Last month, a Madison, WI, police officer shot and killed Tony Terrell Robinson Jr., an unarmed 19-year-old. The city’s chief of police has compared the case to death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
On Wednesday, the Wisconsin-based Devil’s Advocates Radio Network reported that Robinson’s surviving roommate, Anthony M. Limon, had received an eviction notice, giving him five days to vacate their Madison apartment or pay their three-days-late rent and $1,192.15 for “bio-hazard cleanup” for removal of Robinson’s blood from the apartment. The notice was addressed to Limon and his mother, whose name also appears on the lease.
The notice was sent by landlord Ray A. Peterson. Peterson told Devil’s Advocates co-host Mike Crute that he believed it appropriate to bill Limon for the bio-hazard removal because Robinson’s name did not appear on the lease.
Ray A. Peterson, a heartfelt FUCK YOU from all of us here at Balloon Juice.
Then he’s not contractually responsible for the damage.
There are no biggest assholes because they just keep expanding.
As a former landlord can I just say, what a dick? What a dick.
More about Ray Peterson. This is not the only such case. Some people are assholes.
I got billed for cleanup of my mother (dead in her apartment for 3-4 days in a chair….they cut her out of the chair). On the advice of my probate attorney, I did not pay it (they billed the estate, but they legally were nearly last in line for payment after IRS and credit cards, who also didn’t get paid)
Strong contestent in the burgeoning contest for most publically visible asshole, 15 minutes of Infamy Sweepstakes, and, with proper management, automatic financial support from the gullible supporting the anti-PC/diversity crowd. Might even soon be a more profitable gambit than the traditional Nigerian 419 scam.
Cliff in NH
Gin & Tonic
@efgoldman: I had an uncle who passed a few years ago, estranged from nearly everyone. I ended up “making arrangements” because there was, literally, nobody else, but he left debts all over the place, which I took pleasure in ignoring.
Another contestant for the prize: Dictator loving MoU. Why does this man have a column, can someone tell me.
He thinks its wonderful that Chinese preschoolers have to worry about college admissions.
Gin & Tonic
@efgoldman: Indeed. He had lived well beyond his means for some time. Good for him.
@schrodinger’s cat: Preschoolers worrying about college admissions? If those little ones were smart they’d be working on following Friedman’s path to wealth and riches-marriage to a wealthy heiress.
One rusty pitchfork, coming right up!
How fitting that the column was published on April Fools’ Day.
Please Cole, don’t be so hard on the job creators.
@Gin & Tonic: Now that’s an interesting approach to fucking over The Man. Get old, know you’ve only got a limited number of years left, and take that time to run up huge debts, and stick The Man with the bill. Fuck you banksters, collect from my dead body, good luck. But I have to wonder if that’s in fact who ended up losing money on it, or if the bill got passed on to the rest of us little people, however.
What the heck are the renters laws in Wiscy? Here in the land of fruits and nuts, you generally can’t evict someone on less than 30 days notice except under specific circumstances, like a change of ownership. And in reality, it’s a pain in the ass to evict even for several months nonpayment of rent.
What’s really appalling is the number of people willing to defend this nonsense.
Landlords are not “job creators.” There is no way you can argue they’re responsible for anything truly productive in our economy. They are the definition of rent-seekers. They do nothing to create wealth — they are using wealth that was already created to try to extract more from folks who can’t afford to buy real estate. They’re the worst parasites in our market and people are still willing to defend them.
If the mess is in your apartment, and you are the one on the lease, you’re paying for the damage.
Even though you had nothing to do with causing it.
I suspect the real reason the landlord is even trying is because a parent co-signed and he knows he can get the money.
Not saying that any of this is right, by the way, just simply worked for a property management agency (worst job ever) and know how the laws work.
If you ever have a roommate, you MUST get them on the lease or you’re on the hook for anything they do that damages the domicile, including getting their brains blown all over the wall by one of America’s Law Enforcement Heroes.
@James Hare: Because our market is built by, and for, parasites. It’s an enormous parasitical system, the purpose of which is to extract profit for the few from the labor of the many, from the destruction of the environment, and from easily-dupable or choice-less consumers. There is no way to participate in it without being a thief. It’s all an enormous grift.
I think it’s time for a blog-vacation for me. I’m starting to hate everything again.
I think we just found the next Tea-party endorsed candidate for the US Congress!!!!! (the landlord, not the cat)
That’s sort of what happened with my late father-in-law. The credit card companies were trying to pressure my mother-in-law into paying, but since they were not legally married when he died (long story), she had no legal responsibility for his debts. They made her worry about his credit rating until we pointed out he didn’t really have to worry about getting new credit anymore.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Yep, it’s a strategy that only makes sense for someone who is single and either has no kids or doesn’t care about leaving anything to their kids. But I’m still skeptical that the banksters didn’t find a way to pass those bad debts on to all of us other folks, rather than it ever coming out of their profits. They always seem to find a way to do that.
It seems that in those commercials for final expenses life insurance they imply that children are responsible for parental debt. As I understand it though, children are not responsible for the parents debt, the estate is and if there is no estate to pay the bills, well, tough titties debtors.
@James Hare: Aren’t you being a little hard on landlords? Sure, slum lords can be scum, but a good landlord has provided the capital to buy the apartment in the first place and then rents it out at a profit for those who either can’t save enough to make a sufficient down payment to buy real estate, or won’t be staying in one area long enough to justify buying and selling property, or don’t want the hassle of being responsible for maintenance. If the landlord doesn’t make a profit, there’s no value in the investment, and the apartment not only wouldn’t likely have been bought to be leased, it might never have been built. No landlords=lots and lots of homeless people.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): I’m sure they have standard landlord laws in Wisconsin. I’m guessing the tenant doesn’t know his rights. Arizona isn’t any great tenants rights place but I can tell you from helping my dad deal with rentals, you give them a five day notice initially and you hope the person moves out. If not, you have to give them another notice, and then the court date and then have the constable come out. If you know the law, you can probably stretch it out to two months. i know a several landlords and from my experience the landlords are usually the ones who get screwed by the tenants. The vast majority of landlords are not going to give a crap as long as they get paid on time, the place is looked after reasonably and you don’t call them day and night for stupid stuff. I don’t know one landlord who enjoys prepping a place and dealing with all the hassles of having a new tenant move in. As far as this Petersen asshole, I’m surprised he’s not getting his insurance co. to cover it. I’m assuming his deductible is $500 but that’s still cheaper than two grand.
Reading is a life skill. What the guy received was a 5-day notice to quit or pay rent. It’s a standard form in just about every state when the rent is late. After the 5 day period if the rent is still not paid the landlord can start eviction proceedings. The tenant can still stay in the apartment without paying rent for a few more weeks before the sheriff shows up to physically evict him from the premises.
Generally the tenant is responsible for damage to the apartment during the tenancy. Is the landlord supposed to just eat the cost? What did he do besides own the place and rent it out?
But don’t worry, The tenant won’t have to pay if he doesn’t want to. Deadbeat tenants are typically written off as a loss. It’s part of the cost of doing business, and landlords just adjust the rents and deposits of other people to cover it.
Yes, Ray A. Peterson – fuck you very much!
Seems like Ray Peterson has a history.
@Joel: To quote Master Yoda, “Off you must fuck.”
Believe it or not, I live in Madison and I do real estate appraisal for a living. I had never heard of Ray Peterson and I’m thinking he’s a small timer.
Googling his name, though, gets me notices of 4 cases against this guy … ON THE FIRST PAGE OF RESULTS.
https://www.cityofmadison.com/dcr/DecisionDigest/Cases/20051069.pdf [warning PDF]
It looks like Peterson lost every one of these. He cut off heat and electricity illegally; he rented apartments that didn’t have water service (also illegal); he failed to return a security deposit; and he denied housing to a prospective tenant based on an arrest record and illegally required a social security number. It’s nothing huge — just “I’m an asshole and I’ll do what I want” type behavior.
In the water case, he didn’t dispute that he rented them a place without water, he just said it was legal because the statute requiring water be ‘available’ to a dwelling just means ‘you can have toilets that flush after you call the water utility and they figure out a time to get there.’ Unsurprisingly, the judge disagreed.
@James Hare: James, you’re wrong. I’ve been a landlord for years. My philosophy is to provide a ‘renter’s paradise’: perfectly maintained, comfortable and affordable places for people to live. Lots of folk cannot afford or wish to own property and I provided that service to them. Hardly an ignoble practice.
It would hardly surprise me to learn that the landlord is entirely within his rights to impose the cleaning charge on the tenant; pretty much without exception, residential leases are horribly one-sided documents.
That said, a smart business person would intuitively understand that in some cases, getting everything you’re entitled to under a contract isn’t worth doing, and this is one of those cases. The future revenue loss from being flagged as a bad landlord is going to far exceed the cost of the cleanup.
Dumb. Really dumb.
Next up: The Madison PD sends him a bill for the bullets that killed his roomie. Actually, the landlord comes off much worse than the Po-leece here; he seems like a giant, gaping asshole.
Since he’s dead, that would be a tough case to make.