Q: In 1999, I signed a lease and put down an $800 security deposit. I continued to renew it and in 2011 I signed a six-year lease, which clearly states “the tenant has deposited the sum of $800 prepaid with the landlord for the security deposit.”
The property changed hands in 2012. The attorney for the buyer (also the buyer’s father) failed to get the security deposits from the previous landlord. We are told it was my responsibility.
But my attorney says legally the terms of the lease and the security deposits go with the sale of the building to each new buyer. What do you think?
Sign me — OUT MY MONEY!
A: You’re not out any money. Your current landlord is liable for that deposit. Yes, your lease “survives the sale” and all its provisions are just as binding on the next owner(s) of the property as they were on the previous one.
When ownership changed hands, it was up to the buyer, and whoever ran the closing, to see that security deposits were accounted for in the financial settlements. It sounds as if your current landlord could blame his attorney for negligence, but as that was his father, I guess he’s just out of luck.
More Timeshare Advice
Q: We own several timeshares and your advice to people attempting to rid themselves of timeshares is outdated. Very few people nowadays look for them in the classifieds. Almost everything is done online. Below are two good resources to list a timeshare for sale or for free; both have bargain basement advertising.
Timeshare Users Group: It costs $15 to join for one year and an owner can place a timeshare in the advertising section.
Redweek.com: Costs $14.99 to join for a year and $24.99 for a six-month rental ad or $59.99 for a 12-month rental ad.
Another resource is to ask the president of the board of directors for advice, if the management company will not take the unit back. When a timeshare is listed for free or nearly free there is usually someone interested. — D.C.
A: When I started this column in 1975, classified ads were still the main source of information. Looks like I’m showing my age. And then when the Internet came in, I resolved never to print a web address unless I knew it was legitimate. The places you mention sound harmless, though, and I thank you for sending them on.
For those ready to sell — or give away — a timeshare that no longer fits the family’s lifestyle, the first rule is — never give anyone money upfront in return for a promise to solve your problem. See the next letter:
Credit Card for $3,000
Q: Monday I used your website to ask a question and when I typed in “timeshares,” the name of this company _____ came up with this phone number ____ and I talked to a case manager. Do you know this comes up on your website?
Getting desperate I gave her my credit card for $3,000. Have I been scammed again? Years ago you had an article that said do not give money to sell but I guess I thought it was my only way out of this mess. I was just trying to ask you a question but all I got was this phone number ____. The attorney general was no help.
— P. C.
A: I double-checked at www.askedith.com, and some of my kids did, too. We all agree that you somehow moved out of my website into a general Internet search, and that’s where those people got hold of you.
Authorities may not want to act because the company isn’t exactly lying when they promise to market your property. They’ll probably type it in to a list of available timeshares — but I’m afraid that as you suspect, nothing else happens.
Posting False Data
Q: Because the Realtor had a buyer ready, I made a contract to sell my house before the listing was published. The Realtor still plans on publishing the listing, but he wants to publish the asking price as a price lower than it actually was, so that when the sale is posted, it will appear that the selling price was higher than what I had asked. I refused to allow that. Is what the Realtor wanted to do ethical?
— via askedith.com
A: Why would he do that? So he could boast that he got you more than you expected?
Licensed brokers who choose to join a private organization, the National Association of Realtors, pledge to follow a strict code of ethics. But anyhow, it doesn’t take state law, or a code, to make lying wrong. Then again, it’s harmful to falsify data that appraisers may later rely on.
Edith Lank will respond personally to any question sent to www.askedith.com or to 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester NY 14620