'Friend' who owes us money! How to deal with it?(3 Posts)
For 18 months my DH and I rented a room in a house owned by a friend (although I no longer consider her to be that!) She didn't live there at the time, and there were 2 other tenants (also our friends).
When we moved in she said she wanted a damage deposit from us. I thought it strange as this wasn't a commercial landlord arrangement (e.g. no contract, all very flexible, casual arrangement). However we agreed and were pleased it was a very low rent.
During the 18 months we lived there I became more and more annoyed at her for ignoring major maintenance issues in the house. We also had a slightly nasty incident where she upped the rent (although it was still v low) and stopped paying bills that had previously been included. She also seemed to be inconsistent about how much she charged different tenants depending on how friendly she was with them. We put up with it as we needed the flexible living arrangement - so it served a purpose but we were not happy.
Finally, we have moved out and are delighted with our new home and most of all at not having to deal with her any more. However she now owes us money and I am getting so frustrated and don't know how to deal with it!
When we told her we were moving out she said she'd refund our deposit when we moved (mid Jan). She was aware of our move out date and we gave approx. 7 weeks notice. The day before we moved out (now almost 2 weeks ago) I sent a friendly text saying something along the lines of move out day is tomorrow, please let us know when to expect the deposit back because we won't have internet straight away so can't keep an eye on our accounts. She replied saying she'd do it that weekend, and would let us know when she had.
We heard nothing so on the Monday I texted again, nice and pleasant and asked if she'd transferred it, and repeated I couldn't check online banking. I heard nothing back.
On Thursday I repeated this and asked her to let me know either way. She replied immediately saying she meant to do it last night (so that's now about 6 days after she said she would).
That evening (Thursday) I texted her again asking about it. On Friday lunchtime she replied saying her online banking card reader wasn't working so she'd have to go to the bank, apologies for the delay and she'd be in touch. I immediately replied asking if she'd like to send a cheque if that'd be easier. No reply.
By last weekend I was fuming about it. DH said we had to give her some time, and we agreed that on Wednesday (yesterday) we'd get in touch. So last night he rang her, I wasn't there but he said he was fairly firm but pleasant. She told him the card reader isn't working, she doesn't have a cheque book and can't get to the bank during the week so will go this weekend. In fact her words were she'd 'try' to get to the bank! And she thought she 'probably' had our bank details! So he said we'd text our details, which I did as soon as he got off the phone, with a much firmer message than I've sent to date. No reply. I'm now wondering at what point I contact her and how I get her to pull her finger out?!
Tell her that unless it is in your bank next week, you'll have no choice but to take it to small claims court?
You got cheap rent for a reason. There is no such thing as a free lunch. I think you are on a hiding to nothing here.
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