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argh....(old) apartment rant

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
i got my bill today from my last apartment, siting damages and amounts owed. $100 for ****ing pet damages. i didn't even have a god damn pet, my girlfriend and the other roommate did, and they both paid $300 pet deposits + $25/mo pet rents. yet, i still owe $100 for pet damages. what the **** are pet deposits for, if not to cover damages the pets caused?

then they claimed i damaged the walls enough to justify repainting them, for $55. do these look damaged beyond normal wear and tear*?









*TPC 92.001 (4) "Normal wear and tear" means deterioration that results from the intended use of a dwelling, including, for the purposes of Subchapters B and D, breakage or malfunction due to age or deteriorated condition, but the term does not include deterioration that results from negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises, equipment, or chattels by the tenant.

:mumble:
 

laura

DH_Laura
Jul 16, 2002
6,262
15
Glitter Gulch
contest it. they are supposed to repaint every time someone moves out anyway. you wouldn't move into an apartment that hadn't been repainted would you. i'd defintely give them hell before i paid anything. you've got pics.
 

Mike B.

Turbo Monkey
Oct 5, 2001
1,522
0
State College, PA
laura said:
contest it. they are supposed to repaint every time someone moves out anyway. you wouldn't move into an apartment that hadn't been repainted would you. i'd defintely give them hell before i paid anything. you've got pics.

I agree, contest their findings. In the college apartment world they don't expect anyone to actually fight them so when you do they will generally back down. I'm speaking from experience with many a college landlord prick.

As for re-painting apartments, the laws are different everywhere and it is typically a local law. For instance my college apartments at Penn State were never re-painted but my apartment for my co-op across the state required a re-paint fee because I was going to be there less than a year and it was required by law. The apt. had actually been freshly painted when I moved in too.
 

Flakey Jake

Monkey
Nov 4, 2003
117
0
Chico
While I feel your pain, the numbers you're quoting are relatively small. It could be much worse. Property management companies are notorious for jacking renters out of their deposits. As far as you having to pay pet damages, just demand that money from the pet owners. If they don't pay up, show em who's boss!!!
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
actually, yeah, they are fairly small compared to what i saw last time...my last place, which i left 2 months early and under the control of my drug trafficing roommate, suffered $640-something worth of damages. i was able to look at pictures once i got back from alaska, and my roomate destroyed my room. i'm talking multiple-fist-sized-holes-in-walls destroyed. that sucked, and i was pissed, so i didn't give him any of the deposit back ($1300 deposit).
 

HOOWAH

Monkey
Sep 16, 2001
105
0
portland, maine USA
i just fought it out with my old landlord and actually won, but the reasons were different. in the process i found out that in Maine, the landlord has to give itemized written reasons for withholding any amount of a security deposit within 30 days of the termination of the lease, that a landlord can not with hold deposits for unpaid utilities/bills, that the landlord can not force a tenant to pay utilities that are not in their name, and finally, that you CAN'T sign these rights away, even in a lease. my landlord's penalty for doing these things is that i could have sued her for twice the security deposit plus any legal fees. oh yeah, phone calls mean nothing, you need to do EVERYTHING via certified mail.

check out if your state has any housing authority guidelines for getting your security deposit back. these guidelines usually discuss the law, without the pain of actually reading the statute and they are usually written for sake of tenants where the laws are written to cover both sides.

the one thing that will stay pretty constant from state to state is that the burden of proof lies with the landlord. so if you go to court he/she has to PROVE that YOU damaged the walls and are responsible for the pet beyond the $300 pet deposits.

and remember, that if they will refund part of the deposit, you should cash that refund and persue the rest of the money afterwards.
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
yeah, i've read over the texas property code, and some dumbed-down versions, and neither mentions anything about pet deposits, which kind of surprises me since they seem to be quite a big deal.

"normal wear and tear" and painting of walls because of this is not supposed to cost the ex-tenant anything. the TPC didn't mention nail holes, but one of the dumbed down versions said holes from nails are to be considered as normal wear and tear.

anywho, i didn't have to put down any deposit when i moved in, so any/all charges have to come out of my pocket.

curious, how did you win, and what were you arguing?
 

HOOWAH

Monkey
Sep 16, 2001
105
0
portland, maine USA
Long story.

when we moved in we signed a lease saying that we would pay elec, phone, and cable. She was supposed to pay the kerosene heat, but it kept breaking and the electric backup kept kicking in. she told us that elec was ~$30mo (it's a small place) also, the water pipes in the kitchen kept freezing, so she ASKED us to turn the electric heat on in the bathroom (above the pipes) and to use an electric space heater in the kitchen. i lost 2 days of work unfreezing those pipes.

she decided to keep all the utilities in her name, but she failed to tell us that she never shut cable off. we weren't using it since we never hooked the tv up to the wall. we moved in in november, and in late december she never mentioned the bills to us, so i asked her what they were like and she says "normal" and asks, because we are hard up for money, if we just want to take it out of the security deposit, so i said yes.

6mo's later, we move out, and she tells us she is adding things up and will send a check for the rest of the security. 3 weeks later I call HER and she says "yeah, i'm just doing it now, i'll let you know how much in a few days". so she never called back, and we had called her about 3 times and left messages. so finally, 38 days after we moved out, i called her at 6 in the morning, where she proceeds to tell me that i owe her $80 on top of the security deposit for cable/elec and that we were good tenants so she's just calling it even.

i stopped her there and told her that we have a BIG f'n problem... so we get in a huge argument and i start swearing and she says "you're not going to call me at 6 in the morning swearing... now i'm going to make you pay elec, cable, and for the repair of the heater". holy madness was i pissed. then she says the place was a dump when we moved out.... that put me over the edge. i quietly hung up while she was yelling.

ok so the next week i get a certified letter of the deductions and the letter head is dated july1 (30 days after we moved out) and the postmark on the envelope is dated july9 (the day after the phone call). shady tactics, she must think people are stupid. the letter says that i owe $778 in elec for 6months!!! plus $448 for cable that we never turned on. so on top of the $850 sec i owe her $300 something.

so i sent her a certified letter stating the legal stuff i mentioned before and also a sentence about why i'm "unsure why your letter head is dated 9 days earlier than the postmark". it was a totally professional letter and at the end it said "if you don't pay we will sue you for twice the amount of the deposit plus legal fees".

one week later, i was about to start filing paperwork, and there was an envelope in my mail box with a check in it and nothing more.

i would have had no problem paying the normal amount of electricity, and maybe even split cable with her, but she crossed the line too many times.

Tom 1, Landlady 0.
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
alrighty folks, been 31 days and my girlfriend/ roommate has not received her deposit. going to mail a letter tomorrow demanding return of the full deposit (per UT's Legal Services advice). for reference:

http://www.utexas.edu/student/lss/asklaw/securitydeposit.html
http://www.utexas.edu/student/lss/forms.html - form1, regarding deposits.

this is what i'm worried about:

we moved out the 2nd (or the lease ended on the 2nd), my invoice was dated the 16th, and i didn't get my invoice until the 26th. 10 days in the mail to go 10 miles? i don't know about that...

but what if the complex says they mailed something, and it was lost in the mail?

or can they say "it's post-marked August 31st, which is within 30 days, whether you received it or not"?
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
ah, go figure. mail came late today.

postmark on the envelope, September 1st, 30 days. we got it on day 31. total deposit she paid was $600, got $150 back...persue, or drop it?
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
so i delivered a letter to them on 9/15, contesting the charges i owed ($150-something). never heard from them, so i assumed they were dropped.

got a call yesterday. "this is ______ from University Canyon. You have an outstanding balance of $[$150-something] that needs to be paid in full by Monday, or else [we'll totally **** your credit]."

i was pretty pissed. so i went ahead and paid them a visit. put on my best 'pissed off' face and asked to talk to the manager. yadda yadda, they said they didn't have my phone number and couldn't contact me during the prior 2 months (so how did they magically get my number 1 business day before grilling me?). the manager also told me that my balance was $22, and not $150-something that i was told 2hrs prior on the phone.

so in the end, i'm happy, and think that particular complex needs to rethink it's management.
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,165
1
austin
the place was spotless except for the pet damage. after all is said and done, they made off with over $1000 in deposits from me, mandi, and the 3rd roomate in 2yrs.

but it's over and done with. i'm satisfied.