Saturday, January 14, 2006

Landlord crap...

tired. really. And I've gotten to bed at a decent hour both of the last two nights.

Just got the letter from my old landlord. She's trying to tell me I owe $6500. So I gotta take her to court to get my security deposit back. Which is really not so much what I want as not to have her trying to send me through collections.

Here are the issues, I'm having--lawyers among you feel free to weigh in:

She listed a late fee for Oct. 05 of $40.00. This was the month that she lost my rent check. I don't have it in writing that she waived the fee, but I do have the paper trail of me writing to her about it because she initiated a 3 day "pay up or get out" deal. Soon as I got that, I hunted her down and we had the chat where she noted she must have lost the check and she waived the fee. I have the receipts for rent from October and November and December where none of them note a carry over of the $40 fee still due or that I paid it. She's tacking this on after the fact.

For cleaning, she lists a full clean with shampoo for $100. That's fine. She charges a $225 cleaning fee to clean the carpets and paint the apartment. That shouldn't be deducted from my damage deposit unless it is above and beyond. I lived there 6 months and took plenty of pictures to show that I didn't damage the carpet. However, I did mention to her that my toilet had overflowed so she probably charged me for the plumbing crap that caused my moveout.

For repair, she notes "full paint at $100 for material and $100 for labor". Again, it specifically notes in my lease that painting is required after each move out and that is what the cleaning fee is for. If she already requires that and it is in a non-refundable fee I have to pay, I am not understanding how she can double charge me for it.

Under misc, she notes the costs of Roto-Rooter coming out to my apartment. She NEVER got authorization from me to have them come out for one. Secondly, she never asked me to pay for any of these visits in the months that they happened. She noted 8/16 and 11/9. Roto Rooter did not visit MY apartment on either of these dates. They visited back in June.

She wants to try and charge me for the 1.5 months rent special at a rate of 937.50. My contention is that I didn't break the lease. Her non-fixing of the problem is why I moved. If she would have fixed the problem, I would still be there in my lease. Secondly, there was a half month free with a 6 month lease. I stayed there for 6 months so at the least, I should get that half month special. Also, she tries to charge me the $1000.00 lease cancellation fee. Yes, it is in my contract, but again, I didn't cancel the lease. She didn't fix the problems, so I had to move.

Further, the $1000 is for the efforts to release the place. I came up with three viable renters for her and asked for permission to sublet to mitigate her costs and not have to break my lease. She would never grant permission.

Essentially, she is telling me that I forfeit my deposit, but does not give a breakdown of what she is charging against that deposit in terms of damange. The whole deposit I gave her was $500. So from there, she should deduct the cleaning of $100 and the repairs (painting) of $200. That's $75 more than the cleaning fee, but I should get the rest of my deposit. Under my premise of moving out under the RCWs, I don't think she can hold my deposit or extra rent (she also notes my move out as 12/31 when in fact I vacated on 12/28) as a lease break.

Good thing I work for a law school now. Fun times. court we go since the almost illegible fine print at the bottom of the page says that accounts not paid within 30 days will be turned over to collection.

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