Social Question

marialisa's avatar

Is this stealing?

Asked by marialisa (464points) October 26th, 2010

I have a disgruntled renter. She is selling all her belongings and moving out. Thank you God!
I bought a table and 2 stools from her. She took the stools today. I have already paid her for them. I called her and asked her why she would take them and she said she had to. I told her it was stealing. I had let her use them with my new island. The table is in my garage.
Shen has only garbage and needs to clean before she leaves. She says to take the money off her deposit. She thinks I am going to keep the deposit cause there is damage and repairs needed. It is only 300 and the repairs and possible cleaning might drain the damage deposit. I am not sure what will be left. Anyway I told her it was stealing. What do you think?

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20 Answers

Nullo's avatar

It’s stealing. If you and she had decided to renegotiate, then it wouldn’t be.

ThatFreak's avatar

Definitely stealing for sure.

FutureMemory's avatar

The two transactions are totally unrelated. She can’t just say “well, keep the deposit”. Definitely stealing.

marialisa's avatar

There is/was no negotiation. I paid 60 dollars for them and let her use them because I added an island. She is certain I am going to keep her full deposit because of the horrible staining on berber carpet that I know is oil/grease. The rest of the carpet also needs a professsional cleaning. She has had a daycare in my home has damaged doors, screens,blinds,and a shade. There is a burn from an iron she tried to hide and then lied about. I could go on and on but for now she has til the 31st to be out and now I do not even want her to return to do anything. My space is only protected by a privacy door that she can open and I need key! It is a home share situation.

augustlan's avatar

I’d say it’s stealing, but is it worth doing anything about under these circumstances? Probably not.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes. It’s stealing. Once you bought the stools from her, once you paid for them, they became your property, not hers. So, if she takes property that does not belong to her… well, that’s pretty much the definition of stealing, isn’t it?

marialisa's avatar

I know where she is staying and should I report this or at least call the cops?

FutureMemory's avatar

Do you have a receipt?

lillycoyote's avatar

@marialisa Well, that, the reporting is a whole other kettle of fish. My thoughts are that there are enough idiots, jackasses, thieves and people who are just plain no damn good in the world that you could spend every waking moment of your life trying to get them to right their wrongs; trying to get justice and accountability from them. You have to choose your battles sometimes. If she’d run off with my car, it would be a different story, but in this instance, my tendency would be to just let this one go and say “Good riddance!”; be thankful that you’ve gotten her out of your rental property, that you’re done with her and just move on. That’s my opinion, anyway.

augustlan's avatar

^^ What she said. Sixty bucks is not worth the hassle, in this particular case. The person still has access to your home, and it would only be a misdemeanor charge.

lillycoyote's avatar

I would also add that, in the future, it might be wise to refrain from doing any sort business with your tenants, particularly the disgruntled ones, :-); it just complicates things.

FutureMemory's avatar

I agree that you should cut your losses rather than get all legal on her ass. It just ain’t worth the hassle and stress.

marialisa's avatar

@lillycoyote No Kidding!
@augustlan I wish I could ban her from my home right now. I gave her 60 days notice in August to move. At the end of August she gave me a sob story about no where to go. I allowed her to stay because I thought her boyfriend who freeloads here and smacks her around was forever gone from her life. She is a different person when he isnt around.
There is only 5 more days left and I do not have to let her in after that. She has been sending me awful messages belittling me. I can not even tolerate her and her daughter and her abusive boyfriend. It is a nightmare renter story for sure.

downtide's avatar

It’s stealing, but I suspect the cost of pursuing the case would be more than the total deposit anyway.

shilolo's avatar

It certainly IS stealing, as others have noted. If I were in your shoes, I would be angry too. But, pursuing a case is likely fruitless. However, she doesn’t know that. I would keep this as an “ace in the hole”, and if she becomes more belligerent, acts out, refuses to leave, etc., then you could use the threat of legal action to motivate her further. You may eventually need to call the police, but I would hold off. Document everything though…

marialisa's avatar

@shilolo @downtide @FutureMemory @lillycoyote @augustlan @ThatFreak @Nullo

She justified stealing the stools because she said I was “stealing” her deposit. I told her I have 3 weeks to send her the remaining deposit after her month is up. Her assumptions are that of the 300 I will not return any. I assured her I would be meticulous in itemizing what was in need of repair and what needed cleaning after she was done renting. I would send her the remaining money cause I dont want her money. I even offered her the remaining rent amount refunded if she vacated early. She didnt even go for that. I am stumped and so glad she is gone in 5 days. I am so tired of the lies and sob stories.

lillycoyote's avatar

@marialisa I would just drop it at this point. No one wants to be taken advantage of or allow people to get away with stealing from them or “surrendering to evil” but on the other hand she sounds like real trouble and she has 5 more days to “justify” things that might end up costing you a lot more than what the stools cost and her 300 dollar security deposit.

DrBill's avatar

Go to the courthouse, file an action of forceable entry and detainer . have them served now, while you know where to find them.

This will allow you to sue them for damages, unpaid rent and fees, loss property (your stools) etc.

The stools are apartment furnishings, so it is covered by the rental agreement

marialisa's avatar

@DrBill She is very private at where she is staying. Her rent is paid until the 31st. She still has access to my lower level and I have told the cops. They say it would cost more for a lawsuit than the stool money and damages are worth. I pretty much have to bear with it until Sunday. Is there a certain time she has til on her last day like midnight?
The reason she says continually that I am stealing her money is because I told her I would send it (the difference) if any, with in 3 weeks. I am pretty sure she doesnt want an address on file.

DrBill's avatar

The lease should state when and how the tenant would get their deposit….....

Deposit will be returned to the tenant or agency that initially paid the deposit less a $50 carpet cleaning charge thirty days after the property is vacated if:
A. Lease term has expired or this agreement has been terminated by agreement of all parties, and
B. All moneys due management have been paid in full, and
C. Tenant has given sixty days notice of intent to move, and
D. Tenant has provided management with a valid and correct forwarding street and mailing address, and
E. Residence is not damaged and is left in its original condition, normal wear and tear expected, and
F. Management is in receipt of copies of paid final bills on all utilities (includes gas, electric, water, garbage, telephone, cable/satellite, internet, and any other service connected to the property.

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