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Problem with landlord update 4/26/06


divemedic
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I moved into an apartment in Aug of 03. When I went to move in, the carpets were cleaned, but even after cleaning they were hopelessly stained. The manager told me that the only way to get them fixed would be to delay my move in by 2 weeks. I couldn't do that, so the manager told me not to worry, they put a note in my file and I would not be held responsible.

About a year and a half later, the complex was sold. When I went to move out in August of 05, my G/F and I went to the office and they told us not to worry about it.

A month after I moved out, I got a letter from a CA for the carpets- $835. I DV'ed them and got a letter, along with a copy of the signature page of the lease and a note saying that the move in/move out inspection records were missing from my file. The next day, the TL went on my CR with a disputed notice.

A follow up DV was followed only by several dunning letters.

Now what?

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And let me guess, the person who made that note two years ago is no longer there? How convenient that they lost your papers.

I know in some states, apartments are required by law to replace the carpeting and padding after every two tenants, regardless of how long each tenant lived there. Sanitation reasons. If FL has such a law, then they'd have to change the carpeting after you moved anyway, and you shouldn't be charged a thing. Just an idea if you don't have any luck taking another route.

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The only way a LL can keep your deposit or charge you for damage is if he has proof of the damage. Pictures, move-in/out walkthrough docs signed by both LL and tenant... none of this exists. You also enjoy the added bonus of both your LL and the CA stupidly admitting in writing that they've got nothin'!

Between the lack of evidence that you did any damage, and their note admitting the lack of evidence that you did any damage... I'd say you're in fairly good shape legally. It's suin' time!

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The CA is continuing to attempt to collect on a debt that they not only can't they prove you owe, but they admit they can't prove you owe.

They also knowingly put a negative item on your credit report after admitting that they were not able to prove you owe the debt due to missing documentation. Their only "proof" is that your LL says so. Not good enough.

Read through the FDCPA and see which sections they've violated. The links at the top of the page (FDCPA and Sue Creditors and CAs) should be your guide.

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Hey Dive,

I found this under FL landlort-tenant laws. I'm not sure if it fits your situation. (http://www.800helpfla.com/pdfs/landlord_statute83.pdf)

(3)(a) Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on

the security deposit, the landlord shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise

required, or the landlord shall have 30 days to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant's last known

mailing address of his or her intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim. The notice

shall contain a statement in substantially the following form:

This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of _____ upon your security deposit, due to

_____. It is sent to you as required by s. 83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing

to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to

deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to (landlord's address) .

If the landlord fails to give the required notice within the 30-day period, he or she forfeits the right to impose a claim upon

the security deposit.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Now the landlord is saying that they will take $350 off the bill for the carpets, agreeing that the move out inspection was never done, so they have to honor my claim that the carpets were already damaged, but that the other bills for cleaning, rent and a "final bill" fee for the water remain, leaving a total of $488.

They sent the certified mail that is required by state law, but they sent it to the apartment I was moving out of,, instead of my new address (which I can prove thaty had)

The cleaning fee is allowed by the lease, but only after inspection of the premesis. The "final bill" fee is not allowed by the lease.

Be that as it may, the CA and landlord (IMO) did not properly investigate my dispute under the FCRA, nor did they comply with the state law for landlords keeping deposits.

I am gonna dispute the tradeline again. I now have documentation to prove it is wrong, so if they verify I have a violation.

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There's little to debate here. There is no move in or move out inspection records. So what proof do they have that you caused the damages? NONE. They should not be offering you a discount, they should be recalling the collection, closing it $0 balance, and refunding any deposit they have of yours. They get NOTHING. It is not your responsibility to ensure that they keep accurate records and no judge would expect you to do so on their behalf.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just got a revised bill. They cut the charges for damages and now the bill is for only $434. I just pulled my FICO's and my scores took an 80 point dive because of this collection.

I am not going to pay what I do not owe. What I will do, is offer the landlord what I feel I owe, which is about $220. I will pay them in exchange for recalling this from the CA and deletion. If not, we go to court.

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  • 2 months later...

Here is the latest.

They originally claimed I owed over $800. Then, they lowered that to $400+. All along, I have told them that I only owe about $220.

The apartment manager called me two days ago and offered to settle. They told me that they were willing admit that I only owed $250. I wanted to end this, so I told them I would pay it, if they agreed to delete. She agreed. I wrote up my standard PFD letter for her signature and went over there with a check.

Then she told me that they were not going to delete the collection, because they were not going to reward me for not paying my bill. I pointed out to her that I only didn't pay it because the bill was under dispute. She wouldn't budge, so I left.

The CA called me and offered to PFD for $250. I asked them to send me the deal in writing. He told me to call him back with a fax #. I called back with the fax #, and now they are saying they will only mark it as "settled collection"

What I really need is to get a revised bill where they admit they were mischarging me all along. Then I can use that to sue. I am to the point now where I am no longer willing to PFD. I know I can win this case.

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