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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55480
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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We Wife & I looked into moving into an independent living

Customer Question

We Wife & I looked into moving into an independent living retirement community in Fresno. Cost is $2467 per month, plus $600 for the second person. They offered to waive the second person fee for as long as we lived there if we would sign the 27 page contract within 24 hrs. We said, what if something went wrong. Agent replied, "what could go wrong, it's month to month contract, so we signed. Included is a one bedroom/bath apartment, 3 meals daily, weekly housekeeping, Pg&e, etc.
Within a few weeks we became unhappy, we gave our 30 day notice and moved. It was then we learned the way it really was....month to month after the first 90 days. We had paid the first month, including $82 prorated rent to pay for 8-31-15, the one time community fee of $1500, (reduced from the original $3,000) When we gave our 30 day notice, we paid our 2nd month, now putting our outgo to about $6500. We are sure they will be expecting another $2467 on 11-1-15 for a total of over $9,000. We were there less than 30 days. We had to tap our retirement funds to do this. All they can say is well, you signed the contract. Seems that seniors on a fixed income deserve better than this. What can we do...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You do have recourse here and if they won't voluntarily allow you to leave without paying further, you want to raise the stakes on them. Send them a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history, including the agent's pressure tactics and misrepresentation, and demand they honor your 30 day notice to terminate as was represented to you with no further recourse. Inform them that if they do not comply with your demand within a short specified period of time and pursue you for any further payments, you will have no choice but to file your own suit for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as fraud and deceptive trade practice causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, they will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the fraud and/or deceptive trade practice judgments being on the record, and the negative publicity that comes with that.

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