A recent post by the wonderful award winning blogger (she has a coveted Walter award) Val the Victorian reminded me of a story. http://unbaggingthecats.blogspot.com/2015/05/let-me-tell-you-secret-about-mothers.html
Val, by the way should be required reading, so go visit.
If you rent an apartment today, at least in the New Jersey area, the deposit you put down is put in escrow. It earns interest, and when you leave your apartment the landlord must prove damages and the renter must approve before the escrow account is distributed. If the apartment is left with no more than normal wear and tear, you, the renter, receive a check for the deposit plus interest.
This was not always the case.
Years ago, the landlord took in the deposit, and nine times out of ten when you left, he claimed damages and you never saw that money again.
When I rented my first apartment in the early 70’s I was not aware of this crooked landlord bullshit tradition. My first apartment I put down two months’ rent as a deposit. At the end of our lease we had purchased a house.
Two months before we were to move I sent in my monthly rent. The next day, I ran into a former neighbor. I was told
“Dude, when you move, do not pay your last two months rent! I have been trying to collect my deposit for four months, and the owners do not want to know anything. They will not answer the phone and their office is not at the listed address. I’m not even sure who the owners are. They are not going to repay your deposit, I guarantee it!”
I immediately put a stop payment on that month’s rent. Several days later I got a call from the apartment’s agent.
“Mr. Hagy, your last rent check did not clear, why did you put a stop payment on it?”
In previous posts, I have admitted to being a horrible liar, I am, but perhaps over the phone, and feeling completely in the right, I was able to cover up pretty quickly.
“Didn’t you get the other check?”
“What other check?”
“Well I sent a rent check, and then I found out my wife also sent in the rent, so I put a stop payment on one of the checks.”
“We have only received one check.”
“Well we sent two by mistake, if you don’t mind; I want to wait until I get my statement before sending another. Also, could you send me a new lease for the next year?”
“Yes, we will send you a new lease, but we have only received one check and that was voided.”
“I understand. I’ll straighten it out by next month.”
Two weeks into the last month of our lease, we closed on a new house. I rented a U-Haul and in the middle of the night packed up everything we had and drove off without leaving a new address.
The landlord could just keep my deposit as my last two months rent and if there was any damage to the apartment (there wasn’t) too bad!
When you screw your tenants, you do not get the courtesy of a notice that your tenant is leaving and you do not get to collect for any damages. Sorry, but three-hundred dollars is three-hundred dollars.
My only regret is that I did not leave a note saying “FUCK YOU!”