posted: Mar. 12, 2013 @ 2:10p
So this is the story,
I lived in that apartment for 2 years. The apartment is in the Hartford area of Connecticut. My last day of the contract was December 31, 2012. I moved out all my stuff on December 22 and left the keys on December 23. When I left the keys, I just dropped them in a box on the management office. I did not go through the apartment with the management, and I think that was my mistake. And what put me at their hands. By law, they have 30 days to give my security deposit back. I gave them a forwarding address for them to send by mail the check. The management office knows that I will be far from Connecticut. I told them I was moving to Puerto Rico.
The check came around January 20. I was owed $1,005. The check was for $645. Basically, they discounted the following items:
- Kitchen faucet "plastic cold marker" missing $10.50 TRUE
- Kitchen cabinets refinish $42.00 FALSE The kitchen cabinets were left in the same condition and were old anyways
- Refrigerator chrome handle broken $29.50 FALSE The refrigerator and stove are old, probably early 90's. Did not broke the fridge.
- Kitchen entrance wood door scratches, nicks $31.00 FALSE The door was never scratched. It had scratches and was old.
- Hall closet door marks $31.00 FALSE Closet door were old, and I never scratched them
- Living room closet door nicks $31.00 FALSE Same as before, never did any damage to them
- Bedroom carpet burn $75.00 FALSE I don't even know where the "burn" was, or how I manage to burn a carpet.
- Bedroom window screen repair $31.50 I can't be certain about this one, so I would concede here.
- Bedroom broken outlet $34.50 TRUE I did brake this.
- Clean bath medicine cabinet $31.50 FALSE It is an old cabinet, and it was cleaned when I cleaned the bathroom
- Bathtub tile scratches $51.00 FALSE I cleaned the bathroom and did not do any scratches
- Clean cabinets under sink $31.00 FALSE I did clean this, but I won't fight this because they gave me this credit for this item. However, the fact that they claimed this, when I am 100% sure it was left clean, tells me they are just taking advantage of me.
- Master bedroom closet shelf/pole contact paper $31.00 They are charging me for putting contact paper when that was there when I moved in! Again, they gave me this credit. When I called, the manager recalled that being there.
I must say, I did not have any pets. No cats. They claimed I scratched all the apartment (doors, metal closet door, kitchen cabinets!). That is just false. When I moved in, I was given a paper with all the stuff I needed to check. I checked the door. But I just checked that the door was functional! Not that it was new, or without scratches. I put the door was OK. It seems I needed to take pictures of doors, closets, cabinets, bathroom tiles, the works. I have lived in 2 previous apartments in CT and I always got my FULL security check back, without any of this issues. So this is this particular management office taking advantage of a tenant that had to leave in a rush and give the apartment back in a hurry.
I called them 2 weeks ago, about February 28, 2013. I had been traveling and could not solve this issue before this. I explained to the manager that I disagreed with most of the charges, and told her which ones I do agree with (broken outlet, kitchen faucet plastic lid, and broken window screen). That would amount to 10.50 + 31.50 + 34.50 = $76.50 on charges. I would practically get most of my $1,005 back! She said she would call me the next week. It took a little more than a week, but today she called. For some reason, my phone did not rang, so I got a voice mail. She said that after going through the apartment again, she was going to send me a check for $93.75. That falls way too short. I think I am owed about $284.00. It is not even half, plus it is BS. All that scratches charges are made up! I called back as soon as I got the message, but I was told she left for the day, to call tomorrow. The person on the phone probably mentioned her my name, and she knew she would be on the phone for a long time with me. I can understand that. On the positive side, I can get advice from the FW folks.
My question is this: is there anything left for me to do? Can I threaten to go to court and contest these charges? I am not that familiar with landlord laws in CT. I just know the security deposit has to be given back within 30 days. But I don't know what happens when you get bogus charges. I still have not cashed the check they sent me for $645. Maybe if they see I am taking this further, they would reason it is not worth it? Also, if anyone know how much time I have to go to court, let me know. I am outside of CT now, but I would love to represent myself in front of a judge.