Alright, I just had to take a shower after a 45 minute *negotiation* with my criminally deadbeat landlord.
I went in there, intent on delivering him some bad news; I was going to tell him to reduce my rent AND to give me a long term lease that would protect me against getting booted out by a new post-auction owner.
I don't want to say I *wimped* out....but in a sense I did. At least I delayed my hardball pitch for the moment anyway.
This clown yapped, and yapped the entire time. And I must say, his body was positively shaking and his hands trembling throughout. Meanwhile, I leaned back in his deficit-financed office furniture and crossed my legs leisurely.
He essentially didn't tell me anything substantive, except that he was going to fight foreclosure; that there was still no auction date set.
Okay. Fine. Prove that to me. Of course he couldn't. I asked him for the contact number of someone at the bank; let me talk to someone there who can reassure me.
Nothing. He said *no way*. I asked three different times but he wouldn't budge. After the last time, I was felt like I was drowning in an ocean of BS.
He played dumb (easy act of him!); he said he had no idea about the *legal notice* to foreclose that was in last week's paper.
And he played *liar*; he said that he had an offer in-hand from a group of *investors* to buy this house for $675k. That, I don't believe for a millisecond! This house was worth, MAYBE, 700k at the peak of the market in 2005-6, for about ten minutes. So the suggestion that *a group of investors* are bidding 675k right now, with the housing market imploding is downright laughable.
He also confessed to me what I had presumed. From Landlord Lockdown:
And it's not enough that he's now renting out two of his properties, reaping at least $5,500 a month for himself while stiffing the banks (and in all likelihood income-taxing authorities!).
No, he's trying to get them AGAIN on the way out. For these short sales, he's also trying to GET PAID. He's going to give the official listings to a subprime co-conspirator of his in an obvious *kickback ploy*. Even if they sell my house for a cheap 500k, he's thinking that's $25,000 or so to his cohort - plenty enough to be divvied up on the down low.
In other words, he admitted to me that he thinks he can get a *commission* by selling the house - the same house the bank will be taking a 700k+ bath on.
I told him that the bank was in all likelihood *using him* - that they had no intention of ever paying a scumbag like him a $25,000 commission. I also told him that everyone knows this house is *distressed*; and that the people expressing an interest in the house are also really just *using him*....they want to go inside and get a look so they can make better informed bids at the auction. Would you bid several hundred thousand dollars on a place sight-unseen? I certainly wouldn't. This isn't Florida where homes are near facsimiles in developments - each is its own animal, with its own idiosyncratic problems.
Believe it or not, when I informed him of all this, I actually saw a faint flicker of a light come on his hollow dome! And that might be the first such cranial illumination I've ever seen in him, over the past 2.5 years!
The quivering deadbeat also said something about utilizing the Homestead provision to hold up foreclosure. Recall that is what that guy in Naples did as well. My landlord has four properties and he boldly declared that he could switch the *Homestead* to any one of them. I asked my neighbor, a lawyer, about this and he said that the scumbag currently has the McMansion, i.e. not my abode, listed as his *home*. But I think he's right, that he can switch it very easily. There is apparently some strategy in how to play this game but I don't quite understand it; and will have to do some research.
The only positive that came out of this meeting was the fact the scumbag said he was amenable to drawing up a new lease - for 6 or even 12 months at the same rate of $2,500 per month. That's at least a rational point to start negotiating from.
But get this, he said to do that he'd need a new *security deposit* upfront!!!
Would any of y'all hand over additional monies to such a manifest deadbeat? To a guy who just told you he's planning on declaring personal bankruptcy?
In the fog of this BS conversation, I did make some reference to possibly lowering the rent with a new lease and having me pay him the difference under the table (of course, I'd never do that). But get this, he was dead-set against that. He said the bank already has all of our information; that they have a copy of my lease in hand; and it seemed like he feared what the bank would do to his *possible short sale where he would get to steal another $25,000 from them*. Again, that's all nonsense. There's no way he's going to get paid on that.
But behold the ridiculous irony. Here's a guy who did everything imaginable to screw mortgage lenders to the tune of millions. But when I try to get him to do something that might be slightly below-board for a mere pittance....he runs away scared!!!
Given all the uncertainty of how much time I have left, minimally that $867.44 water bill is coming out of the rent for March 1st. Surprisingly, he only argued that one for 5 minutes!
But I'm also considering not paying him a nickel come the first of the month. I can tell him to consider it my *last* month. This will set him off and force him to either evict me ($4,000 total cost) or become more amenable to a new long term lease, at a reduced rate.
I just can't imagine a housing court judge treating me too harshly for clawing back my money given all these extenuating circumstances.
Mrs. C-Nut alternately wants me to *pay nothing*, *just pay him*, *fight him in court*, *don't fight him, it's not worth it*.... She wants to talk about it *all night long*, then she doesn't want to hear *a peep about it*,
So like most husbands, I feel like I'm forever fighting a two-front war!