Claim for Damages
2409 Sky Watcher Street, Henderson, Nevada
In April 2015 I contracted with Realty Executives of Nevada, now ERA Brokers Consolidated, hereinafter referred to as “ERA”, to rent my property at 2409 Sky Watcher Street, Henderson, Nevada.
I am seeking compensation for damages in the sum of $26,345 from ERA for not providing available information to allow me to make an informed decision to rent my property or not. Despite advertising to the contrary, ERA did not effectively pre-qualify and screen the tenant.
On April 9, 2015, ERA recommended that I rent my property.
Very shortly after the tenant moved in, my problems began. The record contains a litany of emails and notices for non-payment of rent, angry statements from the tenant and relaxations of the terms of the rental agreement from me.
In their web advertising ERA states: (See Attachment #1)
I contend that ERA did not effectively pre-qualify and screen the prospective tenant and that reparation of the subsequent damage is therefore to ERA’s account.
Notes to Rental Applicants
(See Attachment #2)
In their notes to rental applicants, ERA includes minimum criteria for accepting a tenancy application.
- Item #2 states:
- Item #9 states:
Prior to my signing the Residential Lease Agreement on April 9, 2015, ERA presented the applicant’s case to me verbally. ERA recommended that I accept the tenant’s application.
Recently I requested from ERA information provided by the tenant when she submitted her application to rent my house.
ERA wrote in an email on September 29, 2016 that they could not release the documentation to me. However they did write:
I also have a copy of the divorce decree.
The tenant’s divorce was executed on October 14, 2014, six months prior to ERA’s recommendation to rent.
Google Search of Tenant’s Background Search
Why didn’t ERA tell me about the foreclosure?
A google search using ‘Andrea Claudio’ as the search criterion shows that Andrea lived at 2717 Carolina Blue Avenue. This was public information readily available to ERA when they did the background search on my behalf.
A further google search using ‘2717 Carolina Blue Avenue’ as the search criterion shows that the common property was lost in foreclosure on October 24, 2014. This was public information readily available to ERA when they did the background search on my behalf.
ERA did not present this background information to me thus depriving me of the opportunity to make an informed decision to rent or not.
Furthermore, the divorce decree contains the judicial order: (See Attachment #3):
Why did ERA not tell me that the community residence was lost?
Surely an order by the District Judge in lieu of foreclosure, is tantamount to an eviction. Clearly ERA’s acceptance criterion in Item #9 of their notes to rental applicants, was not met.
Clearly payments were not being made. ERA’s own acceptance criterion in Item #2 of their notes to rental applicants, was not met.
Why did ERA not tell me about the minor child’s Social Security Disability allotment?
Further, the divorce decree shows that the social security income was earmarked for a minor child’s Social Security Disability allotment and therefore unavailable for rent.
Offer to ERA to Settle
On September 12, 2016 I submitted my intent to file a claim for damages. I offered ERA a solution to the problem, namely that they waive the sales commission on the pending sale of my house.
First Claim Rejection
(See Attachment #4 below)
In a letter to me on September 20, 2016 ERA rejected my offer.
ERA stated in their letter:
That statement is incorrect.
There is rent unaccounted for in the FJM Corporation ledger. (Fafie and Jeff Moore’s accounting system). The ledger shows that many payments were delinquent as defined in the Residential Lease Agreement.
Were the late payments paid ‘in the form of certified funds’ as required by the lease agreement? What about the eviction notices?
The tenant moved into my property Apr 14, 15 and the last of her belongings were removed on Sep 12, 16. The tenant therefore occupied my property for 17 months.
Regular deposits into my account were at $1,091.50/month. The rent payable is $1,091.50/month times 17 months = $18,517.
ERA deposited only $14,109 into my Bank of America account. I am due further monies for rent unaccounted for in the FJM accounting system.
In an email to me on August 16, 2016, ERA provided me an estimate of costs to move Andrea’s belongings to her new address: (See Attachment #5 below):
Reasons for my taking control of my account from ERA
By the time of the tenant’s eviction I had lost confidence in ERA’s ability to manage my account.
At the end of the eviction process I was legally positioned to send the tenant’s belongings to the dump. Or so I thought. ERA cautioned me about that and suggested that I contact a lawyer to determine my exposure to a claim from the tenant.
By then I was unsure where I stood legally. My wife and I decided to take charge of the account and traveled from our home in Canada to see first hand what was happening under ERA’s management.
I spent many hours with the tenant in her suite at 3072 Bicentennial Parkway, Henderson. I found a broken and desolate woman badly in need of help and not getting it.
In one of her emails she stated:
Indeed there was blood everywhere. I have included the photographs below to illustrate the poor woman’s plight.
I decided to move her possessions to her new place at my expense. I made up the shortfall of $180 to pay her rent for September and paid her outstanding utility bills at my place.
I later instructed ERA not to pursue the tenant for damages on my behalf. I will do that. I copied the tenant on that instruction.
Andrea subsequently sent me an email thanking me for moving her belongings to her.
My reasons for moving her possessions were twofold:
- It removed the concern of a claim from the tenant. Neither I nor ERA need now be concerned in this regard.
- It was the right thing to do. To trash the belongings of a broken woman would have been cruel and unconscionable. ERA will agree.
Claim for Damages
I again note that ERA rejected my offer to settle for the sales commission to sell my house. That amount is $14,220.
My claim now is for:
- Travel Vancouver/Las Vegas return, car
- Motel accommodation
- Alan’s labor
- Rent not accounted for
- Alan’s time to research the case, understand it and prepare the claim
- Nancy’s labor
- Truck rental to move Andrea’s belongings
- Trailer rental to move Andrea's belongings
- Garbage bags, cleaning fluids, tape, tools etc.
- Casual labor
- Painting and cleaning
- Replace garage door
- Replace dishwasher
- Replace missing fridge parts
- Loss in US/CAD dollar exchange
- Extensive carpet cleaning
- Eviction notice
Second Claim Rejection
In Brad Murray’s email on Oct 11, 16 ERA stated that they did not agree with my assertion that ERA is responsible for costs incurred.
Brad gave no reasons for rejecting my claim and did not advance his arguments.
In an email on Oct 12, 16, Jeff Moore wrote:
Jeff appears to have missed my point.
Had ERA shared what they knew, or should have known at the time they pre-qualified and screened the tenant, I would not have rented to Andrea and there would have been no damage.
But they did know, or should have known, about Andrea’s background and there was damage.
On that basis I contend that both the tenant and ERA are responsible for the damage.
In an email on Nov 22, 16 Jeff Moore again held his position when he stated in part:
Jeff Moore’s statement that ERA ‘.... operated within what is reasonable when screening a potential tenant...’ is not true to CRA’s advertised statement “ .... we will do this by effectively pre-qualifying and screening prospective tenants...”
Therefore the advertised statement is false. I am concerned about that and consider that I was cheated.