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Guest gigi5309
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Guest gigi5309

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could give me advice about certain laws in Kentucky. Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from a collection agency saying that I owe an apartment complex that I moved out of almost 6 years ago 1500 dollars. My roommates and myself were very young and partied too much so we had gotten evicted. I don't think the amount would be the rent for the remainder of the lease because if that were the case it would be much more than 1500 dollars. This is the first that I have heard of this charge and I know they haven't tried to contact me before because the address where I live now is the same address I put on the lease when I moved and I have been living here ever since I got evicted from this apartment complex. Is it legal for them to wait six years before notifying me of this charge? Also, shouldn't they have tried to collect from me first before sending it to a collection agency? Any advice anyone could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Guest E. Normis Debtor

If there was a security deposit involved, most states require a landlord to return that deposit in anywhere from 10-45 days, or to notify you in writing why they are not returning it. That's likely the only writing requirement with a time limitation.

They can forward it to a collection agency without notifying you. You have the right to request verification of the debt from the collection agency, and I would suggest you do that within 30 days.

If you moved out before the lease was up, they can continue to charge you rent up until the time they re-rent the appt to someone else. That's likely the difference in the amount you can't explain.

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My advice to begin with is for you to read the landlord/tenant laws of your state. This is to be sure they performed as required in their attempts to collect this alleged debt. As was noted above, they must, in most states, notify you in writing of their intent, iwthin a specific timeframe. Failure to do as written stops them from taking any further action. But, many times they will proceed as they rely on you not having the knowledge to check the laws. Do realize that the law only requires they send the communication to the last known address, which, in many of cases, is the same address as you moved from. And, it does not matter if sent by regular mail or CMRR. But, if you can prove they are in receipt of your new address, you can argue it. The notification from them must note the amount paid as a deposit, what they claim as to why it was withheld to you, and, if damages, must contain the charges for doing what type of work, such as cleaning. Do note that if they try to charge for cleaning that can be considered "normal wear and tear", it is not allowed. Unpaid rent can only be charged as was described above. And, lastly, each state has a special department to contact about this.

Their job is to assure landlords do not take advantage of tenants as is done way too many times. An example of this is some landlords lead you to believe a contract they show you is legal and you must sign it as it was accepted by a group of lawyers, landlords, etc. Not true in many cases. Their intent is to hold you liable as you signed their contract for ridiculous charges. An example is that they will claim that if you stay for less than 3 years, you will have to pay for a complete repaint of the home/apartment. They will charge if the rubber plug is missing from the kitchen sink at a cost of $2.00. You wouldn;t beleive their list of things. This is illegal. All of this falls under normal wear and tear. To explain how I know about this is prior to our buying our home (this encouraged us to do so faster than planned), we received new owners for our homes (there were 55 homes total). They wanted us to sign the contracts. They looked so ridiculous, I called the state to find they were illegal and not to sign them. I passed this on to the others, and the majority of us moved out. I also had to give the name to the state for investigation. They no longer own the homes is all I can find out due to a homeowner who lived next to us. This was a senior tract with a combination of owners and rentals.

Lastly, I advise anyone who is faced with a contract/agreement/lease that displays charges that appear beyond reasonsable, do not sign until you have called your state's agency to see if they are legal. It is an ongoing problem and must be stopped.

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