Real Estate Law
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Absolutely not. You are clearly not receiving the full benefit of your rental bargain and you are entitled to be refunded the money attributable to the garage which was not provided. The landlord is actually acknowledging his liability by offering the gift cards, but you have no legal obligation to accept something other than payment in cash. You paid in money and you are entitled to be repaid in money. If the landlord does not voluntarily re-pay you, file suit against your landlord. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once he is served with a summons he is being sued, your landlord will pay you to avoid a certain judgment and the attachment of his wages and/or assets.
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