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Refusal to give deposite, prorated rent and I am kicked off the property

Discussion in 'Moving In & Out, Movers' started by my_favorite_memory, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. my_favorite_memory

    my_favorite_memory Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I moved in on the 30th of August to a very run down trailer. The previous tenants left it a mess so the land lady being elderly asked me to help clean it. I did as well as a couple other friends. I was charged 300 deposite and 375 rent/month. Sept 9, I started having electrical issues and it would shut off the breakers. I called her and she sent someone that was a handy man but no electrician. We continued to have the problems. We finally got a electrician out and he said the place was a ticking time bomb. I gave my land lady a notice that I was finding a new place for her refusal to fix the wiring and she said I would not receive my deposite unless I gave her a 14 day notice from the 1st of the month. Thinking I would get my deposite back I stayed till the first, and gave it again. She said I needed to pay the rent and she would take my notice but that normal people knew that you give notice then leave at the end of the month not after the 2 week notice. I had to turn on the lights on the new rent place so I could clean up and move things in and could not afford two bills so I had the lights turned off at the trailer and I thought it would be safer. The same day I had them turned off the landlord rented it to someone else and the lights were turned back on even though I was paid till the end of the month and my stuff was still there. She said when I turned the lights off I abandoned the place. Do I have a case to take her to court?
    They have a key to my place and had been going in while I was not home. I wasn't given any notice of that. A neighbor saw them come and go. They claim the last night I went to get my beds that I vandalized the place. Now I am banned from the property. I can't afford a lawyer. Does anyone have any legal advise?
    I did not sign a lease. We were doing it on a month to month in case I didn't like it. I do have her receipt for the deposite stating I have to give a 14 day notice before moving but nothing else. No stipulations.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can sue her for what you can prove show owes you.

    That appears to be your deposit, plus the rent you paid.

    When she apparently rented the property, before your notice period expired, she illegally evicted (or locked you out)!

    Here's a website that discusses small claims cases in LA.

    http://www.la-law.org/Downloads/Small Claims Court - 2003 revision.pdf

    WHERE IS THE SUIT FILED?
    Ordinarily, you file suit in the area where the person or company you're suing (the defendant) lives or does business. Contact the city court in that area (or the justice of the peace if it's a rural area) to see if it handles small claims. If you don't know who the justice of the peace is in a particular rural area, ask at the office of the clerk of court in the parish courthouse.
    HOW DO YOU BEGIN A SUIT?
    It's always better to try to solve problems outside of court, so try to settle the matter first by talking to the person or company or writing letters to solve the dispute. The form of the phone call should be as follows:
    tIdentify yourself;
    tState the reason why you are calling;
    tAsk to speak to the appropriate person;
    tIdentify yourself and state your problem again;
    tAsk for the name and title of the person you are speaking with
    --Write This Name Down;
    tUse your notes to describe the problem;
    tMake a firm demand - Example ("I expect your repairman to be out here tomorrow to fix my roof or I want my money back");
    tGet an answer, either a yes or no.
    If the call doesn't do any immediate good, save your notes as evidence and type or write a short letter to the person or company, send it by certified mail, and keep a receipt:
    tSend the letter to the person you spoke with
    tGive the date, nature and location of the problem
    tState the other party's responsibility for fixing the problem tMention your efforts (your phone call) to resolve the problem tState your demand for a refund or compensation
    tAllow two weeks deadline for compliance with your demand tDon't make threats of legal action yet.
    If your first letter doesn't solve the problem, type or write a short demand letter, send it also by certified mail, and keep a receipt. Then, if your problem is still unresolved, go to court and use all of this evidence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suggest you search (Google) the parish where you lived and learn the rules for filing small claims cases in that parish.
     

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