A friend of mine has been in Taiwan for a while now and has stayed with different people and in different houses since arriving. One in particular was with someone who was referred to them as someone who could help them out with their initial immersion into Taiwan life. They were told not to worry about rent as they were paying very low rent at the time and was just asked to pay their half of the bills as well as help out as much as humanly possible. This was all done and fine and after a while they parted ways.
Upon leaving my friend did ask the host (a foreigner as well) what they owed them and were told only the small amount for the bills and that would make them even. Many times the host told my friend it was nice to just have someone around who helped out and not to worry about anything else.
Jump five months down the road.
My friend’s former host now has it in their mind that what they did for them was a huge inconvenience to them and has all of a sudden come up with a bill amount that includes rent, food, gas, and all other favors they did for them while they was there. This sudden change of heart stems from a falling out between them over a personal matter not related to living in their house.
The host has been warning them both in writing and verbally to do as they say as they feel “it is only fair” to them to be paid this amount of money. My friend views the warnings as concealed threats which makes me wonder what can be done about it.
I see this as a form of extortion and cannot understand anyone’s thought that someone should pay them this far down the line. If it was set up before my friend moved in, or agreed to once they were living there then I can understand, but after parting ways, months past they come up with a bill that they claim is owed in ludicris.
Any advice on how to handle this situation? Legally do they have any standing? I have taken a few years of law and I know in other countries they would have no standing. It would be the same as a couple breaking up, and once they did, the person in the relationship who paid for everything wants to reimbursed for what was essentially gifts and favors. I can only offer my friend help and advice, but I do not know the legal standing they would have here on either side of this battle. My friend has asked me repeatedly what to do and I figured this would be a good way to seek other opinions as well. It’s sad to see that people will put a monetary value on friendship.
What do you think?