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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 114139
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Please see my situation below and the response I received

Customer Question

Please see my situation below and the response I received from a "just answer" attorney. I sent the demand letter Certified Mail and it was delivered. My question is: From what I have read about going to the District Attorney, it sounds like if this is
not a violent crime, they may tell me to take it to civil court which I can do but am afraid they still won't pay it. Please give me your opinion on what I should do next. I have eight residential rental properties in Warner Robins, Ga and Macon, Ga. I have
used the same property management company since 2012 when we bought our first property. Our property manager became very ill in June and died. Her husband who was already a working member of the company, (repairs and maintenance) and her daughter took over
operation of the company. We did not receive a statement for June and did not receive payment for two of our properties. In August we found mathematical errors in our statements and changed Property Mgt Companies. Still being owed for two properties from May/June,
we met with the husband on Monday, September 21 and provided him with a copy of everything we had. He told us to go to the tenants and make copies of their receipts of payment. We did that and texted the copies to him. He now says "do whatever you need to
do" in response to stating we will have to take it to magistrate court. I would like to get paid. I realize I may never get paid through the magistrate court. This company is not affiliated with a real estate broker, so they are operating illegally. I did
not know this until I started researching property management laws. I want to use the best vehicle to get my money and if I don't, I want them to be held accountable for operating illegally. What do you suggest? 26 September 2015 11:34 Good morning. My name
is Richard and I look forward to helping you. Once you let them know what you plan on doing they might not be so cocky. They work for you and have no right to retain your money. What you want to do is raise the stakes on them so that they know that not complying
with your demands is going to cost them far more in the end than simply paying you now. You should send them one more letter...by certified, return receipt requested and demand they send you the money owed in total within a short specified period of time.
Inform them that if your demand is not timely complied with, you will have no choice but to: i) contact the district attorney's office to file criminal charges for fraud and theft; ii) contact the state licensing board to file a formal complaint that they
are operating illegally without a license; and iii) file a civil suit against them for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this civil suit not only as a breach of contract case, but also as conversion and fraud causes
of action, which will entitle you not only to the money owed you, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times the deposit amount as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your
suit, your formal complaint, and contact the district attorney's office to file criminal charges. In my experience, they will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages, the fraud, and criminal prosecution being on their record.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
It is theft and it is not true that all the DA cares about is violent crime. The DA will take up the case if you prove they are taking your money and not paying it to you.
You also need to report them to the state board, as the previous attorney stated, the board will pursue them for operating without a license.
However if the DA complaint and the Board complaint do not make them realize they need to pay you, then ultimately you have to sue them in civil court, but based on their theft, fraud, unfair and deceptive practices you can get many times at least three times the amount they owe you as punitive damages, plus attorney's fees.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would the state board be called?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Property Management comes under the Real Estate Commission: https://www.grec.state.ga.us/articles/propmgtissues.html