Posted by JPiper on November 21, 2000 at 08:45:52:
I doubt that a ?statement? alone would necessarily support a claim of equitable title claim in an eviction court. What?s important here in my opinion would be what the statement SAYS. The fact that someone receives a statement per se meaning nothing.
For example, my statement was constructed in QuickBooks, so it?s an amended type of standard statement there. The top of the statement shows the entity that is the lessor. Another spot shows the tenant/buyer. The body of the statement is in columns. One column is for the date, the next for transaction, amount, balance. At the bottom of the running balance column there is an ?amount due? slot. At the bottom of the statement there is some verbiage that says the payment is due on the first, and who to make checks out to. Pretty straightforward.
?Items? can be entered into the monthly statement. For example, ?monthly rent? is an item. ?Late charges? are an item. ?Option consideration? is an item. I have others but this gives you a feel.
Transactions can be memorized in QuickBooks, so each month when I open QuickBooks 10 days before the first of the following month what happens is that all memorized transactions are automatically entered. ?Monthly rent? therefore is entered for all tenants or tenant/buyers as an example. I can then hit a button to print out selected statements or all the statements. I can also select the time period for the statement?.in other words I could send a statement showing the last years history?or I could send a statement showing last months charges and payments along with this months charges. I generally do the latter.
As it applies to the tenant buyer what is entered into his history are things like ?monthly rent?, ?option consideration?, ?additional rent? (this is a term I use in my lease for things like late charges or other charges for notices so that I can collect them in court as rent?a quirk with the judges locally who won?t award late fees but will award rent).
Note that ?option consideration? is entered when it is received?.that is, typically in the beginning at the outset of the deal. Therefore the tenant/buyer does not receive ongoing statements showing the receipt of option consideration. I send a monthly statement, not a complete history each month.
Nor does the statement show monthly rent credits. I don?t track monthly rent credits since they aren?t ?earned? until the option is exercised. When and if a tenant/buyer exercises an option THEN I calculate the monthly rent credits by looking at the payment history. Payments in the tenant history are obviously shown as of the date received by me.
No where on the statement is anything relating to the price of the house, or the price of the house less the rent credits, or anything of the type. Again, all that shows is monthly rent and the receipt of payments, along with the additional rent that I mentioned above.
The way an eviction is handled here locally is that when you go before the judge he asks me how much the tenant owes. He then asks the tenant, if the tenant is there, whether the tenant agrees with that. The judge does NOT look at the lease, statements, payment histories, or anything else at that time. Obviously if the tenant is not there then the judge enters a judgment in your favor. I have had a tenant show, who disagreed with the amount. He told the judge he didn?t agree with the court costs. The judge told him he could disagree with that?it was automatic?and entered the judgment for the entire amount in my favor. When a tenant claims to have made a payment that you didn?t receive, the judge will ask the tenant if he has proof. They either do or they don?t.
I haven?t had an equitable title claim. But it is something I?ve given considerable thought to. The way my leases are constructed now is with my regular lease. I get a security deposit on this lease equal to the first months rent. The option agreement is separate and is for whatever the option consideration is for. I assume that a tenant/buyer making such a claim would show up with these documents. I?m not sure how a judge would rule, but EVERYTHING in my paperwork shows as a standard lease along with a separate option. My statements and histories don?t conflict with the paperwork.
What I would not include in a statement are some of things you mentioned like price, or rent credits. Again, rent credits aren?t earned until exercise. I show money received from tenants as simply rent?and I pay taxes on it in the year received. Option consideration I don?t pay tax on until the option is either exercised or expires.