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#1 <Steve>

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:09 PM

Hello DaveT & Everyone-

I have a question, for lack of a better word, I will call it "The legal process" in my situation.

Last year I was in a l/o with a seller. I was thinking of possibly purchasing it as a rental property. I ended up having to give the property back to the seller a few months early at which time the seller took back the property. Four months later the seller sends me a letter and demands thousands of dollars in damages which are false. I meet with the seller and try, but am unable to work anything out. Another month goes by and I receive a letter from the sellers attorney demanding more money and legal/attorney fees and then some. In turn I get an attorney, who request proof of damages from the seller. Another 4 months later I receive cost estimates and what seems to be work completed.

Again trying to settle this as per my attorney's past advise, I offer to pay the seller the rents that were left on our L/O agreement, about 3 months, and I give the seller 30 days to decide (not another 4 months). I am now representing myself at least for the time being. And have received a call from the sellers attorney wanting to go over specifics and the attorney says we can probably work this out.

Now the basics I have just mentioned sound good and it seems like things are getting resolved; but there are a lot of details to this situation. It is really a lot of play on words I think (you know BS). Well, being new to lawsuits, I guess my concern is that by meeting with the seller and attorney, I my say things that might hurt me if this should go to litigation. However, my attorney said I could negotiate this myself.

Does this "Process" sound typical? I would think if we meet and can not agree the next step maybe litigation? I don't want to go that route. We are negotiating and I guess I am trying to see how hard I can push with out getting in deeper and loosing my shirt. It seems I have the ball rolling in the right direction.

Lastly, how long can something like this go on. I never received anything from the seller until 4 months after I gave the property back, then another 4 months I get damage estimates from the attorney. Isn't there some kind of time limit were in my case the seller can claim damages? Is it possible for me to counter with a law suit to stop this? :D


Thanks
<Steve>

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#2 <Steve>

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 11:14 PM

Sorry Mike I called you DaveT. It has been a long week.

Steve

Just a kid living the dream


#3 MichaelC

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 05:52 AM

Sorry Mike I called you DaveT.  It has been a long week.

Steve

Steve, no need to apologize to Mike. He's been called much worse.......he's an attorney, after all :D :o ....Sorry, Pinkerton, I had to get my lawyer shot in before the week ended B) :P .

Steve, as I was reading your post the first thing that came to mind was the time limits within which a homeowner must make a claim for damages caused by a tenant's actions. A quick look and I found this info on GA Landlord/Tenant Law. Sections 44-7-33 and 34 seem to apply to your case.
Based on what I am reading there, it seems to me that the homeowner doesn't have much of a legal leg to stand on. But, I'm not the attorney here, so I could be way off. I understand your wanting to be fair and avoid litigation. I'd take the same approach. But, before you begin throwing money around unncessarily Steve, some due diligence on your part is called for. The head scratcher for me is if this seems so obvious why didn't either attorney in this matter note the time frame and tell their respective clients there is no case here?

#4 <Steve>

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 12:39 PM

Hey Michael-

Thank you for the tenant/landlord information.

I have done some research here in the state of NC and have found that the landlord has 30 days to "Account to the tenant for damages." In my case the landlord/seller took 4 months.

The head scratcher for me is if this seems so obvious why didn't either attorney in this matter note the time frame and tell their respective clients there is no case here?

It does seem strange...

<Steve>

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#5 MichaelC

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 01:38 PM

Well, wake me up with a sharp kick to the groin. I linked you to Georgia Landlord/Tenant laws. You, of course, are a TarHeel through and through. North Carolina rocks! I guess it was a long week for me, also.
NC Landlord/Tenant info can be had here. But, you probably know that already :D .

#6 <Steve>

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 03:27 PM

LOL :D No problem MC, I like the GA laws better anyway. I'll check out the site, thanks.

Just a kid living the dream


#7 MichaelC

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 06:38 AM

I play an attorney on TV. In real life I am a lover and a chef. So, my legal viewpoints and musings are simply a layman's opinions.
With that in mind I certainly think you have a legitimate argument due to never having received anything in writing within that thirty day time frame the law requires. I would definitely bring this up to the attorney(s) and, if it gets that far, to the court.

#8 pinkerton

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 12:47 AM

Wow..looking over the "give-and-take" (polite terminology) that Steve's going through reminds me of the necessity of always having one's ducks lined up and having a relationship with a good lawyer when things blow up! B)

Steve, I get the feeling that you're representing youself in this matter--and there's an attorney on the other side. No es verda? If that's the case, think about never doing that again unless the issue is soooo trival that it doesn't matter to you what the outcome is. I ralize that sounds self-serving, but there really is no such thing as a "typical" legal case, particularly when only one side is repreented. :)

You guys have done a good job getting into the detail, so these comments are general...and maybe will help on the next go around.

Mike P. ;)
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#9 Andrew Ikeda

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 11:38 AM

Hey Steve,

Finally got around to looking at this situation.

It looks like you and M.C. have had some 'long weeks' :huh: but don't worry because I have long minutes that become long hours that become long days that become long weeks! :o

Wish I could help you with the legal stuff on this one but it looks like your going in the right direction without me anyways.

Michael, what show do you play the attorney on daytime TV? I'd be interested in watching and listening to your commentary. Ahh... I did see you on SNL a couple of weeks ago...must say it was 'enjoyable' but you dont look anything like judge Judy! :)

Take care guys!

Andrew

#10 pinkerton

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 11:56 AM

MC plays a lawyer on "The Hung and the Listless"--I'm his consultant to keep the content realistic.

Mike P. :huh:
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#11 Andrew Ikeda

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 12:05 PM

Ha, Ha, Ha!! :huh: That's good Mike!

Andrew

#12 pinkerton

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 07:26 PM

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.... :)

Mike P. :huh:
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#13 MichaelC

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:57 PM

This saga doesn't want to go away, does it? I am really hard pressed to understand what this homeowner and his attorney are up to. I mean, every few months you are being contacted with another veiled threat. Yet, nothing ever comes of it. I don't know, of course, but my gut tells me the attorney is responding to his client's wishes to try and squeeze some money out of you. So, the attorney hears again from his client, makes his phone call to you, and then reports back to his client and tells him that he called you, intimidated you, threatened you, and that you indicated you may be ready to settle. Thus, his client is hearing what he wants to hear, and is calmed down for another period of time. As I see this anyway. I mean, if the attorney really believed his client had a case, why wouldn't he be pursuing it already?
Previously we discussed the lack of proper paperwork and procedure on the part of the homeowner regarding the alleged damages. I still think this is an important issue and one his attorney is aware of.
Having said all that, sometimes I agree that even when you're right, the path of least resistance is the better road to take. I admire your willingness to placate a homeowner you really needn't coddle, in the interest of making lemonade out of lemons. If it turns out you can negotiate a good and fair deal on the property, that may be the wise and prudent approach. As always, best wishes, Steve.

#14 <Steve>

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 07:20 PM

Awesome thanks Michael.

Just a kid living the dream


#15 Andrew Ikeda

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 09:17 PM

Hey Steve,

As you already agreed to, MC has got a good point. I like the 'path of least resistance' idea.

If this deal is right, why dont you make him an offer he (seller) cant refuse and try to coax him out of having to run to the attorney for everything. It seems to me that if the price is right and he is happy with it, just offer to cash him out! I'm confident this could be settled quickly if you are satisfied with the price and can make him the offer. Perhaps I'm missing something here?

Keep us posted Steve and I know you are an 'investor warrior' and will make this all happen.

Andrew




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