Housemate Stole Money - Need Advice :(

Hi guys… have a situation here that I'm not sure what to do.
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background story

I'm renting a mate's house which he's happy for me to sublet - so I did.

One housemate ( Housemate A ) is a mate I've known for a long time, another one ( Housemate B ) is a guy that contacted me through Flatmates ( website to find rentals etc )

So Housemate B have just recently divorced and is still sorting out his legals ( from what I've been hearing from him ) and because of this he's been a month behind his rent - of which I have been tolerating because I understand that shit happens specially when you're dealing with the court, lawyers and whatnot.

There are no locks for the rooms in the house.
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problem

In August, I've purchased $900 worth of Japanese Yen in prep for my Japan trip in December. I have a "Travel" section in my room where I put all my foreign currencies, passports, visa requirements etc etc in - so the Japanese Yen goes there.

In late August I had to go to Bali for a mate's wedding, so obviously I had to take out some Indonesian money to take with me - which was when I realized that there are only $200 worth of Japanese Yen left.

Understandably I was very pissed off to have my hard earned money disappear on me like that, but since I have no proof / evidence whatsoever, and it was my own mistake of putting cash somewhere in a place without a lock, I was willing to cross it off as a very expensive mistake and not raise hell with any of my housemates.

But I was determined that this will be the first and last time this happens. So I welcomed a few Xiaomi cameras into my household.
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climax

So, a few days ago I just came back from a short trip overseas. Went back home and was going straight to work when I noticed that my car seat had been moved from the position it's usually on. Checked my dashcam - boom. Housemate B was driving my car when I wasn't home! ( Footage safe in Dropbox )

Being very pissed off, I went home and was about to confront him when I thought I should just check the hard-working Xiaomis first. Boom. Housemate B was ransacking my room. ( Footage also safe in Dropbox )

With this is pretty darn obvious that he was the one that took the Yen ( he was looking for more on my "Travel" section which is now empty ) - and driving my car… who touches another man's car without permission!
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need advice on…

Went to the cops this morning with Housemate A.

They advised me that since there is no hard evidence that Housemate B took the yen, they will not be able to charge him unless he admits it ( slim chance )

What I can do though, is charge him for trespassing and stealing ( driving car without permission ) and go to court with that.

That being said, there is no guarantee that I will get the money for the rent that he still owes me even though he goes to court.

I was thinking to use the divorce angle and threaten him that he won't be able to see his kids again if he's charged as a criminal, but I don't even know if this is a thing. ( yes, I know I'm being an arse by doing this to another man… but..! )

If I do that and force him to pay up and admit that he's done what he did, I will be able to recoup the $$$ I've lost - but will that make me legally suable for lying about the above?

What are my options here? :(
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Update ( 5:31 PM 8/11/2017 )
Housemate A just checked his kitty and it appears that he has also lost around $200 :(
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Update ( 10:38 AM 9/11/2017 )
Went to the coppers again this morning and they said that the Sergeant that is looking over my area only works on Saturday and Sunday, so it's preferred that I wait until then to speak to him / her to hear his / her thoughts.

Comments

      • +1

        no i dont know any friends that are currently going through this situation but i had a situation where a housemate was causing me a lot of stress and he had to go

        i believe this would be the best way of resolving this kind of problem but it does require a lot of coordination

        if you were in sydney city i would show up and stomp on this guy for you but you gotta handle it

        empower yourself to do it

        • btw also voice record the whole conversation and never threaten him once but request him several times to resolve the matter via repaying debt and leaving by a certain date. get him to agree. if he decides to change his word tell him you have a voice recording. also if he threatens you thats plus points on the voice recording that can be given to the police to assist with eviction

          understand that this evidence will be dismissed in court because he never agreed to be voice recorded but it will make him panic

    • this is a bad idea to let him in the house. if he needs to get his things then you can have people inside who can go and get them and bring them to the front door for him.

      once he's inside the house it can get messy.

      • scrotty you arent allowed to evict a tenant on the spot like that you can get sued. you have to get him to agree to leave

        the housemate also has a set of keys if you change all the locks thats the same as evicting which can also get sued for that

        • it depends what agreement is in place, and I doubt he'll sue lol.

        • he may sue for the amount of money that is required for hotel and eventually find a permanent place to stay
          if the guy decides to squat you can just make everyday a living hell for him which is not against the law
          thats the proper way of getting rid of someone not via force

  • Surely if you show him the video and tell him you're going to the cops/social media with it, he'll cough up the stolen $$$ out of fear of getting a police record, being publicly shamed….

    • … or he can go postal and start trashing the house? Would you take the chance though?

      • since there is 2 of them and 1 of him, i'd take that chance and start filming if he does go postal.

  • +1

    I Know this sounds abit lame but if you want all the money back.

    There's one way. But that means you hope you haven't played your cards yet. Hope he doesn't know your onto him.

    You can basically set a trap for him and use the cameras to record him stealing the money this time. With this the judge may take the other missing money into consideration and pass his favour to you which means he has to pay up all the money he stole.

    If not then, Just cop your loss and kick him out with a bang :)

    Cheers, Max

  • Should have bought this

    • you do know that you'll need to be inside the room to use this?

      • +3
        1. put in place while inside.
        2. exit through window
        3. go on holiday
        4. kick door down to get in again
        5. replace door.
        6. still come out ahead.
        7. ???
        8. xiaomi
  • +3

    Your scum house mate knows you have surveilance footage that incriminates him for theft and trespass. He doesn't know it does not include the Yen stolen.

  • -1

    Firstly, you need to serve him with a termination notice. Get him out of your residence before you incur more losses as soon as possible as he obviously will continue doing this.

    Check out the below website, as a landlord (or your mate who owns the property) has the right to serve the termination notice. Get the locks changed after he is out.

    You can then proceed to get your rent owed with various options such as a repayment plan. Offer him a repayment plan first (both have to agree and sign), understand you are angry/upset but going in hard will most likely make it more difficult to get your money. A repayment plan will at least allow you to recoup some of the costs initially. If this fails, then there is the Fairtrading Tribunal, which you'll need to go to for the termination notice in any case.

    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owner...

    As for the stolen money and the car incident, this is a matter for the police and they cannot do much but write up a report for you. The report is basically to show that you went to the police and these are the events you reported, not admissible as evidence as such in court. You do however have video footage, but bare in mind that you'll need a lawyer and this will get costly - unfortunately you may have to let this one go as it's not worth it.

    I hope this helps. Get a Travelcard which will allow you to store multiple currencies on it in future, much more secure, and you can always still take some small change in notes/coins.

  • +3

    Put your money in savings and get yourself a Citibank debit card for travelling overseas (unless you are heading to a country with no ATM machines).
    Plus the exchange rate from money changer in Australia sucks.

    • +1

      I second that your money should be in a bank and then just carry a card that you can use overseas.

      Basically keep all your money in the bank and only carry minimal cash around for places that don't take card or small businesses that you feel bad using your card at cos they might have to wear some fees etc. Personally the amount of cash on you should only be an amount you're willing to lose and then everything else on card.

  • Be aware.. Person B could be the thief. He would then claim to also have money stolen so it can be blamed on person C.
    Is it likely that person B wouldn't have noticed till you mentioned it?

    • Good point. Although A did drive his car when he was away.

  • I'm guessing you didn't take a bond?
    hmm even if you did he's already one month behind

    word of warning: you should be nice to people who deserve it. Once they break your trust, usually they'll do it again.

    kick him out and move on
    at the end of the day this person clearly doesn't care about the law and its better to cut ties than to drag it out
    $1000 is nothing in the grand scheme of things but this guy might get aggressive
    from his actions he clearly has questionable morals

  • +1

    Might have been said - but this is a lesson to everyone to always take Bond if you're subletting to something

  • +2

    As someone who has had to kick out a Tenant, best advice is to wait for them to leave for a couple hours, change the locks and put all their belongings outside for them to collect and move on. The locks you can change yourself if your the DIY type from your local Bunnings.

    I didn't bother to take any of their stuff, not worth the hassle especially if you have to involve the Police to keep him clear.

    He might make a scene for 5 minutes or so but just tell him to you've already lodged a Police report, and to (profanity) off before you change your mind and get the Police to charge him and then close your door shut on him. He will go away eventually, depends how much stuff he has to move.

    You might find in his room his previous address where the ex lives and her name. She might be willing to help store his stuff at hers for him while he sorts out his behavior and a new place to live.

    • +1

      Best solution to this problem.

  • Steal something back. If they won’t do anything to him, how would they do anything to you? Neither of you won’t be able to proove.

  • Leverage possible charges to have him move out immediately, no grace period.

    Leverage same to have him pay money back.

    If he fails to do either, press formal charges.

    Then name and shame on social media. Make sure profile can be found easily in Google and FB.

  • -2

    Bleh, that sucks. I'm sorry this happened and I don't have any helpful info because I am not familiar with laws etc, but this typo:

    Housemate A just checked his kitty and it appears that he has also lost around $200 :(

    Wait, he keeps his money in his cat!? You'd think it'd be safe up there! Geez!

    • Or housemate A is a female?

    • +1

      I suggest you Google the term "kitty" and how else it's used ;)

    • May be he has kitty shaped box to put his extra cash in?

  • +1

    Bet your packs of Mi Goreng Indomie will disappear as well. Lock them up.

  • Is it just me? After reading this story for a while…..this case started to make people want to buy some Xiaomi products….. hahahaha

  • +1

    Kick him out, do not give him any notice. Bring your "muscle" mates on the day you kick him out in case he wants to be a smartass. Sorry but I smell b.s with the divorce part and believe he's a con artist.

  • you have done another mistake by posting it in OZb .. Chances are very high reading this coz 1. Ozb being popular, he will browse 2. This topic topped in the list.

    now he will be so cautious and will be planning to leave your house. before he does this report this to police (irrespective of outcome)

  • A few weeks ago a guy wanted to "secure" his home with cameras. This is exactly what we told him would be the outcome.

    On the flipside, it's nice being able to solve a mystery.

  • +1

    Police won't do anything about the Yen as there is no video? How did they manage to get a conviction for anything before CCTV?

    The Yen was probably changed into AUD. Maybe the police to query the local currency conversion booths to see if housemate B exchanged some cash. I imagine you need to show some ID.

    1. Wait till he goes out
    2. Changes the locks
    3. Leave his shit on the kerb
    4. Let the ruckus begin!
    5. When the cops come, tell them that he's stealing shit and it's being dealt with by x police station

    He can't argue with that.
    Also, having lived in shared houses for roughly 8 years, there's always a risk of this type of thing. Do you really need to rent out the room? Is all this hassle worth a few hundred bucks a month? Would you rather just live with housemate A and have a quiet pad?

  • Tie hams to the body and dump it with the gators, failing that I hear pigs do a good job.

  • Have you considered sending the videos to his work or posting them online and tagging his work?

  • +3

    Please tell me you received a bond from him prior to him moving in? The bond is usually about one month's worth of rent so the bond will cover the rent owing.

    Take a day off work and spend that day going through his room while he is at work. Try to find money or jewellery, anything valuable and take back what he stole from you.

    Change the locks on the same day that you have taken off and then tell him he has been evicted. Tell him the reason is because you know he has been stealing and that you have video footage of it. Tell him that you will allow him to take his valuables if he leaves immediately and without a fuss, but if he does make a fuss that you will go to the police and take him to court.

    Don't let this lowlife walk all over you. Stand up for your self and push back. I hate how other people have said that you should just cut your losses. That is BS! Why should the thief come out as the winner. Take back what he owes you and cut him loose. Stand strong. He is the one being dodgy, not you.

  • 1/. Don't leave money, car keys, jewellery, legal drugs etc unsecured. Otherwise you're asking for…

    2/. Kick him out, get him out the safest way. Even if you have to lie. Eg, the owner objects to having two people sub-letting and is coming for property inspection tomorrow.

  • +14

    Hi guys, just want to update that I ( we ) have talked to him today and he agreed to pay the rent in arrears and also the Japanese Yen before the end of this week.

    He also voluntarily left the premises knowing full well that I have the address of his ex-wife and kids.

    He did mention that he's been calling Lifeline and have suicidal tendencies that have only started a few months back. I don't know if this is just another ruse but he did seem to look very devastated.

    At the time being I'm satisfied enough with him out of the house - he's not out of my life yet until he pays everything up, but yeah.

    Not sure if this is the 'perfect' ending that you guys are expecting, but it is good enough for me.

    PS: The cop never called back even though it's already Sunday :(

    • +3

      Going through divorce and out of employment, it seems rather plausible that he is struggling mentally. Happy to hear that you are able to resolve things by talking, in a fairly conflict-free manner. Kudos to you.

    • +1

      happy you were able to get this sorted - this is actually a very good outcome as i dont think he could cope with also being a fugitive (from theft)
      your wits & xiaomi has saved the day! #winning

    • +1

      I don't know if this is just another ruse but he did seem to look very devastated.

      Kind of doubt it if he's agreed to repay it - nothing really in it for him at that point.

      PS: The cop never called back even though it's already Sunday :(

      Kind of a "told you so" - small thefts of money between people who know each other is going to be at the bottom of priorities for police.

      Good to hear it's all sorted, hope he follows through with repaying.

  • +1

    OMG I had a flatmate that I found on Flatmates website steal money from me too! He wasn't going through a divorce though. It was substantially less money than you, but it was still a significant breach of trust — his method was to go through my wallet whilst I was in the shower. All up he took about ~$500, but I managed to reclaim $200 (he handed back a $200 gift card).

    What I ended up doing:
    After the major theft in gift cards, I changed the locks, and asked him to leave immediately. I accused him of theft, and he returned $200 in gift cards he had taken. He was only a few weeks in arrears on rent.

    The thefts started out small (a bottle of soft drink, frozen berries) but escalated as I was too timid to confront/accuse him.

  • +1

    OP did you get your money back?

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