Q: I need help with a landlord debt plus he is dying in hospice care
We rented a property for $22,000 total gave him $11,000 up front with the remainder agreed we would pay the day we where to move in.
We had a lease he emailed me to be signed the day we arrived also. The day my husband was leaving to go there he texted saying he didn't want us to come and if he showed up he would call the police. We said fine give us out money back! He said he bought a car and would sign the title over to us when he got it,that never happened. Then it was one excuse after another I have email and text message where he states he owes us the money.
I just tried to email him and a hospice case worked told me he is in coma and likely will not survive.
So how do we get our money now??
Could you help me or point me in the right direction.
We live in WA was planning on moving to Oregon when this happened.
A: This isn't something that can be figured out on line. You will need to talk to an attorney and your action will either be against this landlord if he survives or his estate. It is probably going to be very messy. If he dies you will have to make a claim against his estate and get in line with his other creditors. If there is a way to get a judgment against him before he dies that might help but that is going to be tricky and there probably isn't enough time to get a special court order on alternatively serving someone who is unconscious. You might want to call the police and report this. It sounds like a con. It may also be that the man isn't really sick. If this was a con, you may not be the only victim. Have you checked to see if this person even owns the property he was renting? Sometimes you can find info on line on Portlandmaps.com or by checking on line with the county property tax records. Otherwise you can check with the county recorders office.
A: I am not clear whether the rental was in Washington or Oregon. If in Washington, then you need to consult a Washington landlord-tenant attorney. You also don't say whether this was a residential or commercial rental and whether the lease agreement was ever actually signed by him. The answers to these questions may control how much you are entitled to recover from him but the vast likelihood is that you need to simply sue him in court for whatever amounts are owed you. If he dies before you file, or after you file but before it is resolved, then you simply sue his estate (assuming you think he has the assets to be able to pay even if he does not want to). If he dies, however, before you file suit there may be some time limits by which you have to file or lose your right to. So all in all, review it all with a landlord-tenant attorney wherever the rental was or in the area where he is in the hospice. Good luck.
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