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Accused of THEFT for selling my housemates belongings for not being able to pay for rent.

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amiash15


Arresto Menor
I have been renting an apartment with 4 rooms for about 3 years now. I don't have sufficient income to pay for the entire apartment, so I had the other 3 rooms rented by people I know. One tenant, in particular, stopped sending payment for his room since January 2013. He was in the province since December, but didn't bother to give me a heads up on whether or not he'll come back. Come February when I asked him about the rent, he said that he was just on vacation and that he will send his payment. I asked him that if he ever decided to not come back, to give me at least a month's notice so I could find someone else to replace him. He said OK.

A month passed, but no payment came. The Landlord was starting to pester me about it because we were 2 months behind on 1-share rent. Upon finding out about the problematic tenant, the Landlord suggested that I give him an ultimatum. I e-mailed the tenant (and texted him a lot of times) telling him that the Landlord will keep his belongings in the meantime, at least until he settles his balance. We did not get any reply or advice of some sort that says he will not come back. That would have been good, so as to give us ample time to look for someone else to rent the room. When March came and neither payment nor communication was made, the Landlord asked that either we settle the remaining balance ASAP or we move out. So what I did was send the tenant another e-mail, saying that we will be selling his belongings in order to pay for his backlogs.

And on the last week of March, after getting no response still, I did just that -- I sold some of his belongings. Sold them for bargain prices to sell them as quick as possible. I was able to come up with enough cash to pay his 3-month backlog. The rest of his stuff, I put in boxes and put them aside. Yesterday, his mother came over and demanded for all his stuff. She insisted that the reason why they did not pay was because she knew his son has a 2-month deposit, and that their backlog will only be for a month (March). She said that it was against the law to open her son's room and sell belongings, and that according to the law it should be six months before I had the right to do that. She told me (a painful lesson on my part... and now I know I screwed up pretty bad) that I did not follow the right procedure, which is consulting barangay officials and have at least 1 official over as witness (something like that) when I opened her son's room.

In my defense, I only did what I did because I panicked. All I asked was for him to reply to one of my many attempts to communicate, to tell me what's up, to say that he will still come back. But that I did not get. I didn't know what to do. There was no way to convert his deposit to cash, and I didn't have enough savings to pay for their share. I didn't want to be kicked out of the house. What's worse is her mom believes that I sold her son's stuff for my own personal gains. I apologized and tried to reason with her, but she just wouldn't hear any of it. I had no intention whatsoever of gaining profit from the items that they had left at the room. All I wanted was to settle the remaining balance.

Big problem for me now is they are threatening to sue me for theft.

Would greatly appreciate if you could share your wisdom and give me advice on what my best options are. Please...

Thank you very much po.

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amiash15


Arresto Menor
I really need advice on this TIA!

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amiash15


Arresto Menor
Update on this case: We paid them 50k for settlement tangina nila they charged us 3 times the cost of the items that we sold. fuck them all. kami na nga na dehado kami na nga nag bayad ng pang rent nila I hope they get what they deserve. Hell.

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