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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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My girlfriend had a small grease fire in her apt. last July.

Customer Question

My girlfriend had a small grease fire in her apt. last July. It was contained and put out quickly. Two cabinet's above the stove and a plastic window blind was the only damaged besides a black mark on the wall & ceiling. She was sent a bill by the management for 2598.15? This is a HUD a complex. The apt. is a small 1 bedroom and the kitchen is only 10x8x7'. A restoration co. claimed 1811.02 for clean up of smoke damage? What smoke damage? The painter claims 481.50 for primer and two coats of paint? They charged her 305.62 for two cheap cabinets. I went in there after the work was done and it was obvious it was not painted in my opinion. You could not smell fresh paint and it did not look painted. My girlfriend entered the apt. one day while the work was going on (she was told to stay out while work was being done), she said two maintenance workers from the complex were installing new cabinets, she said to one of them that the apt. looked dirty, the one worker told her he did a thorough cleaning? If they did the cleaning what is this restoration's co. bill for 1811.02? That's 18 hrs. worth of work at 100.00 an hr.They did all this so called cleaning so the painter could paint over it? Also the paint in her apt. is "high luster" so it can be wiped down, is what I think they did to the black marks in the kitchen in my opinion. If you primered over this you would have to sand it down first or use an adhesion promoter to get the paint or primer to adhere. The walls did not need painted, the smoke did nothing to them. My girlfriend has every intention of paying for the damage but not this grossly inflated bill, for work that was not performed in my opinion. She's on a fixed income and this is huge. I had just saw this bill for the first time in Apr. I contacted Consumer Affairs but was told if there was more complaints they may take action?. Im currently waiting for a response from the senior vice pres. of HUD in N.Y who I sent a letter to in June. Also, this is a non furnished apt. if there was any smoke damaged it would of been to her furniture and bedding which would be her problem. We went in there the day after the fire and the only damage I saw was the kitchen cabinets a window blind and black marks. Aside from a little smoke smell there was no other damage.
Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello: This is PhillipsEsq. I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.
What is your specific question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My question is, besides hiring a lawyer and going to court is there a specific organization out there that would question this bill and the work that was supposedly done? I am still waiting for a response from the HUD VP in NY, that is if a get one at all. The tenant/landlord assoc. in NJ is a joke. It's a garbled voice mail and they do not return your call no matter how many times you call. I am surprised that they are ripping her off like this. Where she lives they are nice apt.'s in a nice neighborhood. Thanks.Paul
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is my question going to be answered?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years 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.
I am a different contributor, as it seems that the other contributor had to leave.
If the apartment complex is a HUD complex and they are billing you above what you believe is reasonable, then besides going to small claims court, which she can do without an attorney, is she would have to file her appeal to the HUD office. If you contacted the HUD VP in NY, that is not necessarily an appeal, you would need to contact your local HUD office and you would need to file a written appeal with them and you will need photographs of the work done (photographs of before the work would be helpful as well) to show that what is being charged is excessive.
If the HUD office denies your written complaint, her sole remaining recourse would be suing in small claims, which she can do without an attorney.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the info!Paul
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
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