Skip to comments.Vanity question: alleged abandonment of tenant property in Tennessee?
Posted on 01/17/2012 10:22:29 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck
I got a buddy, a former Marine, who had been renting a room in a house in Nashville, Tennessee for several years. Lately he got behind a few months on his rent, and the landlady never followed the Tennessee or local law concerning serving notice, let alone asking for an order of eviction. Instead, the landlady, who is living in Texas, had a person in Nashville with whom she was in cahoots spirit my buddy's property (worth well over $2000) to parts unknown. I think this slick move was simply a theft. While maybe nobody is wearing a halo in this affair, does this sound like the landlady just facilitated a felony?
I’m not a legal type, but I’m with you.
Suppose the lady had his car towed somewhere but didn’t tell him, instead? Or maybe stole one of his kids. It just seems to me that there are limits to what you can do...
Unless there is an agreement for him using his property as collateral, it was certainly theft.
The only theft I can directly attribute to any of the parties is your buddy who is robbing some woman the rent she’s due on the property, who apparently had enough property to go dispose of to keep current with that rent if he intended to stay there.
Instead I see all this junk about serving notice and whatnot. I don’t approve of theft, nor approve of legalized theft. He’s just got accusations about property stolen while admitting he’s stealing from her right now. Tell your buddy to move the hell out and stop robbing people. Maybe that property will randomly reappear. Who knows.
Got a quick test though: If the dresser was stolen, it’s the landlady. If the TV was stolen, it was likely common burglary.
I never had a landlord who’d let me get by a few WEEKS on rent, let alone months, so I couldn’t tell ya.
EVERYTHING went, you self righteous twit.
Laws vary by state, but there is a legal process that must be followed.
IDK of any state where they can just take your stuff in lieu of back rent due or padlock the door without some type of legal proceeding and a notice being posted on the door, such as “pay or quit” withing X amount of days, then the Sheriff comes and boots you out.
But like I said, every state law is different.
California is more lenient, other states may not be.
Your friend should immediately call the police and a lawyer.
It is a felony if your buddy can prove that his landlady stole his property.
Your buddy is SOL if he can’t find the culprit and doesn’t have evidence of a crime.
The fact that your buddy is late on the rent is meaningless, because being late on the rent falls under real estate and contract law, and he can only be forced by the courts to compensate and be evicted under the civil statutes of Tenn, yet whoever stole his personal property is a crook and would be liable for punishment under Tenn criminal statutes.
One of the great things about living in the United States is that we live under a system of law that says two wrongs doesn’t makes a right.
There is no way in hell that any state or jurisdiction or court of law inside the United States would condone a landlord stealing a person’s property in order to compensate for non-payment of rent.
I have to agree with the “self righteous twit”.
I don’t have much sympathy when thieves (rent deadbeats) get robbed.
I suppose the landlady could have made several trips to TN to properly evict the deadbeat, and/or hired a lawyer to do it, both at considerable expense to herself. I guess that did not appeal to her.
As our laws become ever more unreasonable, unjust, & bureaucratic, more people are willing to break the law in order to obtain a perceived justice. Taxes are too high, then cheat on taxes; no job, don’t pay the rent; no rent payments, steal the tenants belongings. All the same, for essentially the same reason: “I’m being screwed, so I have license to screw someone else.” It’s the new Golden Rule.
If the landlady had his stuff removed, well, you reap what you sow.
Certainly, it is property theft, but you have to prove it! Your friend might have to hire a lawyer & pay for a private investigation. But that might not appeal to him!
Things sure do turn around on you sometimes, don’t they?
The legal term is conversion of property. Have him get in touch with a Law School (Vanderbilt is in Nashville) to see if they have a Pro Bono Program. A Law Student can handle this without breaking a sweat.
People like your buddy are the reason I’m not in the business of renting. I have too many friends that have been taken across by deadbeat tenants. Late on the rent is measured in days not months.
Seems all the self righteous twits are deathly afraid of putting pen to paper, though they can snipe well from behind screen names. This landlady was blowing hot and cold on the issue, pretending it was no big deal then getting into sudden snits. And never, ever, bothering to send a certified letter. (And no lease.) Even Old Testament times had better defined terms for commercial transactions.
He’s renting a room in a house......sounds pretty informal, and it’s not like she isn’t allowed in her own house.
You don’t mention if he’s contacted her to ask about his stuff - and been refused.
He should probably ask the lady for the property back and work out some sort of repayment plan for what he owes her.
See? No lawyers involved, no cops. He’ll probably get his stuff back. He’ll also probably have to agree to pay back rent.
Research seems to show that she’s the one with more to lose. She committed crimes. He, at worst, committed a tort.
“Seems all the self righteous twits are deathly afraid of putting pen to paper, though they can snipe well from behind screen names. This landlady was blowing hot and cold on the issue, pretending it was no big deal then getting into sudden snits. And never, ever, bothering to send a certified letter. (And no lease.) Even Old Testament times had better defined terms for commercial transactions.”
You DID post this to the internet.
No lease? All the more reason for you buddy to make sure he paid his due. Your buddy might find he was not a renter, but a guest, and the lady just arranged to have her house cleaned.
I think there are a few things in the Old Testament that would apply to your buddy, too.
So, why don’t you offer him a room in your house?
Pen to paper sounds like a wonderful idea. If it concerns you so much, why didn’t you put your name on a paper check and pay the overdue rent? Your buddy should be thankful the property owner didn’t have bubba take the rent out of his hide.
We are both penniless, but with business prospects looking much better later in 2012. But she took the stuff of his livelihood. Even bankruptcies are more merciful.
Anyhow it isn’t because the legislature all decided to smoke LSD one morning that it promulgated fixed rules and regulations on tenancies. Anyone who has stayed in a hotel probably has read the arcane rules of that state on its door. Different rules apply when the facility is a home, not a hotel. No, the strawman objection that the landlady would have to come in person would not apply here — she obviously had a local sidekick she was willing to do dirty work on her behalf, and there are things called powers of attorney are they not?
Those pointing at my buddy and saying “scofflaw” need to look in a mirror.
Law means nothing to you too I see.
Assumption not in evidence.
One of the great things about living in the United States is that we live under a system of law that says two wrongs doesnt makes a right.
I agree burglary is LEGALLY more serious than not paying rent. But not paying rent is legalized theft, IMO.
Your friend is no hero in this, I have never missed a mortgage or rent in my life. And if I did I wouldn’t cry if the locks were changed and my crap pushed out on the street. Legality? It’s called being an adult. You and your friend are embarrassing...You’d think being in the Marine Corp would have taught him how to act like a man.
“Those pointing at my buddy and saying scofflaw need to look in a mirror.”
Those with a mirror hanging on the wall to look into would not see a “scofflaw”, more than likely.
I think what folks are responding to is your buddy not looking in the mirror before being tossed out on his ear and realizing that his landlady, if that is really what she was, was being deprived of her livelihood by your buddy.
You lament bankruptcy....does your buddy not think that the landlady must pay her mortgage, and is likely in a tough spot herself?
You and your buddy seem to have approved of the informality and ease of moving into this arrangement (with no credit check, or lease) but now decry the lack of due process and “certified letters” informing him of what he well knew - you gotta pay the rent.
That’s how it is with far too many renters. They lie, misrepresent, and make excuses to get into a place, and then cry a river about being made “homeless” just because they don’t pay their rent.
Your buddy should look into the mirror. He should see a selfish deadbeat asshole. He can and should resolve to no longer be that person. Having a friend like you to enable his victimhood is not helpful in the least.
Go hat in hand to the landlady. I’ll bet she’s got more compassion for him than you claim, even though he probably doesn’t deserve it, given his lack of compassion for her.
66-17-101. Scope of lien.But consider this, if she has the wherewithal to make the goods disappear, what other forms of retribution might she be capable of? You can be right but you can also be dead right if you catch my drift. Tell your friend to make nice with the lady.
All keepers of hotels, boardinghouses, and lodging houses, whether licensed or not, shall have a lien on all furniture, baggage, wearing apparel, or other goods and chattels brought into any such hotel, boardinghouse, or lodginghouse, by any guest or patron of the same, to secure the payment by such guest of all sums due for board or lodging.
And I thought there was no such thing as a former Marine.
Can he prove that the goods were removed by someone working for the landlord?
Why? The police will tell him this is a civil matter. An honest lawyer will tell him to pay the landlady. A dishonest lawyer will have him plunk down $1,000 first before he does nothing for the guy.
Nope. Your buddy didn’t pay his rent and she has the right to evict.
The landlady need do no more than post a “notice to quit”.
I’m going to bet the person responsible for servicing and clean out will say they did serve and posted it on the door.
Then I’m going to bet your buddy left his apartment for a few day as well.
The server will have likely taken pictures of the clean out and noted the conditions.
If there were expired foods in the fridge, the electricity was off, there were dirty dishes lying around, etc the person who did the clean out may very well be within his right of assumption that the property was abandoned.
So they may have the legal right to actually toss his belongings in the trash.
If the landlord is keeping the property stored then she is required to inform your buddy where he can pick his stuff up. He will be required to pay, at a minimum, the costs to move and store his belongings.
I know you and your buddy are upset but, the woman is entitled to her property and defining it use by terms and condition.
Tell your buddy to ask where his stuff is and what is required to get it back.
But I used to be an absentee landlord in Virginia. I had some issues with deadbeat tenants.
I was advised that taking personal property in lieu of rent was at best a very bad idea (I would have to get it all appraised and give the tenant a receipt for it, and thereby open myself to lawsuit regarding the valuation) and at worst criminal theft. The law in Virginia specified what my rights as a landlord were, and in general taking a tenant’s personal property (even a deadbeat tenant) was not one of them.