I received a collection call today regarding incurred costs from my old apartment complex. I moved out on 06/01/12. I wasn't able to attend my check-out inspection, my brother was supposed to go but was late, so the inspection was completed without him. Upon realizing this, he inquired with the residential manager whether I owed anything and was told that, if I did, a statement will be sent to the forwarding address, which I personally provided. It has now been a month and prior to the collection call I did not receive any billing statement from the apartment complex.My notice was given on 05/02/2012, 30 days exactly before my move out date. I'm not quite sure, but I believe my deposit was $250 or $500, which was never given back to me. My rent rate was $840 per month. What can I do to resolve this?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): California
I called the apartment complex and their corporate office. Both have yielded no results.
Thank you for your question.You stated that you contacted the complex. Did you request a copy of their invoice? If so, did they provide a copy of the invoice for you?
I spoke with Sonia from the leasing office and before I could request a copy of the invoice I was informed by her that it was not her problem and that I would need to speak to the residential manager who was, conveniently, not there.
Thank you for your follow-up, Katherine.That is good news for you, actually. Under law you are entitled to a formal invoice that has to be sent to you within 30 days of the termination of the lease. If they cannot prove that they mailed you with a copy of the terms, or that you were not served with the invoice, by law they cannot hold to ANY part of the deposit, and instead have to return to you the whole amount plus you have the right to sue for Punitive Damages. As a consequence if they fail to provide you with a copy of the invoice, consider taking them to county landlord-tenant court and filing directly against them for both the funds AND the punitive damages (which are 2X the amount of the improperly held monies).Hope that helps.
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Thank you for the answer.
Thank you for your follow-up, Katherine.The next step is to request that the collection agency provide you with proof of debt. If they cannot prove that an invoice existed, they cannot collect under the FDCPA. I do not see the need for email here, you can call them first and demand it, email can be considered notice, something that you may wish to consider avoiding at this time.Then after that consider not waiting and instead filing directly against the apartment complex for your missed deposit and punitive damages. That is ultimately what you can legitimately pursue.Good luck.Dimitry Esquire41121.0121070602
JA Mentor, Licensed in PA & NJ, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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