
The leasing contract was a template but modified by our slumlord. You could tell where he had modified because there were misspellings. It called for 60 day notice and required that the landlord send notification that he had received the 60 day notice. So that magical day comes and we send the 60 day notice (80 days out to be safe) along with a request for the notification per the contract. We call once a week to ask for it. He keeps saying he'll get it to us. Whatevs. The 30 day comes and we send the final rent check along with a letter stating that we still haven't received the notification per the contract. This letter also gives our forwarding address since we'd already found a new place and were moving out 3 weeks early.
Yesterday, we received a letter forwarded by the USPS to our new address from the court stating that our failure to respond to the small claims lawsuit against us by the landlord resulted in a default judgment in favor of the landlord. It was for one month's unpaid rent. The claim was filed on Nov. 6th, exactly one week after the walkthrough I did with the landlord. He didn't say a word about it. The default judgment notice was addressed to the house we rented from the landlord, NOT to our forwarding address. So we look up the case online and find that the summons to appear was also sent to the old address, and address he knows we're no longer at. The judgment was found against us on Dec. 1st.
So this morning we're filing a motion to dismiss the default and to bring the case back to the attention to the judge so we can give our side of the story. We're hoping the judge doesn't automatically deny our request because we have 5 days to do the request, but received the judgment letter last night, the night of the 6th day since the judgment was handed down. Appealing would be a big pain the ass.
We had a good laugh about it over beer last night and are enjoying the opportunity to thrash this dumbass, but if we didn't have lawyers in the house plus a real estate lawyer on retainer, we'd probably be really damned scared. I just wanted to convey the story because there's a lot of people on this board that are younger and in their first or second places and would be completely screwed if this happened to them.
Know your contract inside and out. Read every single clause and follow it to the letter. You don't want to be in this position.
As Wolf says, we're gonna have fun with this thing.
PLEASE DO NOT POST ANY LINKS OR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION IN THIS THREAD. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. I DO NOT WANT THIS THREAD COMING UP ON ANY SEARCH ENGINES REGARDING THE PEOPLE INVOLVED. THANK YOU.
So the other shoe drops. As required by law, the landlord sent out a letter within 30 days detailing the status of our deposit. Of course, he sends it on the 30th day and it is addressed to our old address, not forwarded to our new address. He does this because he's trying to build his case that we are still in possession of the house. This letter gets forwarded to us and we received it two days ago. In it, he states why he believes we are still in possession of the house. He says we are still in possession of a key, utilities are still on in our name at the house, and that we left things in the house. All are lies. I personally handed him all keys at the end of the walkthrough and we have a receipt from the movers showing our crap was pulled out of there before the end of the contract. So we're not worried about his allegations. He also details the charges he believes we are responsible for, including advertising to fill the space, another month of rent, damage to the house (which he claims things that we sent him letters asking him to fix and he never responded), and additional penalties based on our bad faith in the execution of the contract. That last part is important because we can prove there was no bad faith and attempting to collect on bad faith is an action in which you can counter sue, giving us another avenue for attack. The total bill he sends us is for $9,850.
We're in complete damage control mode at this point. We call every utility and have them email or fax us letters saying our accounts are closed and were satisfied before the move out date. We sign affidavits saying we turning in all keys and everything in the house was moved out and no damage was noted during the walkthrough. We collect phone logs where we called asking for confirmation of the forwarding address from him (as required in our contract that he never did).
My brother in law begins hitting the search engines to gather information for our case. We're looking for anything: prior court cases involving the landlord that had similar circumstances (he said she said stuff like the key situation we have), a list of all his properties, anything we can find in the public record about this guy. And then the gigantic HOLY BOMB drops.
In the local newspaper, in the local news roundup section, is a two line statement the week before we sent him our forwarding address (the thing he keeps claiming he never received), is a statement from the Houston Police Department that they are searching for our landlord on an aggravated sexual assault of a minor charge. He is alleged to have raped a 6 year old.
We call the police and find out that he was picked up and processed and posted bail the week we sent the letter. We also find out that he has a concealed weapon permit. Yikes. His first hearing is scheduled for January.
Yesterday morning, the judge rules on our motion. She agrees to hold a hearing to allow us to explain why we should be allowed to set aside the default judgment. We have to meet 3 criteria: That we did not knowingly and intentionally not appear, that our case is meritorious, and something else trivial and easily met. The judge schedules us for Friday morning at 9am.
And that's where we are. God bless America.
So our hearing to dismiss the judgment against us was this morning. The judge immediately rules in our favor and asks if we want to do the whole thing right now, do the re-hearing on the question of whether we were evicted or not. We say yes absolutely. He says maybe, then proceeds to launch into his "evidence". His evidence comes in three parts: that utilities were still on in our name (based on the fact that the power was on in the house), that we still have a key to the house, and that mail is still being delivered to the house. We show letters from every utility, including the power company, that our stuff was turned off, paid for, and accounts closed. We also show that the mail was forwarded with the USPS but they don't always forward (surprise!).
It quickly becomes apparent that his case rests on the key situation. He says that we didn't turn in all the keys as required. The day of the walkthrough, I turned in 3 keys of 4. My wife was out of town and had taken her key with her. I say to the judge that we turned in all keys as required by the contract, then point to the odd provision in the contract. The contract in paragraph 42 says we are required to turn in the keys given to us as stipulated in paragraph 5. Paragraph 5 says we were given 1 key (and we made 3 copies). He says he has proof we didn't turn them all in.
A week before we moved out, he sent us a letter saying we were to turn in all keys, leave the place clean, etc. However, this letter was not mentioned as an additional addendum in the contract, was not sent registered mail, was not signed by us in any way, it was just out there. His whole case rests on this letter. I misspoke initially and said we had turned in 4 keys while in court and then immediately backtracked. I remind the judge that a letter sent to us in no way supersedes the contract and he was given all keys as required. He calls me a liar and says that he made a recording of the day we did the walkthrough in which I admit I didn't turn in the keys (which is true). However, I never agreed to allow him to tape our conversation, which means that he's just admitted a crime in court.
The judge looks at him like he's crazy. The judge says that she's going to rule in favor of the defandants (us) because, as she said it, there's a whole ball of wax showing that we had vacated and one sliver of wax saying we didn't and she has to account for all actions taken. She asks the landlord if he wants her to rule on the issue right now. He says no. She says he could also just agree to drop the complaint in which time none of this would have happened. We say we don't want that, we want a ruling. She says we should all get together and negotiate. We say there will never be negotiation now or in the future, period. We say our case is solid and why would we negotiate when the evidence is clear? He says he is willing to drop the complain if we are willing to state that we never returned all "access devices", which is code for he's going to continue to go after us for the $9800. We say no absolutely not, the only thing we are willing to accept is a ruling from the judge on the issue of the eviction. She says the landlord has the right to wait and have the hearing again at a later time or dismiss since he brought the suit. He wants it rescheduled. She again mentions that as it stands, even with the key situation, she sees nothing that would change the ruling in favor the defendants.
So we're going back. Next Friday, 9:00am.
In the hall as we're all leaving, a woman and a small child walk past. I say loudly "that kid's what, 6 years old or so?" He immediately turns and leaves.
And that's where we are. Good times.
At some point between the hearing last Friday and yesterday afternoon, Mr. Landlord realized the mistake that he made that will be one of the cornerstones of our counter suit. On November 30, Mr. Landlord sent us a "preliminary statement of charges" for the house. This is the one that said he wanted $9850. On it he details several "bad faith" charges that form the majority of the costs. I think in total he wanted $6000 or so for "bad faith use of the deposit" and "bad faith regarding eviction proceedings" or something like that. Really way out there stuff. It's pretty obvious that the language smashes through some Texas consumer protection acts (I know, I was just as shocked as you are that Texas has strong deceptive trade practice protections). Anyway, he calls my wife yesterday and leaves a message that he wants her email address so he can send a "revised statement of charges". He's quite friendly and the call gives the general impression that he wants to slow down and come to agreement. We're 100% certain that these charges will be removed and that he wants to try to bargain as if he's doing us a favor and go on to a future where the 1st statement never happened. Lucky us! I called him back and left a message saying that any correspondence was to be via mail to the address of record (per the contract) and that he is no longer to attempt to contact us outside of that medium. Helpfully, he has also now satisfied another condition required of us to prove bad faith in our our upcoming suit. The state of Texas requires a full and complete accounting of all charges within 30 days of move out. Texas law is quite serious about this. *Anything* other than a full and complete accounting represents an automatic qualification of bad faith and that comes with an automatic award of three times the deposit, plus the deposit in full without the ability of the landlord to take money for any alleged damage to the place of residence.
Our initial response to this contact was to believe that he had gotten an attorney that had shown him just how much liability his actions were carrying, but our attorneys have said no way because the obvious admission of bad faith that comes with the revisions just puts him on the hook worse. He's now between a rock and a hard place: to admit that the charges were spurious means we win on bad faith claims needed for 3x deposit, to take them back means we win on the consumer protection angle. In reality we're going to go for both. We love this new train of thought though. He's now spending time on defense instead of offense. He's now realized that this thing is really going to kick into high gear after Friday and that we're not anywhere near ready to let this thing end as a petty negotiation over a deposit.
Still waiting for his suit to come to completion this Friday. Man, to say we can't wait is the understatement of the century.
This morning, despite my requirement that he not contact us by email, he did so. He sent it to to me, my wife, and one of the other tenants. In the new "revised" settlement offer is no mention of any of the previous bad faith charges, rent charges, and most of the ridiculousness. We originally started with a $1500 judgment against us and a settlement offer of $9,850, us paying him. The email offer he sent this morning was to dismiss the case, sign away any future action against him, and that he would return $725 of our deposit. His usual snake-y self, it did not say anything about any suits brought by him against us in the future.
The four of us conferenced this morning and it quickly broke into three camps. Me, completely unwilling to even acknowledge the offer. My wife and tenant A, not having strong opinions either way, and tenant B, strongly wanting to accept and end the litigation. My wife and tenant A were leaning towards tenant B's position since Mr. Landlord will probably be in prison for the next 7-10 years, he'll have nothing to do but sue, appeal, and be raped, making the suing and appealing that much more appealing, as it gets him out of prison for a day each time. I threaten to go alone on it if they accept his offer. The others offer me a compromise: counter offer for the entire sum and if he doesn't accept it, then I get to make all decisions from here on out. If he does accept and returns the money, then we let it go. I agree but demand that I get to draw up the terms.
I write one of the nastiest, most unconscionable offers I can put together, but it gets vetoed on the basis that it provides too much insight into our future plans for lawsuit should he not accept. It ends up getting watered down and comes down to us demanding that he waive all future action, we do the same, and he gives us the money back. We send it over to him.
He calls me to negotiate. I tell him to piss off and hang up. I call my wife and tell her to expect the call. She calls back 15 minutes later and says he agrees to all of the conditions except the money. The contract specifically calls for $225 to be used to clean the place, floors, carpet, shit like that. We agreed to that clause at the time because we were hard up for a place. I tell her that if the others agree, I'll go along and won't go crazy over $112 if they agree to attend Mr. Landlord's criminal court dates and ridicule him outside the courthouse and as much in the courthouse as the law permits. I also demand that they help me canvass his properties to tell the tenants about what's happened here and his criminal charges. They of course take the offer immediately.
We're meeting at the court tomorrow to watch him kill the lawsuit and to sign the settlement offer. The second the ink is dry I'm going to turn into the gigantic taunting asshole only seen on display in my posts in the Vs. forum. I've been reduced to being pissed off, but at the same time I can't wait to see his face when we show up at his court date calling him every name we can think of. If it was up to me, we'd be stomping this guy into dust.
So that's that. No more updates unless something else crazy happens, which now that I write that it actually seems pretty possible.
So we're sitting in court this morning waiting to go. Mr. Landlord walks in at 8:58, walks up to us, and asks us if we're ready to sign the settlement. We say yes. He says he has the check for $725. I immediately burst out laughing. My wife asks what's going on. He says the offer of $1200 was only good yesterday and that that was communicated to her in the phone call and in the email he sent last night. The email in its entirety:
Tenant B says we have nothing left to discuss. He sits down and the judge comes in. They do one other case before us, and I get a dirty look from the bailiff for laughing out loud during the proceedings. We go up there and the judge asks us if there is a settlement. My wife says there was but that Mr. Landlord reneged at 8:59. He turns into a politician and says "your honor, as usual you're getting half truths. I offered the settlement on the condition it was completed yesterday". She asks again if there is no settlement. We say "No, your honor". Without another word, she says she finds in favor of the defendants (us) and that the plaintiff has 5 days to appeal. We all turn around and leave. I notice Mr. Landlord hauling ass for the door. I hurry to follow him out. He gets to the elevator and presses the button. When it opens, I step in before and turn around. He looks hesitant but comes in. We're the only ones in there. As soon as the door closes, I see him reach in his pocket and turn on the recorder. I take a step towards him, fully facing him. I want him to be close enough that he can smell my breath. He says loudly "what are you doing Mr. Speed Racer?" I said "I just wanted to say thank you. That's it. Thank you". I'm grinning from ear to ear and he looks genuinely frightened. The doors open and he rushes out. I go back up and the family is waiting. My wife said she was afraid the doors were going to be open and I would be standing there covered in Mr. Landlord's blood. The other tenants and the wife are furious. I can't stop laughing.
I offer $1,200 to settle this matter and offer my apologies for any misunderstandings that may have occured. I feel, I stated what I expected clearly in the move-out instructions letter along with the consequences and the only forwarding address I had for you was inaccurate.
Nothing was done to "slip by you". You should have gotten notice of service with mail forwarding as a part of alternative service. However, if you didn't then it was the Constable's or perhaps the post office' fault and not for any deception on my part.
There will be no more deals or negotiation.
He has 5 days to appeal the eviction decision. We're hoping he does so so we can countersue in response without having to spend money to file the suit. If not, we're going to sue anyway.
It's mother fucking on like Donkey Kong.
Once again, he finds a way to surprise us. We wait the five days. We call the courts. We check the mail every day. Nothin. We start to worry, thinking maybe he appealed and served the old house again and is trying to hide it from us. We look everywhere. Nothing. A couple of days ago, we begin to start moving forward on the assumption that he did not appeal and is waiting to see what our next move is. So we begin building the case we're going to go in with. We decide to start with a single issue and go from there based on how we do in court: bad faith accounting charges against our deposit. The papers are drawn up and we're ready to file tomorrow. I'm actually thankful and thinking that the next update to this thread will be short. So of course yesterday afternoon we get his "new" offer.
This offer comes in two parts: good cop and bad cop. Good cop letter wants to do us a favor and end all this fighting. Good cop letter states that (real quotes) "I am in effect turning back the clock and offering you a fair amount as if you had properly moved out ...But, for the interest of peace I am making this offer to settle all matters." He then regurgitates the accounting that leaves us with him giving us $700, the same deal he offered at the court when he backed out of the real deal we'd made. But the real cherry on top is his generous explanation of the law to us (a house with a lawyer). Just a quick reminder, in the last check we also attached a letter asking for repairs to be made. Our front door lock had broken and I put my foot through the back deck "Money Pit" style because it was rotting off the house. Anywho:
Whew! Thank god he's on our side here, explainin the laws n stuff. Except he's wrong about our intent. He thinks we're going to sue for an extra $100 over dumb shit like a repair. We could care less. We're actually suing for $6k. How bout more?
FYI, your attempt to establish a breach of contract by asking for repairs in your move-out notice [ed. note: it was actually with our last check, not with the move out notice that was given to him a month earlier] was obvious since people don't ask for repairs when they are moving. But regardless, several things have to happen through both the contract and statutory law to establish a breach for which your remedies would then only be to terminate the lease or to repair and deduct.
Someone get me Leonard Crabs! We got a live one. The threat of $12k comes from the nasty letter.
I would suggest talking to an attorney about this "legal theory" before having everyone risk getting a $12,000 judgment just to try to get more money than you would otherwise be entitled to had you properly moved out.
The other letter is much nastier. The only real highlights are that he's now included December rent (lulz) and court costs for the case we won (epic lulz) bringing the new bad cop nastygram happy funtime imaginary total to $11,801.06 (accruing 18% monthly still of course). He's trying to scare us out of suing for repair damages by inflating the costs he's demanding, which is what we're actually suing him for. I mean, wow. Make it easier why don't you?
This guy. I love this guy. We changed our lawsuit to better handle his new bout of psychosis and will file today or tomorrow. Oh, and he delayed the first hearing of his rape case. Now it's set for the end of this month. Good times.
Three days ago we got an email from him asking if we had received his good cop, bad cop letters. He also said that he had sold the house he was living in and is living in another of his houses (another rental of his). We called the court and gave them the new address and they hadn't tried to serve him yet. Who knows how long they'll take. Jerks.
We decided to take the opportunity to go back through everything we have and reexamine it. While scanning, I figured I'd drop some red meat in this thread. The first doc is the original accounting I talked about in the 1st update to the original post. The 2nd and 3rd are the good cop bad cop letters we got in the update before this one. Addresses blacked out to protect the guilty.
Quick note on the "escutcheon" charge. The foundation is bad on the house and is causing major cracks. Like, 5 foot cracks across the ceiling of the dining room. Like whoa. There is a hanging light in the dining room. The crack caused the little brass plate thing where the hanging light meets the ceiling to fall down. Of course, he wants money for that. The front lock and electrical connection in the bathroom were noted in a letter we sent for repair. He wants money for that too. Apparently a loose toilet (that was loose when we moved in) was our fault too. The cable internet guy moved 2 anchors on the outside of the house to hook up the cable. Another charge against us. We still haven't figured out the postage thing.
We called a few weeks ago asking for the status of our suit. The court we filed in (the same one the 1st hearings were in, we want the same judge) said the venue had been moved because we no longer lived in the area where the original court was. When we pointed out that the defendant lived in the area serviced by the court, they agreed to take the case. We finally got the letter from the court yesterday giving us a court date of May 11th and requiring us to have him served. So that's what's up.
When you're evicting, you can fast track through the court because they're normally open and shut cases and the landlord is financially harmed by a prolonged court battle, so the courts try to help em out. That's how he got us so quickly.
We get to wait.
So he's dodging the summons. We are required to have him served with the court notice. Most people think that means they have to physically hand you the notice or have you sign for it or something of that nature. Apparently Mr. Landlord thinks that anyway. He's refused signature to our registered mail and refuses to answer his phone. We've sent the registered mail, left 5 messages, and emailed twice. This morning the wife went to the courthouse to see how this is handled. If we can show good faith effort attempts to notify, the court said that's good enough. So we notarized some affidavits attesting that we've tried our best, along with copies of the emails with dates, phone logs showing attempted calls (and calls he's made to us from that number, proving it's his), and the returned letter.
I changed phone numbers a couple of weeks ago and knew he would answer the phone if I called from my new one, so I was the one to call him. When I called, he answered immediately. I said "This is speedracer, I need your physical address because the one you gave us is wrong." He screams into the phone "HELLO HELLO I CAN'T HEAR YOU" and hangs up. Haha. Funny guy. I call back and a spanish speaker answers the phone. He has 2 spanish speakers (that both speak english, I've talked to them both in person before) that work for him on his properties and he handed it to him. He's done it before. So the guy says hola and I say put the landlord on the phone. He says no comprende and hangs up. I call a third time and and say just hand him the phone. The guy actually seems to think about it for a second before mumbling "no comprende". I tell the guy to just do me a favor and say out loud "we're suing you". He gives me an "mmmmmmmm" thinking about it sound on the phone before another "no comprende". I say alrighty man, have a good one and then hang up.
I can't wait to throw a lien on this asshole.
So a lawyer friend spent the weekend reminding us that we wouldn't be seeing a dime anyway because unsecured creditors get paid roughly never, especially with no regular wages of his to go after. Long story short, the other 3 pressured me to offer to settle again. Cept now one of em is torturing me with thoughts of her worry being bad for my fetus. Evil woman.
I just emailed the offer. Full security deposit return and we'll waive the lawsuit and everyone walks away. Otherwise we'll see him next Tuesday.
Naturally he didn't respond to the offer from the last update. Thank god. It made my wife happy that I tried.
Judgment Day. Scheduled for 1pm. Also heard that his "other" court issue is going to trial June 1st. He chose a jury trial for that one. Will update again after the hearing.
We get to court. There's about 9 cases to be heard. There are 6 mediators there and the judge requires us to go to mediation. So we go and sit with the mediator in a separate room with the landlord. The mediator gives a 15 minute speech about how nothing said in the room is binding and he's not a judge and his job is to try to find resolution without wasting the judge's time, yadda yadda. He asks for opening positions. My wife gives the greatest speech I've ever heard. She was a damn rock star. She explains the eviction case and points out that we are not here to re-litigate and that we're here solely on the question of whether or not his accounting letters are bad faith. She lays out the case and it's bullet proof. She finishes and the landlord takes his turn. He goes on for 20 minutes about the key we didn't return. He gives zero facts related to the case at hand. When he's done it's clear that he still has no idea why we're suing him. The mediator asks him to leave the room and then asks us for a dollar figure we would be willing to settle for. The other tenants are strong on $1500, the amount of the security deposit. I say no, that leaves us with nothing but our own money and we negotiate to $2000. I'm getting steam rolled but at the same time, I have to live with these people. I point out that no matter the number he won't agree so it doesn't matter anyway and we should demand maximum dollars. Doesn't work. The mediator leaves with the $2000 number to speak to the landlord. He comes back and says the landlord has countered with $750, $700 of the deposit and half the court costs. We say we're done with mediation. The mediator invites the landlord back in the room and says we've come to an impasse. The landlord begins complaining that we're "trying to extract a pound of flesh because we hate him" (which is true, eff him) and about half way through the next sentence I stand up and say "so, we're done here right? We're not required to stay is that correct?" The mediator thanks us for our time and we walk back into the court. All but 1 other group of people are gone, so mediation worked for everyone else.
The judge calls us forward. She says a couple of things that make it obvious that she doesn't remember us. Shit. The judge begins asking about the charges against our deposit. My wife says that's not what we're here to litigate, we're here on the question of whether he has shown bad faith by claiming obviously false charges against the deposit. The landlord produces the $700 offer and says that's what we should be working from. We show the two "offers" of $9850 and $11,800 and say that's what we're working from. The judge begins to talk about the charges on the $700 offer and my wife cuts her off and says that that's specifically NOT what this suit is about. The judge smiles and says we have the right to appeal.
Goddamn it. Just like that. The judge goes through the charges one by one. The landlord plays his final ace in the hole.
In the contract was a really odd provision that none of us could figure out. It said that we were getting the house at below market value, $75 per month at below market value. Why would someone put that in a contract, just floating out there? What the hell does that even mean? The landlord says that the $75 is a discount, acknowledged by the tenants, and that it covers the first $50 of every single "maintenance" problem with the house. Therefore, we are responsible for ALL maintenance issues with the house at $50 each. We're looking at each other like WTF. We realize we're about to get friggin spanked and we begin looking at each other with wide eyes (giving each other "holy shit" looks).
My wife pulls it together and reminds the judge that Texas law says that tenants cannot be held liable for normal wear and tear (thank god for that law degree) and that cannot be contracted away even if we agreed and signed it. The judge agrees and goes down the list of what is normal wear and tear. The landlord wants it all, the judge gives him $200 worth. He begins complaining and she straight up says "you don't even understand what has happened here. You can appeal for five days, but trust me that you may want to give that a second thought. This is a lose-lose, but it won't stay that way in front of another judge".
Yea. No shit.
She finds that the landlord owes us $1250 plus court costs. The landlord asks if we can negotiate again. My wife laughs and asks why, with a judgment in hand for $1350, we would negotiate. He says he will pay us in the next 5 days if we agree to drop the lawsuit. I guess he didn't want a judgment against him on the record. I say no, absolutely not. I say we will take cash or cashier's check by close of business today. He says that's unreasonable. I say he has 2 hours to go to bank and get back and that's plenty of time. He asks the judge for help. The judge says all she's got for him is a judgment and if he wants the suit dropped he needs to talk to us. He asks for more time. I say no.
At this point, it was clear to me (and all of us I think) that he had no intention of ever paying us on a future date. The only carrot we had left was the promise to drop the suit. He says he will get the money and come back. My wife and one of the other tenants stays at the court house to wait for him to come back with the money. I go run some errands, buy a big cigar, and go back to the court house with 15 minutes to go. I stand out front and smoke the cigar, laughing the whole time.
He never comes back. At 5pm, the judgment is entered against the landlord.
We have to wait a month until we can put a lien on his property. I'm going to go knock on the doors of his other tenants and explain exactly what he did to us, what the bullshit in the contract means, and tell em about his rape charges. I'm going to go to his current neighbors and tell them about the criminal charges. I'm going to try to go to his court date on for the criminal charges. With judgment in hand and him stiffing us again, I have support from the others to exert pressure. So that's what I'm gonna do.
So yea. Good times.
I called him and got his voicemail. I left a message and said that the judgment has been entered and that for whatever reason he didn't show up yesterday is water under the bridge. I said that I would like to set up a time and place to meet up and pick up the cash or cashier's check. I also said that I know we're all busy people so if he can't meet us by the end of the month, then we could meet him at the court house since we know he's going to be there on June 1st. Let's hope he takes the hint.
The landlord was arrested last night on "four new child sex assault charges". While home yesterday afternoon, police arrived at his home to arrest him. He literally ran away from police YESTERDAY AFTERNOON and then was found last night and arrested at a hotel.
Just a quick side note for entertainment purposes. One of our many summons to his house returned with "VACANT" written across the letter. I cruised past it a couple of times and he wasn't home. He has multiple properties so we thought he was dodging us. He might have been dodging the police the whole time. If you were guilty of violent crimes, you're definitely going to get to pay a gigantic sum.
We have this lovely daydream going that he had liquidated his savings and stashed it in the house. The cops had been watching it for days if not weeks. I mean seriously, what are the chances the cops walk up in the small window he's in the house? When the judgment was handed down, he actually did want to pay us off to keep it off the record. He goes to the house which springs the cops and on comes the whole running and arrest thing.
That's now the official story according to us. Seriously, how fucking awesome would that be?
My wife would like to point out that he probably only has one doodoo hole. Well, had anyway.
I'm waiting for a fucking meteor to fall from the sky. This can't get any crazier.
On Tuesday, police said, he fled behind a garage apartment in the 4300 block of Polk as officers arrived at his home to take him into custody on four new child sex assault charges. Minutes later, according to court records, a young man who lived in a house behind [LANDLORD] told police his neighbor tried to kick in his front door.
Investigators said [LANDLORD] then jumped in to a car with a woman who was returning home. He demanded that she drive him away, she said.
Prosecutors filed a charge of kidnapping after the woman told police she was in fear for her life because of [LANDLORD]'s demeanor. He did not brandish a weapon.
She said [LANDLORD] jumped out of the car about a mile away and later was apprehended at a Houston motel, officials said. He is being held in the Harris County jail without bail.
Police recovered a pistol from [LANDLORD]'s vehicle. He has a license to carry a concealed weapon.
New sex allegations
The most recent sexual assault charges stem from allegations from a second victim, an 8-year-old girl, who came forward in February while authorities investigated [LANDLORD].
Assistant District Attorney Justin Keiter said [LANDLORD] was charged Tuesday on three counts of continuous sexual assault of a child and one of super-aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Typically, a super-aggravated offense is a combination of a first-degree sexual assault committed on a child under the age of six.
The enhanced charges are products of new laws that carry a minimum of 25 years in prison without chance of parole or diminution of the sentence.
The former Brookline Elementary third-grade teacher resigned from Houston Independent School District in January 2001, days after allegations surfaced that he digitally penetrated a 10-year-old student several times under a blanket during different “movie times.”
He was charged with sexual assault of a child. The charges later were dismissed at the request of the girl.
[HE] began working for HISD on Jan. 6, 1997. He was a bilingual teacher for two years, then became a third-grade teacher. State officials revoked [LANDLORD]'s teaching certificate in 2007. It was unclear Wednesday how [LANDLORD] now makes a living.
He's now on the hook for kidnapping, carjacking, and the 4 new aggravated sexual assault charges.
I told them how he makes a living.
His court appearance for the new charges is scheduled for this morning. God I wish I could be there for it. Will update if any media carries the story.
Now would be the perfect time for him to go all an hero.
Aww. Y so sad?
God bless Texas.
A former Brookline Elementary School teacher will spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually assaulting two girls, ages 7 and 8, one of whom was 5 when the assaults began, a Harris County jury decided Thursday. [Shitbag slumlord], 38, was castigated by the girls' mother in a victim's impact statement, calling him a "pathetic little man." "You taught those girls to fear the world," she said. "Most likely they will carry the scars of your actions until their dying day."
[Shitbag slumlord] will never be eligible for parole after being convicted of continuous sexual assault of a child, a new law that punishes two or more incidents of molestation when they happen more than 30 days apart, prosecutors said.
"May God forgive you, for I doubt I ever will," the mother said.
Can it get crazier? Of course it can. http://abclocal.go.c...ocal&id=7722779
[Shitbag slumlord]'s ex-wife, Jennifer, testified in court Wednesday that [Shitbag slumlord] was into fantasy sex, especially father/daughter fantasies. She said that he would make her scream, "Stop, daddy. You're hurting me, daddy." Jennifer testified that she didn't like it, but went along with it to keep him happy.
As for our part. We put a lien on 6 of his properties in June. Last month an attorney representing the city contacted us about negotiating for the removal of the liens because they want to auction the houses for back taxes. We're negotiating with them but neither side is in a hurry.
If you look closely, you will have noticed some inconsistencies in my story. The "forgetting to give him all the keys" thing I honestly didn't remember until he said it. His own stupid contract screwed him on that one. Some other stuff I omitted or changed. I tried to keep numbers and things fudged for awhile, but meh. Screw it.
The elevator seems to be a favorite scene. As soon as the doors closed, I got as close as I could. He started fumbling with his jacket. I said "You dumb mother fucker we're going to fucking own you when this is done." He got on the recorder and said "What are you doing Mr. Speed racer?" And the rest was true.
And my daughter, who I posted about in real time in this thread when we found out about her existence, is now 2 months old as of yesterday.
And that should be about the end. So yea. Read your contract. And maybe do a google search on your landlord.
I've gotten a couple of requests for an up to the minute update because of the thread of the year thing. We have liens on 6 of his properties. We were sued by various government entities a few months back to remove our liens because he hadn't paid taxes on them (you cannot sell a house with liens, so it's just standard legal stuff to have us remove them). We responded to their lawsuit but before we could get to court, Mr. Landlord or whoever is handling his situation paid the taxes and they backed off. So we're back to just waiting for him to sell them. The other thing that might happen is the people that had kids he messed with might sue for damages in civil court to take his houses and stuff. If that happens, we're going to lift the liens and just let them have the money. We won't find out until the next time we're sued/contacted to remove them.
The prosecutors didn't bother charging Mr. Landlord with anything else (carjacking, etc.) because the charges he got hit with include multiple life sentences and he's never getting out ever ever ever. So he's done.
And that's that.
Edited by speedracer, 15 April 2011 - 01:46 PM.