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HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Can a foreigner buy...? Can a foreigner rent...? What about deposits? Bad neighbors? Unreasonable landlords? Miscellaneous problems?
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HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby strider » 19 Sep 2015, 14:40

I did a stupid thing. My new landlady was a younger modern woman, very accomodating and kind, it seemed. There was a lot of old furniture in the place, and three beds. I said I wanted none of them, she said she couldn't take them out. We negotiated and I agreed to keep two of them. We talked a long while about exactly which one she would take out. Among other things. She said don't worry if things break I'll fix them. We put it right there in the contract, plain as day. Then, the stupid thing, I paid a whole year up front to get a big discount on the rent. What can I say? She didn't come across as one of "those" landlords at all. Not in the least.

A week later, the fridge is broken, and all the furniture is still here. She won't take the furniture, won't fix the fridge. Says it isn't broken. She came herself to analyze it, instead of sending a handyman. Then a "handyman" showed up, and also said it wasn't broken, without doing anything but walking into the kitchen standing in front of it and making the statement "there's nothing wrong with this" and walking out. Turned out, he was actually another sales agent for the real estate company I went through.

Long story short, I don't want to live here anymore. I anticipate future,even bigger problems. Besides, I don't have room for my stuff with all her stuff in here, and if I throw out her stuff, of course she'll charge me at the end of the line. Contract says, if she breaks it, she owes me a two month penalty and a month to find a new home. She's breaking it. But how could I demonstrate any of this? She says I can move out, but she'll keep two months rent.

A friend suggested I ask for her tax ID number, and receipts for the rent paid. He said I am entitled to deduct it from my income tax, and in reporting it, she's then required to pay income tax on it. His theory, she won't want to have this hidden income revealed and taxed, and may let me go. Her answer? She'll give me the receipts, but then increase the rent by 12% to pay her taxes, which she (and the agent) both agree is what the law requires me to do.

How do I get out of here???
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby strider » 19 Sep 2015, 14:43

And the truth is, I CAN'T get out of here, without getting that money back first, which is probably why she laughed in my face when I said I'd take her to court....
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby Tempo Gain » 19 Sep 2015, 15:25

strider wrote: Her answer? She'll give me the receipts, but then increase the rent by 12% to pay her taxes, which she (and the agent) both agree is what the law requires me to do.


What does the rental agreement say about this? Anything?
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby dan2006 » 19 Sep 2015, 15:34

Just say, that's OK, Ill just send a copy of my lease agreement to the tax office today and tell them you are refusing to provide receipts.
That should get her attention.

Don't have much other advice, since she has your $ up front, nothing you can do but sue her.

When I was apartment hunting I found this one dive that was way more expensive than what I am paying now for half the space of what I have now.
The landlord misrepresented the pictures and listing to look like I had the entire apartment, but when I got there she said, oh for the price you see online, that's the large bedroom, that's more money, for the cheap price you get this, and then proceeded to show me a single room. The rest is common area for the other 2 renters, which she conveniently forgot to list online. Then she said the price online was only if I paid in full for a year, if I went monthly she tried tacking on $2000 a month. I'm glad I ran from that. As soon as you hear payment in full for a year, run.

Second was another dive where the old man owner insisted on a high price for me with no discount. Then he tried to say that I would be responsible if anything went wrong, (ie fridge died, water heater), he wanted no responsibility, and the year up front. Ran away on that one too. His daughter called me 2 days later saying they would negotiate after all, but I wanted nothing to do with that either. Once the guy got the $, forget maintenance.
Hope some others can give you some practical advice. But im guessing suing her is the only way.
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby dabomb_gent » 19 Sep 2015, 18:47

It's like the biggest red flag to pay rent upfront for a long period of time. Since you already told her that you would sue her. I can imagine that this relation is pretty much burned. If you can't talk some sense into her and find a solution, you will have to take her to court.

The receipt thing is normal. If you rent an apartment, you don't get an invoice. If you want an invoice you have to pay for the taxes.
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby dabomb_gent » 19 Sep 2015, 18:52

In my eyes you have two options: cut your losses short pay her two months and get out, or suck it up and stay there until the contract finishes (and try to fix the problem with the fridge and furniture).

It won't be easy to prove that she is breaking the contract over a fridge which you say does not work and she says it works, so I don't think your case looks very promising in a court, also the reason why she was laughing when you said it probably.
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby strider » 19 Sep 2015, 21:21

Sigh. Well, she says now that if something is "totally broken" she will replace it, but if it's not "totally" broken then I have to repair it. Who wants to guess what the odds are that nothing will EVER be "totally broken" according to her definition? And she'll be right. You can fix anything, if you spend enough on it.

She says this is a 'big step" for her to do for me, because by law, if her refrigerator breaks, I have to buy a new one and give it to her to keep when I move out.
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby strider » 19 Sep 2015, 21:33

So I think it's also not hard to guess how likely it is that she really will take this "big step" if the situation arises.

The money up front was my idea, to get a discount on the rent, which is why I said I did a stupid thing.

She is telling me now that I need to sign a new contract that "fixes" the old one and states she won't repair things after all. :fume:

I've got an idea: I'll buy an apartment fill it with tons of old stuff that is bound to break any day now, rent it to someone, force them to replace it with brand new stuff, sell the brand new stuff, replace it with old junk again, and repeat, over and over and over. What an awesome business model that would be, if only there were a country somewhere that conducting myself this way were considered reasonable and normal.... :loco:
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby ironlady » 20 Sep 2015, 01:52

Oh no! Oh no! What was that? Bad news from home? You have to leave Taiwan unexpectedly for a terrible family emergency possibly involving an aged parent?

Negotiate. While lying through your teeth.

I didn't say that. But it works sometimes.
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Re: HOW TO BREAK A LEASE (without getting screwed?)

Postby Gryphon » 20 Sep 2015, 10:21

strider wrote:So I think it's also not hard to guess how likely it is that she really will take this "big step" if the situation arises.

The money up front was my idea, to get a discount on the rent, which is why I said I did a stupid thing.

She is telling me now that I need to sign a new contract that "fixes" the old one and states she won't repair things after all. :fume:

I've got an idea: I'll buy an apartment fill it with tons of old stuff that is bound to break any day now, rent it to someone, force them to replace it with brand new stuff, sell the brand new stuff, replace it with old junk again, and repeat, over and over and over. What an awesome business model that would be, if only there were a country somewhere that conducting myself this way were considered reasonable and normal.... :loco:



If you have to sign a new contract, then first she has to give back all of the money to nullify the old contract. Then you can sign a new contract.
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