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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16317
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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Real estate property management company American Homes 4

Customer Question

Real estate property management company American Homes 4 Rent public company based in CA first annual report just issued kept my deposit plus added additional charges that would normally be repairs and maint. Door bumps weather stripping etc. Also charged
me for loose railing on front door fireplace set not functional dirty like that when we moved in. Also lease called for repairs under $100 be paid by the tenant there was no cap on this. Complained about rat feces in dropped ceiling and mold I was informed
I should have noted that at first walk through yes I ernt thru basement lifting tiles looking for rat frced. In GA live in Atlanta within 10days after vacating the property I should receive a letter out lining if I owe anything. I called On the 16th of June
she said she said she mailed it to last known address their propty. The final walk through dude said he had to have forwarding address or this same person would xxxx she said she mailed it I never got it in my go warded mail this is on 16 when she went through
charges I was horrifed they charge me for door bumps interior paint a whole add Story. She said it was my responsibility to leave the house in rent ready order. We had the carpet cleaned 3000sf house and spent a couple of days cleaning and making minor repairs.
On the 120th of June we received a notice from a collection agency that we owed them $388 During our two years there where we paid rent online there was a drop down menu to requests maint and it left a written trail of how and when a repair was resolved. That
disappeared when I paid may rent. There were charges against our deposit that were listed on that log. There are quite a number of ex tenantso that have received similar or much worse treatment. They arr filing a class action law suit. If they mail inoices
that they knowingly sent out w wrong info isnt that fraud?Utility payments made by them bill to them Register in tenants nsme. Should we pay the $388 we just got our credit score cleaned up and bought a house. Should we pursue in small claims. Can we attach
out name to class action suit. !1250 is a lot for us
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello there --This entire situation does not sound like they treated you fairly in my estimation -- for example, you are not expected under the law to leave the place in a "rent ready condition" -- you are expected to leave it in a "broom clean condition". What that means is that the landlord is responsible for any normal wear and tear items (generally cleaning carpets unless you heavily soiled them for some reason and then you would have to pay some money towards that cleaning) and they should decide whether to clean or paint the walls depending upon how long you lived there and what was left behind. Under these circumstances, you can take them to small claims court in Georgia for up to $5,000 -- and generally what you do is that you go to the local district court (clerk's office) and ask for the forms to complete to take your former landlord to small claims court. Many people do this and the people in the clerk's offices are familiar with the process. In the narrative section of the form you state that the Landlord breached the lease agreement by failing to return your security deposit after having already charged you for a number of repairs while you were living there and state that their attempt to keep the security deposit is their way of trying to get a tenant to pay for items which are considered to be "normal wear and tear" items and which should not be charged to the tenant at all. You should list several examples in the complaint and state that the entire list of complaints against the landlord will be presented at the hearing on the matter when it happens (usually about 2-3 months after you file the completed forms the court will set a small claims hearing on this matter). Finally, state that the landlord failed to give you a security deposit letter sent to an appropriate address after you moved out and they are not only unlawfully keeping the full deposit, they are also attempting to charge you additional money over and above the amount of the deposit of $388 which you do not believe that you owe to the landlord. When you list all of these items in the small claims court, the court will consider whether or not the landlord handled the matter correctly pursuant to law AND whether or not they were justified in deducting so much money for repairs. If you have any pictures taken before you left the unit, that would help you greatly. If not, then bring as many witnesses as you can forward to either give you written statements to present to the court or see if anyone will come in with you and testify on your behalf about the condition of the place when you lived in it and when you left (friends and family witnesses are okay in these situations). Regarding any class actions that are in progress against this particular Landlord, you can generally find them online and you have every right to put your name into the class action and pursue them for your deposit to be returned in small claims court if you choose to do so. I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating before you leave the website so I will be paid for my time. I do not receive any credit unless you press a positive rating so I do appreciate it. THANK YOU VERY MUCHMARY