I believe there are people in this world who live to take advantage of others in any way they can, and unfortunately for us, our former landlord fits the bill.
She has decided that any resemblance of decency, goodwill, responsibility and even care for the law is simply too much to ask when it comes to her tenants.
But that’s water under the bridge and not something I want to re-hash, or so I thought.
Our Latest Adventure
You might recall that our 2012 goals moved us from our old apartment to our in-laws last December. Our lease had expired months before, so giving notice to vacate was a fairly simple and straightforward process of calling up our property manager and dropping off a formal letter in the mail.
On New Year’s Eve, we bid goodbye to our home of two years and dropped off the keys.
For 45 days, things were at an absolute stop, until we finally got our deposit check in the mail last week. Unfortunately, about 85% of our deposit was missing, justified by what was labeled a “deposit itemization form.”
It outlined, in skimpy detail, all of the “damages” that we were apparently responsible for. Things that our landlord refused to fix the entire time we lived there (apparently, only to charge us when we moved out…).
While the rest of my day was ruined, it is my unfortunate landlord that will be upset when all is said and done.
You see, Florida only permits 30 days to make claims to a deposit, or the landlord forfeits any rights they might have to it. That’s good, because trying to fight their ridiculous “itemized claims” would have made me laugh in court. Instead, I can just cite the appropriate statues and call it a day.
Seriously, I’d really like to try out my courtroom skills. I think I’d be good at the whole “preponderance of evidence” thing.
I sent a nasty-gram in the form of a certified, return-receipt letter to my landlord and the property manager last week, making it fairly clear that I expect my money in 2 weeks or less, or I’ll start wasting everybody’s time in the legal system.
The moral of the story? Suddenly, this has become a very good extra reason why we’re buying a house.
Update: Read about how this story ends in Part II of our Battle.