posted: Jan. 8, 2013 @ 12:53p
Hello FW community
I am in GA and stayed at this apartment for 1 year and moved out on 11/30/12, which is the last day in my lease. I have cleaned the apartment really nice and taken photos as evidence.
As of today (1/8/13) I have not received my security deposit of 250$. Nor did I receive any written statement showing the deduction list of the deposit. This is a big corporate and runs a bunch of apartments in Atlanta. I gave the community manager move-out notice 2 months prior, which was requested by the manager and also required by the lease. I gave the forwarding address - my working address, for further communication. As of now, it is over 30 days, I just didnot know what happened to my deposit. So I pull up some GA laws online (link below). It looks to me I can claim lawfully a total of three times of the deposit (750$) for the landlord's failure to return the deposit or final statement within 30 days. But the law do have some statements that I donot fully understand and may work for the landlord's favor. So I am asking for advice on how to proceed with this.
The best way for me is to settle outside court, since I donot want to spend too much time to go to small claim court. As long as the landlord comes to an agreement on returning me the full amount (250$) plus a reasonable penalty, I can work it out by myself. The question is just, how much should I ask to make a little fortune, say, 300$?
by the way, this corporate have an attorney company handling their legal cases. I wonder whether these lawyers will come up with some tricks to work against me. I did not know a thing about this landlord law till today.
I have called the number on their corporate website, but always nobody answered the phone, and the voice mail box is full. There is a contact message box webpage, but it seems to be informal. I want everything in writing.
I sent out the letter on 1/10, but never heard a thing back. Today (1/30) I went to their corporate office, they refused to cooperate by claiming the final statement was sent but was returned....This is a big lie.
I then contacted their legal representative, and got same response. I am so angry about this corporate sucker lying about having sent out the statement. What should I do next? any comments?
The whole story that happened on the day I went to the corporate office is, I explained the situation and asked for my security deposit. this women working at front desk, acted a bit neverous, and did some search on her computer, and then pull my final statement out of a pile of files - this made me think they forgot to send the statement; And I saw my demand letter laying on her desk, opened - someone looked at it but ignored it, since I didnot get any reply in three weeks. This women denied my request, and went ahead to scan me a copy of the statement. I left without taking the statement.
I went home and emailed their legal representative. This shitty lawyer then emailed me a scanned copy of the final statement and "respectively but strongly" denied my request. There was some writing on the statement: "mailed to forwarding address; failed to give copy of notice on 1/30/13" - clearly this was just written on it, probably by that woman. The address on the final statement is correct. I never had problems with this address, which is where I work. I have all my bank and cc letters mailed there.
This shitty lawyer threatens me about quitting the pursue in court, since I will need to pay over 2000$ for their legal fee. I asked the lawyer to show me the envelope with postal stamp on it, since this is the only thing that does not lie. I mean, you can lie about sending the letter by putting any date on it as you like. I also told him if he showed me that, I will stop immediately. But the lawyer refused, and said GA laws does not require that.
Now I donot think they have the evidence showing letter being sent. They are just building up all the lies. But I am also thinking, if they want to make up stuff, they may be able to use a different envelope with the rightful date on it, and stated that the statement was sent within the 30 days but was returned with that envelope.
This is just beyond what I expected. I am facing a gang equipped with laws as their weapon. and for god sake, it is just 250$. now it is no longer a matter of money, but about justice. should I keep going for it?
To add on the statement, my security deposit was deducted to negative by all kinds of charges and fees, which I didnot even have a chance to deny...however they didnot send to collection. This clearly shows, for corporate chain money suckers, they will take the last bit from you, which is the security deposit.