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Tenant Trusted His “Remote Landlord,” But When His Security Deposit Vanished, He Turned the Owner’s Tax Haven into a Legal Nightmare.

In a drawn-out battle against an absentee landlord who falsely claims damages to retain a rental deposit, OP fights not in court but by exposing the landlord’s alleged tax evasion. This intriguing tale of tenancy turns into a tense wait for justice, culminating in an unexpected revelation that rocks the landlord’s world.

A Favorable Beginning

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OP discovers a condo for rent by a private owner on Craigslist and decides it’s perfect. OP pays a $1000 deposit to the out-of-state landlord, securing a year-long lease. This was an ideal arrangement, as OP preferred to rent condos for their numerous benefits over apartments.

A Locksmith’s Predicament

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On the 8th month, OP comes home to find the door locked and unresponsive to their keys. After unsuccessful attempts to reach the landlord, OP is left with no option but to enlist the help of a local locksmith. The locksmith is unable to unlock the door and determines the lock is faulty, leading to a lock replacement costing $100.

An Absentee Landlord

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OP informs the landlord about the situation via multiple communication channels, offering to send copies of the new keys. However, their messages are met with silence, marking the landlord’s first notable absence in OP’s times of need. The communication gap intensifies OP’s distress.

The Lease’s End

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As the lease nears its end, OP insists on a walk-through with the landlord. The landlord refuses to show up personally, introducing another layer of complication. OP threatens to report the situation to the condo office, as the landlord doesn’t possess official subleasing permission, which finally prompts action from the landlord.

The Police Officer Proxy

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The landlord appoints a friend, who is a police officer, as a proxy to conduct the walk-through. The condo is inspected thoroughly, with all appliances, faucets, blinds, carpets, and hardwood scrutinized and deemed satisfactory.

The Vanishing Deposit

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A month after moving out, OP has not received their deposit. The landlord continues to ignore OP’s emails and calls, leaving OP feeling deceived and frustrated. This mysterious delay introduces another predicament.

False Accusations Unleashed

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Two months post-move-out, the landlord resurfaces with a litany of alleged damages to the condo. OP is accused of damaging various elements of the unit, including blinds, hardwood floors, doors, dishwasher, sink, oven, and dryer. The total repair cost conveniently matches OP’s initial deposit of $1000, heightening OP’s frustration.

Baseless Claims

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OP, outraged by the unfounded claims, defends their cleanliness and respect for the unit. The landlord’s insistence on withholding the deposit prompts OP to believe that he was scheming to keep the money from the start. This ignites a burning desire for justice in OP.

Refusing Legal Action

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OP considers taking the landlord to court but ultimately decides against it due to the inconvenience of residing in another state. However, OP comes up with a different strategy to fight the injustice. A loophole concerning the landlord’s financial transactions sparks an idea.

A Matter of Taxes

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OP only learned that the sublet was done without official approval from the condo association and suspects that the landlord has possibly been avoiding taxes by not declaring the rental income as well. Equipped with bank statements and the personal information of the landlord, OP decides to report the tax evasion to the IRS. The stage is set for a unique kind of retaliation.

A Claim to the IRS

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Armed with all necessary documents, including bank statements, the landlord’s account numbers, and ID, OP reports the landlord to the IRS. This move, OP hopes, will force the landlord to face legal consequences. The potential repercussions could serve as fitting retribution.

A Long Wait

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OP waits patiently for the wheels of justice to turn. While there is no immediate response or action, OP remains hopeful that the karma the landlord deserves will arrive. The drawn-out waiting period only heightens the tension.

The Downfall Unveiled

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Years later, OP decides to check on the aftermath of their report to the IRS. OP discovers that the landlord has filed for bankruptcy, losing his condo and cars. This unexpected but satisfying turn of events marks the climax of OP’s fight for justice and vengeance.

Karma Strikes Back

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In the end, the deceitful landlord, who had kept OP’s rental deposit unscrupulously, lost his condo—the very property he had rented to OP. This served as poetic justice for the landlord’s fraudulent actions, and OP finds satisfaction knowing that the wrongdoer faced his dues.

Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responded

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One reader said, “There was likely much more going on, and he was probably in the middle of it before you even reported him. Stuff like that doesn’t move very fast, and your rental income would not be enough to trigger bankruptcy.”

Another Perspective

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If it was only the rental, he could have amended his tax return to add the income with expenses and likely would not even owe very much in taxes. Your tip might have just been one more stick for the fire.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote: “The simplest explanation is he was in deep debt and couldn’t afford to give you $1000, and it finally caught up with him.”

A Third View On The Story

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A different person states: “Sounds a little over the top. People leave their rented houses in bad condition all the time but claim they cleaned it well. I’ve never heard someone admit they left a house a wreck.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

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