I want other people's opinion on this situation so I come here.
There are 4 people living in a household. Lets call them Z U R and O. Z and O are dating, and U and R are as well. O and U are sisters, O is older. There is also two other sisters that O and U have, we'll call them Y and A. Z and O do not have jobs at the moment.
So one day in October, O hears that U and R are losing their home and need to find a new place. R is being garnished for a past mistake he made so he only brings home half of what he should a month. Z and O, being good friends of U and R as well as U being the sister of O, decide to help them out. They sign in a new lease, pay all the major fees and move into a new home with U and R. In order to help them out, Z and O tells U and R they only have to pay for the extra room until the garnishment is up. Then they'll go half on everything. U and R agrees. Z and O believe they're doing the right thing.
Fast forward 4 months later. Everything is running smoothly. There have been minor annoyances such as dishes piling up, but other than that nothing has happened between the 4. One day, however, R comes home early. R had been fired with his last paycheck paying his last month of garnishment. They have enough only to pay half the current rent. Z and O understand that they have fallen on even harder times and agree to help out once more, paying everything from then on until R can find another job.
Fast forward 1 month later. R comes into a small fortune. None of it is used for the bills. All of it is used for entertainment systems and luxuries. R doesn't save any to pay for his car. Z and O come home to see a large tv in the living room, and while they enjoy it, they wonder why none of it was used to help pay the bills. Z finds a job. U finds a job but quits 2 days later.
Fast forward 2 months later. R and U have become distant. R and U do not have jobs. Z and O continue to pay the bills, but O is getting frustrated. R and U do a lot of sitting around at home and watches Y's kids, getting only 50 dollars to feed them. O wants to quit her job due to physical stress. Z is the only one working now.
Fast forward 1 month later. U and R have moved out without a word to Z and O and move in with Y. Their names are still on the lease. Z and O are joyful that they have two less mouths to feed, but wonder why U and R didn't tell them. Z and O tell U and R to drop off their keys and they'll sign them off their lease, and wanted to talk to them about why they left. U and R do not return calls or texts. O tells A to ask her sister and U answers her sister immediately. They say they don't have gas to get there and are not done moving out. They still choose to ignore Z and O.
Things get frustrating. Z and O decide to move out early, and have to pay the fee equal to one months rent. Since U and R are still on the lease, Z and O tells them to pay half or they will be taken to a small claims court, or they can come talk to Z and O and work everything out. U refuses to come talk and R obeys her command. Z tries to reason with R, using camaraderie to let him see the better choice, but U interferes and refuses. Z and O find out that U and R have been badmouthing them for awhile now. Z and O then proceeds to tell everyone the truth. O asks A what U has been saying about her. A says she won't take sides and will not tell them, however, later that night A tries to convince O to stop trying to make them pay. O is sad that A chose a side when A clearly stated in not choosing one earlier. Z tries one last time to talk to R but U once again interferes. All negotiations are off.
What should Z and O do?
I'm not a lawyer and I don't know a lot about small claims court, but here's my 2cents.
I don't know how much the rent is, but 1/2 of a month's rent is pretty small compared to say, a year's worth of rent (about 5%).
Is the time/effort/money going to small claims court worth getting possibly half a month's rent? It would cost more if they hire a lawyer, or if they represent themselves, they would have to gather all that evidence/witnesses/documents/whatnot themselves.
I think that kind of time and effort could be better spent.
But if they are serious about it, consult a lawyer or someone not me herp.
tl;dr keep calm carry on
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