Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after eviction

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Latest post 01-13-2013 2:13 PM by adjuster jack. 7 replies.
  • 01-13-2013 12:14 PM

    Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after eviction

    I recently was asked to move out by hostile roommates who wanted a friend of theirs to move in. I spoke with a tenant's hotline and they told me legally I didn't have to move out. I did move out anyway. I am not on the lease at all and none of the current tenants have a written lease with the landlord. I was harassed in the house and was told I was not able to leave my bedroom.

    They are now saying that I did not give 30 days notice when I moved out and wanted me to pay the full month's rent, even though I moved out 10 days into the month. Now they are saying they will sue me for unpaid bills as well. I have no agreement with them, and now they are asking me to pay bills for 10 days of this month too. They have given me no copies of any of the bills, so for all I know they are just making up the amounts they are asking.

    They are also claiming that because I left a mini fridge behind they will be able to continue to charge me rent while my property occupies the space and claim they are going to also sue me for the rent until I pick up my property. My old roommate has been sending me threatening text messages and came to my work yesterday to "serve" me with a handwritten letter warning me to return the key and pay the bills or else they will sue. I was very shaken up at work and wonder if I have a case for harassment. My boss did not look favorably on my roommate drama being brought into the workplace.

    Mostly though I'm wondering if their claims will hold up in court. Any help is appreciated.

  • 01-13-2013 1:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after eviction

    There is no "trying" to sue. There is only sue or not sue.

    You aren't being sued until you are served with a summons and complaint.

    I think your roommate is full of hot air and that his claims won't hold up in court.

    If you are willing to give up the mini-fridge I suggest you return the keys, block his calls, block his email, and have no further discussion with him other than maybe one time more to tell him to back off or you will file a restraining order for harassment. Then, if he still bothers you, go ahead and file one. Never make a threat that you cannot back up.

    And I hope you have the sense to never get involved in a roommate situation ever again. If this site is any indication, they all seem to end in disaster. Get an efficiency apartment. If you can't afford that, go live with your parents until you can.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 01-13-2013 1:22 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-08-2001
    • TX
    • Posts 7,429

    Re: Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after eviction

    rosegermain:
    Mostly though I'm wondering if their claims will hold up in court.

    There is absolutely no way that anybody could accurately predict what would happen if they actually took you to court.  That said, if they pursue you in small claims court which is inexpensive and informal, you will get to tell your side of the story.  If they prevail, then they have to figure out how to collect any judgement against you.

    rosegermain:
    I recently was asked to move out

    Asked or demanded?  Big difference.  IN your subject line you mention eviction, but it sounds like you left voluntarily.  Big difference.

    rosegermain:
    I spoke with a tenant's hotline and they told me legally I didn't have to move out.
     

    Maybe you should have listened to that advice.

    rosegermain:
    was told I was not able to leave my bedroom.

    Are you like eight years old?  Come on!

    rosegermain:
    Now they are saying they will sue me
     

    Saying and actually sueing are two different things.  Until they actually sue you, ignore them.

    rosegermain:
    My old roommate has been sending me threatening text messages and came to my work yesterday to "serve" me with a handwritten letter warning me to return the key and pay the bills or else they will sue.

    Report the threats to law enforcement if you believe that they are serious.  If your ex-roommate shows up at work again, ask your boss to call the police and have her removed.  Return the key and forget the mini-fridge.

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 01-13-2013 1:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after evicti...

    To clarify, I left the mini fridge because I didn't want it, now they are saying according to Texas laws I have to pay rent if my property occupies the space.

  • 01-13-2013 1:36 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-08-2001
    • TX
    • Posts 7,429

    Re: Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after evicti...

    rosegermain:
    now they are saying according to Texas laws I have to pay rent if my property occupies the space.

    Unless your ex-roommate is a licensed attorney in TX or quotes you chapter and verse on this "law", continue to ignore him/her.  If you want to mess with that person, read up on the legal concept of bailment and maybe he ends up having to store the fridge for an extended period of time.  Anybody can say anything they want, but that doesn't make it fact.  No matter how many times they say it.

    IMHO, I would cut off any and all communications, forget the fridge, etc and don't sweat it until you are actually served with a lawsuit. 

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 01-13-2013 2:04 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,103

    Re: Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after evicti...

    So far it reads like your EX RM's are full of hot air or some other stuff

    As a retired LL I suggest you tune them out--keep good records of all thier supposed claims and don't respond to their dribble.

    Whether you ignore the refrig or go pick it up I think is a bit of a toss up as to legal merits of its being out of there....but it seems to me you allowed  RM's to walk all over you and you might not want that twice.. but if you do go -they owe it to you in same condition you left it--not trashed.... take pictures ---then if you don't want it take it to Goodwill or trash can as appropriate  (be careful of freon disposal issues.) Me, If I put some small refrig out on trash day it often disappears in minutes....



  • 01-13-2013 2:09 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,103

    Re: Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after evicti...

    Might be smarter if you have no clue about a key --key + stuff there might be  a failure to surrender --don't invite stupid response from enemy.



  • 01-13-2013 2:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Roommates trying to sue me for unpaid bills after evicti...

    rosegermain:

    To clarify, I left the mini fridge because I didn't want it, now they are saying according to Texas laws I have to pay rent if my property occupies the space.

    I'm pretty sure that's not what TX law states.

    But there is an issue that you still have the keys and, in a sense, having the keys and leaving an item of property behind could mean that you have not surrendered the premises which means you could owe rent until you do.

    On the other hand, you have the issue that the roommate kicked you out.

    Meantime, if you want to see what the law actually says, here it is:

    http://law.justia.com/codes/texas/2009/property-code/title-8-landlord-and-tenant/

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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