Thank you for this amazing forum.
I am in a dilemma on which strategy to adopt in ensuring a refund of my office rent which was not used at all.
Precisely in december 2015, I was looking for a good location where I could start my automobile diagnostic business. I eventually found a good one which will enable me collocate with a mechanic workshop. I believed the symbiotic relationship with a nearby mechanic workshop will be good for my business and publicity since i will be having access to customers in that segment.
I approached the landlord who owns an empty land near the mechanic workshop and informed him of my idea to setup a small shop on his land. something like a canopy and prefabricated container kinda stuff. The owner of the land welcomed the idea saying it would even help his car wash business since my customers will sometimes like to wash their car in his car wash area. But he only told me that he would want to build the office with brick and mortar and rent to me instead but that he's sort of cash. He went further to suggest that if I could pay him, that he would use the money and make the shop ready for me to move as fast as possible.
After much negotiations, we arrived at 200k for the office space. 1 week later i raised the money and paid to him directly to commence work.
To my greatest surprise, I came in to inspect the place 2 weeks later, I noticed that he has started work but the size of the office had become so small that one could barely put a chair and table inside. I was annoyed but didn't talk much about it. fast forward 3 months, the office is still at the carcass level. I became disatisfied and lost interest in the whole business idea. God had just blessed me with a new job and i decided to bust the whole thing since the landlord himself is not keen on completing the house in allotted time.
Around March 2016, I approached him and told him that i'm no longer interested that he should refund my money. He looked at me without saying anything for a moment, then he said 'no problem', that he will refund but that he doesn't have the money at hand. I then suggested looking for someone to occupy the place so that I can collect my money and go. He agreed grudgingly.
I referred 3 serious people to take of the shop but he turned all of them away with the excuse that he doesn't like the type of business they want to do. that the reason he allowed me in the first place was because our business would be symbiotic to each other.
After series of frustrated attempt to recover my money, i finally went to him and offered to walk away if he can give me just 50% of the whole sum. I was getting tired and disgusted. He agreed a told me he would make the money available.
Fast forward today, as I am writing now, this man has not given me a single penny of my money. A whole one year and half! I have tried my best to be gentlemanly but I somehow think this man is taking me for granted. Whenever I call him, he will acknowledge he owes me but will start listing all the problems that is tied to his neck as if I don't have my own problems to solve.😡
I am getting sick and tired. I am considering brute force or involving the police but people are advising me against that, that it may be counter productive. I am running out of options. What can I do right now to get my money back.