Like Tree69Likes

Landlord withholding entire deposit

Closed Thread
Page 5 of 8 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 LastLast
  1. #41

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    305

    Yes, she is exactly the kind of person who will take photos.

    The landlord sent me a long message this morning which was mainly irrelevant apart from at the end where he appears to say the repair works have been done.

    Once I have the photographic evidence tomorrow, I will get him to confirm he has done this in writing, then ask for the official receipt. He can't deny me a receipt so if the repairs that have been done (if any) are less than what he has claimed for, he is in a world of trouble.

    Sage likes this.

  2. #42

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    305

    Update!

    So. I tried to get a colleague to go around and view the flat. First attempt failed - after arranging the viewing time, the following day the agent cancelled it and said the flat had been sold. (It hadn't).

    I tried another listing.

    This second attempt... got cancelled three times by the landlord who eventually told the agent that no one in his entire family was free to pass the key to the agent until at least June (this was a week ago). It seems likely he is [rightly] scared of viewers being me coming to get evidence from the flat to show he has stolen my money)

    But the second listing had better photos in it than the first, and I could see that the walls of the flat had not been repainted, nor had the scratched floor tile been replaced. Essentially, no repairs had been done at all, over 5 weeks after I had moved out.

    I decided to get some extra evidence and I got the management office of the apartment to verify whether any contractors had visited the apartment at all in the period since I had moved out. They confirmed that no contractors had been there at all.

    So! The original quote I got was likely not obtained from someone who had been in the apartment... and it seems extremely unlikely any repairs have been done at all.

    On Monday I filed my case at the Small Claims Tribunal. (By the way, if anyone is reading this thread in the future, it is incredibly easy to do this. You fill out two forms, and there is a template you can copy for the deposit claim form. It takes about 10 minutes and you pay just $80 HKD. You don't even need an appointment).

    The question I was going to ask is: is it worth going to the police? I have reasonably good evidence the landlord has taken $34,000 from me on false pretences. He made up a quote, has refused to confirm he has even done any repairs (I messaged to ask) but previously claimed in Whatsapp messages he did do repairs at the start of May.

    It sounds to me like fraud. Yes, the Small Claims Court will give me my deposit back, or nearly all of it presumably, but this looks to me more like criminal behaviour.

    What do people think?

    hullexile, Drunken Master and tf19 like this.

  3. #43

    Hypothetically speaking, if it were me, I would hyphothetically,

    1) Ask him to send you the receipt from the contractor showing the amount of $34,000 or further action will be taken. (Send it by whatspp, and post a formal letter to him at his home address so he cannot say he did not receive it.). Also send it by SMS ...no excuse.

    2) Then go to the home address since that is the only place you can find him and show him the copy of the letter and ask for your money back.

    9 pm ...definitely at home.

    No doubt security won't let you in and he will avoid you. So call the police.

    (In my opinion, if you go to report it to the police, it just ends up at the bottom of the file.)
    (If you call the police to the location because he is scamming you and cheating you out of your deposit, the police will have to turn up).

    Make sure you have a chinese speaking friend to help you out to explain to the officers what is happening. You do not want it lost in translation.

    If you do not have a chinese friend, then get a chinese colleague to explain clearly and slowly what happened on a whatsapp message you can play .

    Also, by calling the police, you get a case number.

    If your land lord is at home, he will be at home with his checkbook ! "Show me the cheque or give me THE ORIGINAL RECEIPTS and contractors name and contact number "

    but do it all politely...and don't bombard him with texts. You don't want him accusing you off harrassment.


    all hypothetically. speaking.....


  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by njstone9:
    Update!

    So. I tried to get a colleague to go around and view the flat. First attempt failed - after arranging the viewing time, the following day the agent cancelled it and said the flat had been sold. (It hadn't).

    I tried another listing.

    This second attempt... got cancelled three times by the landlord who eventually told the agent that no one in his entire family was free to pass the key to the agent until at least June (this was a week ago). It seems likely he is [rightly] scared of viewers being me coming to get evidence from the flat to show he has stolen my money)

    But the second listing had better photos in it than the first, and I could see that the walls of the flat had not been repainted, nor had the scratched floor tile been replaced. Essentially, no repairs had been done at all, over 5 weeks after I had moved out.

    I decided to get some extra evidence and I got the management office of the apartment to verify whether any contractors had visited the apartment at all in the period since I had moved out. They confirmed that no contractors had been there at all.

    So! The original quote I got was likely not obtained from someone who had been in the apartment... and it seems extremely unlikely any repairs have been done at all.

    On Monday I filed my case at the Small Claims Tribunal. (By the way, if anyone is reading this thread in the future, it is incredibly easy to do this. You fill out two forms, and there is a template you can copy for the deposit claim form. It takes about 10 minutes and you pay just $80 HKD. You don't even need an appointment).

    The question I was going to ask is: is it worth going to the police? I have reasonably good evidence the landlord has taken $34,000 from me on false pretences. He made up a quote, has refused to confirm he has even done any repairs (I messaged to ask) but previously claimed in Whatsapp messages he did do repairs at the start of May.

    It sounds to me like fraud. Yes, the Small Claims Court will give me my deposit back, or nearly all of it presumably, but this looks to me more like criminal behaviour.

    What do people think?
    I would just call up the police hotline & ask tbh. Make sure you tell them it's a non emergency but you just suspect there's a fraud case and they'll probably get someone to call you back

  5. #45

    Nothing like bringing the battle closer to home where the cheque book is.


  6. #46

    I just read your post again.

    Don't believe what the agent says about the property.Why would the landlord sue the agent when he already ate up your entire deposit ?

    Do you have whatsapp evidence from the property agent saying that the property has been sold ?Keep it.
    Then go to do a property land search and do a property search . You can do this at govt offices. Pay by octopus. It is cheap. Ask the staff . It should say " first assignment" or something like that.


    so you can show to the police the owner is lying to the agent as well...in your opinion.


  7. #47

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    3,404
    Quote Originally Posted by njstone9:
    The question I was going to ask is: is it worth going to the police? I have reasonably good evidence the landlord has taken $34,000 from me on false pretences. He made up a quote, has refused to confirm he has even done any repairs (I messaged to ask) but previously claimed in Whatsapp messages he did do repairs at the start of May.

    It sounds to me like fraud. Yes, the Small Claims Court will give me my deposit back, or nearly all of it presumably, but this looks to me more like criminal behaviour.

    What do people think?
    I'm not familiar with that side of the law here, but this definitely passes my sense-check for fraud, at least consulting the police cannot hurt.

    Lots of other good advice about how to do it given here too.

  8. #48

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by dinosaurs88:
    I just read your post again.

    Don't believe what the agent says about the property.Why would the landlord sue the agent when he already ate up your entire deposit ?

    Do you have whatsapp evidence from the property agent saying that the property has been sold ?Keep it.
    Then go to do a property land search and do a property search . You can do this at govt offices. Pay by octopus. It is cheap. Ask the staff . It should say " first assignment" or something like that.


    so you can show to the police the owner is lying to the agent as well...in your opinion.
    Well I know it hasn't been rented cos the landlord was willing to arrange viewings on 3 occasions with my colleague! That agent who said it was rented already might just have been lazy and couldn't be bothered to show up.

  9. #49

    rented out or not, sold or not...

    Paint him in a corner.

    Ask him to produce 1) the actual receipt (it is your money so it is your receipt
    2) the contact details of the contractor and the "sifu" the master who did the work who you will call as a witness or get the court to call as a witness. (this should scare the crap out of him)

    Don't tell him about management not logging anyone in to do the work.
    You got to keep something back ......because he might give a whole load. of bullshit that the contractor came on x and x day...several days...OK several days no log in the book. why ?


    And not usual for agents not to show up.....because they know it is you...did you send a foreign friend...then they suspect...if you send a chinese...then its a different story

    bak875 likes this.

  10. #50

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    305

    Update!

    So I got a local friend to go around the flat and take photos.

    It HAS now been totally refurbished. But! It must have been done very recently because the flat stank of chemicals - within a week or so.

    My guess: the landlord has received the court summons and decided he now has to carry out the work because of that.

    From the photos I can see a few things.

    1. The walls and floor now look brand new and totally different than when I moved in. I have the photos to prove this.

    2. It doesn't look to me like all the paint was removed from all the walls and then they were repainted. It looks more like someone went over the walls with a roller. I can see one or two areas where they have gone over bits where paint has come off and the colour is slightly off.

    3. The scratched floor tile has not been replaced at all.

    I've got my court case due in mid July but I'm open to any suggestions as to how I could get more evidence or strengthen my hand.

    I'm going to go back to the management office of the building and ask again for the security records so I can find out what the contractor's details are. I can then ask my friend to contact the contractor and see if it is possible to find out what they actually charged the landlord.

    If anyone has any ideas how exactly I could get this information, I'd be very happy to listen!

    (I still don't have a receipt for the work from the landlord despite asking twice. He has not responded to me for a month now.)

    For anyone who is reading this thread who wants to know what legal arguments I will use in court, well at this point in time I have several.

    1. The rule against 'betterment' - ie you can't be asked to pay for things that improve the apartment.

    2. There are several cases which state that a landlord would have to repaint the walls and repolish the floor after tenants have used an apartment

    3. Even when a tenant is found to be liable to repair, they are only required to do touchups (I have a court judgement which says this) and obviously doing up the entire flat is not touchups.

    4. Even if some of the defects in the apartment caused by me are beyond fair wear and tear, the fact that the landlord has such high standards means he would have had to (and did) pay for work to be done beyond this, and that means I am not liable to pay anything at all. (I have a landmark court case judgement I can quote on this one)

    5. I also have evidence to show the repairs weren't done till around 6 weeks after I had moved out (suggesting they weren't urgent) and that the landlord himself didn't think they were necessary in order to be able to rent out the flat (he had photos online and let people view it for weeks before the refurbishment was done.) Also that now the asking rent has been increased from what I was paying (also shows the flat was improved, not just repaired).

    shri, jgl, Jillypots and 10 others like this.

Closed Thread
Page 5 of 8 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 LastLast