Tenant skipped out and owes rent

Greetings,

I have a problem and I need your help!

My wife and I rented out our small apt to an American male, who skipped out and is avoiding to pay his 2 months rent.

I was foolish to trust him as I didn’t ask him for a deposit and I was patient and understanding for his late rent. He seemed like a trustworthy fellow-I was wrong.

He skipped out and left the apartment in a total mess. Soon after, I 've been receiving Lawyers letters and letters from the Taipei police dept. and the district court here in Taipei. He was involved in a scuffle with a taxi driver and is being sued.

I’ve contacted him via e-mail and he’s telling me he doesn’t have the money and he’s planning to leave Taiwan.

I know this is a long shot:

I don’t have a contract with him, however, I do have all of our e-mail exchanges, where he clearly admits he has failed to pay his rent.
I also have bills in his name addressed to my home, and witnesses.

Questions:

Could I still take him to court?

Should I contact the lawyers, police ,district court and inform them the person they’re looking for also owes me rent? or will I be wasting my time?

I’m furious at this immoral person but even more furious with myself for trusting him.

Thank you in advance!

Harris

Just let him go, forgiveness is also a virtue.
You probably won’t get your money anyway, and you’ll have to subject him, and the legal system to a long process, simply due to a small scuffle with a taxi driver (who are sometimes horrible to deal with). The guy probably would have paid you if he wasn’t leaving under such duress. Sounds like he has some good qualities, but is struggling to make money-and perhaps not used to living calmly in Taiwan yet. Good for all concerned if he leaves, quickly.
Ask him to wire you them money -give him 6 months-or you will publicise his name on the internet.

Why be furious? Why is he immoral? Perhaps you can take a step back and look at this more rationally.

EDIT: MM-uh, I just read 2 months. Perhaps I missed something there. However, we aren’t given all the exact dates (over 2 months yet?), nor how much money it is.

I wish the OP luck, but fail to see how he will get the money from a man who obviously doesn’t have any, and if goes to court etc, won’t be able to work and earn money to pay back. I just think about solving the issue in the simplest manner.

Of course take him to court if you can, but that seems unlikely. The guy is a prick. Had something similar happen to me a few years back. Took a lot of threats but eventually we only came in one month short of rent. The entire time the tenant was acting as if she was the hurt party.

Kea, the OP is now about 4 months short of rent as he now needs to clean the apartment and find a new tenant. That is not insignificant.

I dealt with something similar a couple of years ago. The tenant owed about 20,000USD in school fees in the US, and she disappeared from Taiwan still owing a lot on the phone bill and power bill. Luckily, we had the rent deposit. I just wanted to warn the OP that the power co. and phone co. may try to get you to pay the money your tenant owes, even if you are not a guarantor. I got hassled for a couple of months, but refused to pay, and they couldn’t get the money from me and eventually gave up. (Their argument was, as a fellow-foreigner, I should feel some obligation… uh, no.)

[quote=“Harris”]I don’t have a contract with him, however, I do have all of our e-mail exchanges, where he clearly admits he has failed to pay his rent.
I also have bills in his name addressed to my home, and witnesses.[/quote]

Only residence leases for a term of over one year need to be in writing. Otherwise, the lease is deemed to be a lease without a definite term.

Typically, in a lease without a definite term, the lessee must give notice of his intent to terminate the lease. Notice must be given in advance equal in time to when rent payments are made. To clarify, if the lessee pays his rent monthly, he must give a one month prior notice of his intent to terminate the lease.

Yes, go after him, though I doubt you’ll get your money =(
I’m terribly sorry on behalf of my countryman.
And thank you for realizing that he is an individual, and does not represent all Americans. I would like to think that most Americans would be more honest in their business dealings (I certainly have never skipped out on paying my rent!), however, it’s possible to run into irresponsible people from every country.

There are douchbags from every country so might as well apologize for the entire human race.

If he as sincere as you portray, he will probably do his best to pay you. But given he is poor, it may take awhile.

Why don’t you suggest he at least try to make some payments. Maybe a few hundred a week or few thousand a month. Or anything, no matter how small, to keep it on his mind and “to do” list.

Why not tell him you will forgive his debt if he comes over and cleans up the place?

Thank you all for allowing me to vent and for your very informative replies and suggestions!

Yes, I suggested he come up with a payment plan so that we can end this on a high note. He hasn’t yet replied.

A clear conscience is a soft pillow.

Although I’d really like to take him to court, it seems that this would take a lot of energy and time.

Lesson learned. If I do plan to rent out my place again, I’ll make sure to ask for 2 months rent, a written agreement and periodic visits. No wonder landlords are A-holes! I don’t blame them!

I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you all again!

Harris

[quote=“Harris”]Thank you all for allowing me to vent and for your very informative replies and suggestions!

Yes, I suggested he come up with a payment plan so that we can end this on a high note. He hasn’t yet replied.

A clear conscience is a soft pillow.

Although I’d really like to take him to court, it seems that this would take a lot of energy and time.

Lesson learned. If I do plan to rent out my place again, I’ll make sure to ask for 2 months rent, a written agreement and periodic visits. No wonder landlords are A-holes! I don’t blame them!

I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you all again!

Harris[/quote]

You should do all that, and you shouldn’t feel hesitant about it. For the record, I had a really great relationship with my previous landlady and I didn’t feel like paying three months up-front (one for the first month’s rent, that is) or her occassional visits were imposing at all. Landlords have to protect themselves, too!