Landlord from Hell! – Paid them to go away.

We had a landlord and things went sideways to say the least.

We were in our new location for three months and they found out that they should have asked for more money.  They therefore proposed an agreement with a 32% rate hike (landed on my desk one night prior to the landlord leaving on a week’s vacation).

Upon their return I tried to speak with them and we were then told that there were people lined up to take the spot at the new proposed rates.  Thinking we were doing the right thing, we agreed to leave in order that they could be paid what they felt was “fair”.

What happened next was crazy.  We showed up at the office and they had to literally taken everything that had any value. There was no one in their office area and we were concerned as we knew they had confiscated many of our valuable items, including items that belonged to our employees.  We were confused as to why this was the case as we had paid first and last plus each month that was due in full and on time; not to mention he agreed to us leaving so he could rent it at a fair market rate.

We then contacted the police.  They approached the landlord and told him to give all of our items back.  He was reluctant to do so as he felt we still owed money as we did not provide adequate notice to leave.  We immediately asked the Officer what the landlord was looking for and were advised that it would be one more months rent.  We then ran to the bank pick up the funds and handed them to the officer. You see our goal was never to shortchange the landlord.  He simply put us in a position where we had no choice but to leave and we thought we were doing the right thing.

We ended up getting all of our items back, contacted a mover and left that day.

Approximately two months later we get an email indicating that we owe the landlord for various costs for improvements that he had his son do while they were preparing for us. Fact is we never agreed to anything, however the correspondence back-and-forth was getting worse and worse and we were concerned that our safety may be at risk.

This guy clearly knew the laws and what he could get away with in writing.  Although we knew we did not owe any money, the ongoing threats and head-space this occupied clearly made it worth resolving.

Typically we would be known as strong minded individuals who would not cave at anything in business if we did not believe we were doing what was right. We always tried to see things from both points of view.  When matched with this nut-job we made decisions that we normally would not consider.

We drafted a one-sided release, having him agree to an amount and sign the document, we paid them to go away. We had every right to sue them for damages that we incurred, however that is another story. By paying them to go away we were able to focus 100% of our efforts on our business and continue to grow at a rate that exceeded the costs we incurred in a matter of days.

In closing, don’t be a right fighter unless you have figured out how to make money doing so.

Take care,

JT

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