Post Number: 784
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 3:03 pm: || |
I rented a space from Russell Industrial Center (RIC) on a month-to-month basis. Their leasing manager said it was no problem, was aware I may only be there for one month (November, to write a novel), but said I would need to give the standard security deposit (2 months' rent). I said okay, wrote a check, and signed the month-to-month lease.
A while later, he asked that I stop by the office to sign another "copy" of the lease for their files. I did, it was opened to the signature page, and I signed what I believed to be a copy of my lease, as requested.
My mistake--first time ever I trusted a relaxed and friendly environment, and signed something without reading it. I did so based on the relationship and because I believed it to simply be a copy of the existing lease. It wasn't. It was a one-year lease, contrary the original lease and understanding of all involved.
I've moved out, and they refuse to return my security deposit, based on the year lease with my signature. I spoke with the owner this morning, in person, with a copy of my original lease, and he said oh well, we are going with the other one (only not as nicely, and throughout much reasoned dialogue on my part).
I'm not sure that I have a legal leg to stand on, but the fact is that we both have signed leases, so I wonder which would stand in court. I also have an e-mail record with the leasing manager spelling out his understanding that is has always been a month-to-month agreement.
It's a lot of money. :/
Post Number: 1075
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 3:13 pm: || |
Good thing you saved your original lease! I would let them know you plan to take the matter to court. There are some resources out there like "It's the law" in Eastpointe, they may be able to assist you with filling out the right forms. Therefore you can represent your self and not have to spend the money to hire a lawyer. Once the other side sees that you are serious, they would be smart to weigh dropping the matter vs. their legal fees, they would not likely self represent.
Post Number: 1641
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 3:24 pm: || |
i have no advice, all i can do is wish you luck
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 3:35 pm: || |
Yeah, good luck, Amy. I'll tell you who I will not do business with...
Post Number: 133
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 3:42 pm: || |
I agree with Cambrian, and not that it means much but I wish you well! Economy in Detroit is bad so landlords are looking for a BIG return on their investment. Plus you must also consider the source, the New Center area has always been filed with ripoff artists.
Post Number: 1076
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 3:45 pm: || |
They're hoping she'll pay them instead of going to court. What happens if she does not pay though? Then the onus to go to court would be on them, where she could then present her case. More then likely it will just be a bad mark on the credit report, where she can have the three agencies put "in dispute" next to the entry.
Post Number: 831
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 4:17 pm: || |
I suggest writing a demand letter, i.e. a letter saying give me back my money or I will take this matter to court, prior to filing papers with the court.
Post Number: 1642
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 4:21 pm: || |
They're hoping she'll pay them instead of going to court
if they're demanding 10-11 months of rent, a lawyer would probably be cheaper than paying up
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 4:58 pm: || |
I think that there's a free legal clinic at WSU. They don't do litigation, but could probably give you free advice.
Post Number: 9166
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 5:40 pm: || |
Whoo-hoo, another testimony against our dear slumoverlord Denis the Greek (who doesn't own the Shores Inn).
The best for you Amy_p.
You might get really good results if you call Rose Daher, (313) 963-9129 or email@example.com ...many folks know her, she's a mover and shaker attorney to the 'stars' down here and might be able to clear this up with a phone call.
Tell her I sent you, and that you are worth a huge discount. (I'm sure I'll hear about it later, she just moved into my building!)
I don't know her personally yet, but from the number of people she's delivered favorable outcomes for that I DO personally know...she is high on my list of 'who you gonna call' when the excrement hits those moving blades.
Post Number: 473
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 8:12 pm: || |
If you have the email records and the original lease, you should be alright. Make it clear to the owner that you haev these two documents, that you will not be paying the extra rent, and that you will be taking them to court. If I had to bet, I would think he would quickly clear this up after that.
Post Number: 1164
|Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 9:27 pm: || |
This is a commercial lease, yes? I assume it is from the name but I'm not familiar with the property and you never know with the way some of these converted lofts are named : )
If so, as Whisper128 said, we do have a free legal aid clinic at WSU Law School available to small businesses and non-profits...
You'll want to contact Professor Dana Roach at 313-577-3961 to set up an appointment...also, see the link below for more information...
Post Number: 785
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 10:19 am: || |
Thank you, everyone, for the great information and thoughts, onlist and off. Thejesus, it is a commercial building, but I rented as a just a person, not a business. I am considering options based on all the knowledge pouring in.
I really appreciate you all.
Post Number: 1078
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 2:52 pm: || |
It's just too bad that some jerk can turn something positive; like offering an old inner city factory that would normally be a blight to the city as a viable up to date work space into something negative by being dishonest. Like people really need more excuses to look out side of Detroit for space.
Post Number: 632
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 5:26 pm: || |
In 2005 the MI Su. Ct. issued its opinion in a case for which I don't have the name and cite since I/m not in my office. Could get it for you Monday if necessary. The case was very significant because it removed from MI judges the ability to hold contracts "unreasonable." In other words if you sign a rental car contract containing 1000's of words which are barely readable and which no one ever reads, you're stuck with it. The Court sanctified even so-called "contracts of adhesion", those in which there is a vast difference in the bargaining power of the parties.
The case was the most far reaching contract case in years and changed the accepted "rules" of contract law radically.
I'd say your best bet is to argue that you were fraudulently induced to enter into the one year lease. However, the fact you signed it without reading it puts you way behind the 8 ball. And, the landlord is not going to intimidated at all by your willingness to put up a fight, even if you get a good lawyer. Settle. Lot's of luck.
Post Number: 809
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 5:43 pm: || |
Take em to small claims court Amy. The first contract you signed is the one that controls. The only way the second one applies is if something in there expressly revoked the first one.
Post Number: 5312
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 6:20 pm: || |
jjaba's father, alva sholem, ran the envelope factory in the Russell and Clay bldg., first floor in the 1960s. Had he still been with us today, he would have loaned you an office to write your novel at no rent.
About all you'd owe him was an occasional glass of tea or a Vernor's. And papa would show anybody how to fucking survive in a huge world of gonnovim.
jjaba, Westside Bar Mitzvah Bukkor.
Post Number: 809
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 6:22 pm: || |
Jjaba, I hear you can clear up gonnovim with a little penicillin.
Post Number: 5315
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 6:33 pm: || |
There's a great Klezmer song,
"When you kiss a goniff, count your teeth..."
Rrl, if you wanna visit gonnovim, stop by at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. Once a goniff, always a goniff.
jjaba, oy veyesmere.
Post Number: 634
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 8:00 pm: || |
Post Number: 635
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 8:12 pm: || |
Amy: I re-read your 1st post and the fact that you have an email acknowledgment that you were only monthly does help your case because now an evidentiary issue exists. The date of the email is important. It helps if it's dated after the 1 year lease because it can be deemed an admission against the landlord's interest and bolsters your fraudulent inducement argument.
This may be designed merely to keep your deposit (2nd month's rent) and I'd write it off, unless you can get a lawyer to handle it for nothing as a favor. Get concerned if the landlord sues you for unpaid rent, which may not happen, especially if the landlord's lawyer is aware of the email you mentioned. There'd have to be an awfully lot of money involved to go to trial on this kind of case.
Post Number: 1436
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 8:33 pm: || |
I know a guy named Bruno who breaks femurs if all else fails..............
Post Number: 5317
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 11:52 pm: || |
Ray1936, send Amy p. Bruno's email address.