You're not the only one who watches Judge Judy :lol
You're not the only one who watches Judge Judy :lol
MRD - I gotta agree with Gabriel and Newf :nod I have learned sooo very much from Judge Judy and The People's Court - it's educational, I'm tellin' ya! :D Take lots of photos, you never know - the landlord might just rather give you the deposit back as opposed to going to court if she knows you have all of that documentation. And... if you have to file in small claims court - you could submit your case to Judge Judy and we all could fly out and be in your audience!! Then you would come out ahead and get the appearance fee also - Jackpot!
Wear your Mona t-shirt when you approach the landlord for the return of your deposit. She won't dare say no!
Thanks all. I will take plenty of photos, great ideas about the cleaning photos.
I just hate having to go the route of small claims court. $900 is a pretty significant amount to me right now and I would like to get it all back.
And I'll wear my Mona shirt. Good idea there Newf. :up
The woman is truly a nutjob. She works for the SO of one of my bosses at the museum. When I mentioned this to him, he rolled his eyes and hesitated a LOOONNNGGG time before saying: "well she's certainly...........different" .
His look, tone of voice and carefully chosen words and body language all led me to believe that he also thinks she's nuts but didn't really want to say it. He's too much of a gentleman. And for the record, all I had said was that my landlord works for you. I didn't say my crazy landlord or anything of the sort. I just said we had someone in common and that was his response.
The phone thing on Fri. was really nutso. But she's also one of those that when confronted, does back down. She's come in before all hot and bothered and when I calmly pointed out a few things, then she gets all apologetic and kind of afraid? I can't think of the word. She's not exactly afraid, but acts kind of insecure maybe?
She's been a fairly good landlord overall, but we're both very certain that she's going to try to screw us now. She's acting very off the wall. More so than usual. Oh and she's PISSED we won't buy the house. That's one of the things that leads me to believe she might try to be vindictive about the deposit.
But I will document, document, document.
There is nothing scary about Small Claims Court. In my county, it is closer to People's Court than Judge Judy, but I've never seen our judges yell at anyone. You can almost certainly get your filing fee added to the amount for which you are suing, but you have to remember to ask for that, too.
That reminds me . . . I may need to go back to SCC. We got a judgement against a client, and worked out a payment plan where he would pay $30/month until it was paid in full. I wrote into the agreement that if he defaulted, the entire amount becomes due. His checks have been coming later and later in the month, and this month we got nothing. I'll send a demand letter, and if he doesn't respond, he WILL find himself back in court.
MRD - My suggestion to you is to cross every T and dot every I with regards to this rental. Your landlord is a crab and is looking for reasons to be angry. Just make sure that when you leave, the place is spotless. If you have to shampoo the carpets, and get someone out there that can get doggie smell out, do it. Keep receipts and pay for rent due Oct 1. TAKE PICS of the spotless place (all rooms, carpet up close, things you think she will complain about up close) before you leave. Also give her, in writing your new address.
I don't know SC law, but generally your landlord will have roughly 3 weeks (depends on state) to return your security deposit and/or send you the itemized list of deductions. Many small time
landlords are ignorant of this law, and ignorance of law in NEVER a defense in court! If they want to withhold any of the deposit, they need to send you an itemized list of what they are deducting for and bills or estimates of the cost of these items. If she does not send you your deposit and/or itemized list back within the time allotted in your state, she can be penalized sometimes twice the amount due PLUS security deposit. I think in my state it is just double the deposit, but still! That's a hefty sum. Laws generally favor tenants because landlords naturally have the upper hand. Again, I don't know how SC is, but this is generally the case. New Jersey and California have the most tenant friendly (tenant fanatic) laws.
If you default or leave the place dirty, you will A) lose any right to that deposit and B) have a hard time getting it back if that's what you wanted to do. But if you clean the place well and pay your rent, you make a case for yourself about getting that money back and if she doesn't comply, it will be easier for you to get deposit. If you clean it and she still doesn't give it back, then you can take her to small claims and you'll have pictures (make sure the camera dates them) as proof that you left it in good condition. And cancelled checks as proof that you paid your rent.
I'm having an issue of my own, but I'm on the other side of things. My new tenant is a total a-hole. And I don't say that lightly. She is a trust fund baby with lots of money. She is like a bulldog, wanting this and that for free and doesn't take 'no' for an answer. She is currently not being charged any rent. She wanted to move in early, so we let her move in for the second half of Sept. Then she didn't want to have to pay pro-rated rent. We, I thought, were VERY generous in agreeing to that. She wanted drapes. I don't supply drapes to my tenants. I just supply shades or blinds and if they want more they get their own. After all, drapes are kind of a personal decor item. I could spend all this time and $ on drapes, but who knows if the tenant would like them or if it would match their stuff. You know? Plus it's just another thing to get dirty/destroyed. Anyway, she went on and on about wanting drapes so I had them installed prior to her moving in (which was very last minute and took my entire weekend and about 350$). I wanted to get things started on the right foot.
Now she wants a me to buy her free standing appliances. Say what? Landlords don't provide toasters and free standing microwaves. She also has a long list of things she wants changed and while I am trying to get work done on the other unit while the other tenants are away on vacation, she is KNOCKING on the other tenants door because she knew I was in there and was pestering me about WHEN are these other things going to get done, and where are her free standing appliances. I keep telling her that we are not providing her with the appliances, and that someone would be out today to do the other things she wanted (they are minor things so won't cost us much). She has really pushed me to the limit. After all, she is currently living there rent free. And did I mention that I sunk 30,000$ into that unit and she is the first to live in it? Practically everything is new.
And it's not that she can't afford it. She has a VERY large trust fund and doesn't even work.
Originally Posted by Newfherder;3207267;
Originally Posted by Margaritaville;3207266;
Add me to this list. Judge Judy teaches me much. :nod Heck, go on Judge Judy and let her take care of the landlord. :lol
I'm a fan of Judge Judy as well! :winkgrin
MRD: Good luck! I agree with what everyone else said about taking pictures and documenting everything.
As far as the "dog" smell goes, we bought some stuff several months ago that really helps with that and other smells. It's made by Arm & Hammer and it is "Vacuum Free Foam Carpet Deodorizer". The one we have is "Pet Fresh" and it has a JRT on the label! :winkgrin You just spray a light coat of the foam on the carpet and it dries in about 5 minutes and "breaks down and destroys even the toughest odors". I'm pretty sure we got it at Wal-Mart.
I'm a little bit late with this, but I agree with the others, MRD. It's just the right thing to do to leave the place clean. Pictures are the way to go. Go to Small Claims Court if you have to. And definitely wear the Mona shirt! I hope it all works out for you. And good luck with the move.