It's only money

The meeting with the landlord to give her the keys was yesterday. My plan was to try to get our deposit back in full to help comp some of the outrageous gas charges through the winter. We cleaned all morning. We Spackled and in some places repaired the walls, even though it was not us who put the holes in them. We cleaned behind and inside the fridge, even though when we moved in, there was mold in there. Basically, the house was in beautiful shape cosmetically when we handed the keys over and requested that our deposit be given back.

We were told that our deposit was forfeit because we had not been there for 9 months. That wasn't my understanding of the contract because when we moved in, she had told us that each month we could get back $100 of our deposit... making what was due to us $600 because we had been there 6 months, and what we were asking for $800 (there were pet deposits etc, but we had decided not to fight over those).

That is when we realised that she has done this before. She said "Well, I don't remember saying that... But I do know what was in the paperwork." Sure enough... she was right. The paperwork says that if you don't stay 9 mos, you don't get any of your deposit back. Period. Another thing she said was "Well, did you put (the repairs) in writing? Because if you take me to court, that is what he will want and if it isn't in writing, you will loose." No, of course, we didn't put our requests for repairs in writing. We thought you took care of your crap!! She had done it before. Without a doubt. She had duped us and probably other families into paying for her outrageous house without fixing anything, and paying for it to be cared for and heated all winter long. The last people didn't leave crap all over the house because they were derelict renters. They left crap all over because they got scammed and they were pissed!

Sigh...

I am not sure how far I want to push this right now. I could easily file a small claim suit against her for the gas bill and the portion of the deposit she said we would 'earn'... but to what end? What would I pay out to have lawyers write me up letters, and how much of my time would I put into getting affidavits from previous landlords, the gas company, etc... and honestly, would I even win? Part of me so wants to 'teach her a lesson' for the horrible way she kept the house, and the fact that we had to live there for a winter with it falling down around our ears and incurring more than $2100 in gas charges alone to heat it. I cried all yesterday afternoon about how horrible some people can be. But the other part of me wants to put it all behind me and say, 'It's only money.'

What would you do?

6 comments

Nessa said...

I have to say that my instinct would be rage. I would want to "teach her a lesson" or force her to comply as a decent human being. Since she is not a decent human being, I fear you may lose more in fighting with her than walking. Then again, she may cave in if she hears the words "calling my attorney". I'm no help am I?

I would just weight whether it's more important to make a point to discipline her and get the money that is rightfully yours (even if it costs more to do so) or walking and potentially saving yourself much needed money.

Sunshine said...

I'd be so upset! But you're right- what can you do? It's a no win situation. It's sad there are people like that out there. You wouldn't really gain anything by trying to teach her a lesson. You know it's wrong to treat others like that- that's what you gain from the experience.

Michelle said...

Ugh, I am sorry. We have NEVER gotten a security deposit back, despite the fact that we've been pretty good tenants. The one things I have praised over and over since we bought this house is not ever having to deal with landlords. Hoping you find some peace in this situation.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Well Michelle, making lemonade, that is something that we can be grateful for.... we NEVER have to deal with crappy landlords again! Or the great ones we have had until now either. We bought a house this time, and it is all ours. And it was well loved and well taken care of. So we don't even move in having to fix a bunch of stuff. :D

Thank God!

Val

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Nessa and Sunshine... yes, I am totally angry, and I did call my lawyer and he is calling me back today after he reviews stuff... but it doesn't look great. And I doubt it is worth the money. My plan right now is to send a letter to each new tenent that is as objective as I can possible make it, stating what happened to us. So they don't get trapped in the same crap. I think that is all I can do.

Val

Hansen Family said...

Is there an organization that you can report her to? I say do what you can but not to the end that it consumes you or causes more bitterness! You have been blesses with a wonderful new home that is all yours. You have been able to walk away from that nightmare..... May God continue to bless this journey of yours!

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