It's very little effort for what I surmise is at least a thousand bucks. I'd do it. All the more so if I was a "slum lord" (whatever that means) as I'd be used to dealing with deadbeat tenants.
I suppose you've never been in a courtroom before. I can tell you that the judge will give precisely one rat's ass about issues secondary to the case. Being "on record" about something irrelevant is useless.
When I got free legal advice in the early 2000's due to a similar situation that is not what the lawyer told me, but what do they know?
Absolutely nothing short of a lease dispute (i.e. some sort of breach of contract on the landlord's part) gives you the right to withhold rent you're contractually obligated to pay, and even then you have to put the rent into a separate account to show the court you had every intention of paying it when the demands were met. Unless you have it in writing that the last month's rent can be covered by the security deposit, it cannot.
I never said anybody had the legal right to withhold last month's rent.
It's up to the tenant to evaluate their landlord's reputation BEFORE they move in. Once they sign a contract, it's up to them to live up to the letter of it. When you do not pay the last month's rent, YOU'RE the jerk-off, and you'll be adjudicated as such by the courts.
Yes, however you're fully aware that getting the full story of a landlord's reputation is difficult if not impossible beforehand. Many times the scumminess of a landlord doesn't come out until you've moved in and met fellow tenants.
As jerk-off is not a legal term, I assume we're using our own sense of morals?
If a landlord doesn't make repairs, is impossible to reach, and refuses to improve a bad apartment, and a tenant withholds the rent, the landlord is still the jerk-off, regardless of who is legally in the wrong.
Again, jerkoff and legal ruling are not synonymous.
It's a complication for the landlord's source of income, and therefore directly impacts his or her living experience. Imagination is not your strong suit, is it?
Luckily my point requires no imagination at all! How fortuitous!
If it's a management company, or someone who owns more than a couple buildings, the direct impact on quality of life from a shitty tenant is minimal compared to someone having to live in a shit hole apartment with no heat in the winter and a landlord who refuses to take phone calls (true story). If you want more details, just ask. I kept all my files from similar disputes I had.
The law is not concerned with your moral doctrines. It's concerned with whether a bona fide contract was violated, and by whom.
I wasn't talking about the law, I was talking about your subtle pivot from irresponsible landlords to irresponsible tenants. It's false equivalency. See above.
By not paying the rent, you're in the wrong in the eyes of the law.
I never claimed otherwise.
Also - No need to use slumlord in quotes. It's a widely used and accepted term with specific meaning. If the shorthand is problematic for you, I'm happy to type out all the ways in which a landlord becomes a slumlord.
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