Say that 10 times fast.
This morning, looking through my mail, I found a letter from the apartments we just moved out of. We were expecting a return of our deposit, so I hurridly opened it. Instead of a check, I found a bill. A bill that makes no sense.
Confused I called the apartment management office and asked what on earth they were thinking. They rudely said that if I had a problem I could call corporate and take it up with them. Then they hung up. Saying I’m glad we’re no longer there is a bit of an understatement.
So, I call corporate in Ohio and get some random persons voicemail. I leave a message and I’m still waiting to here back from them.
Now, before I drop some numbers on you, my faithful readers, there’s a few things you have to realize. First, is that everything at that apartment is prepaid at the beginning of the month. So, there should be no “post-month” charges. Also realize that we left on good terms with these people so, at the moment, there’s no reason to believe they’re actively trying to screw us.
So, let’s see… where to start? There are three sections to our bill. “Ledger Balance”, “Deposits” and “Additional Charges”.
Let’s start with “Ledger Balance”, which, in this case, is a fancy way of saying “utilities”.
Trash 08/12/08-9/30/08 : $8.07
Trash “thru 8/11/08” : $5.00
Water 08/12/08-9/30/08 : $32.26
Water “thru 8/11/08” : $20.00
So, now given that I paid rent in August and September, I fail to see why I’m being charged for ANY of that. But, lets for the moment assume that we were not paying forwards, but backwards. That our September rent check was paying for August water. Let’s stay with that for a minute. That would mean that I already paid the charges for “thru 8/11/08” completely. So, I don’t know why those are listed. Then, what’s with this month-and-a-half crap? 8/12-9/30? Huh? Let’s change that to 9/1-9/30 and MAYBE we’re on the right track. So, strike two of the four and adjust the other two and we’re down from $65.33 to $25.83, or $25, which is what we paid each month for water and trash. That almost makes sense.
Then, our deposit it listed at $150. I’m pretty sure it was more like $300, or half the first months rent, but I’ll let that slide for a moment.
Now we get to “Additional Charges”. My favorite part. This is the part where they tack on crap that they feel like because you’re not living there any more to dispute it.
Carpet Repair: $60
Extra Cleaning: $45
Extra Painting (10×10 room): $50
Let’s start with Carpet. I’m actually willing to concede that. We lived there for three years, in a first floor apartment, that was 100% carpet. Obviously, walking in from the outside would make the carpet dirty. I get that.
Extra Cleaning however, is flat out BS. We had our things moved out a week before our lease was up and spent an entire week going over there in the evenings to clean it. There was not one single thing in that apartment that was dirty. Nothing.
Then we get Extra Painting. Now, the “10×10 room” part is kind of a clue here. There are only two rooms larger than 10×10 in that apartment. The master bedroom and the living room. The master bedroom was spotless. No need to paint. The living room had an “accent wall” which was a different color. When we moved in back in 2005, it was actually listed as a “feature” on the paperwork. We picked the color and the apartment maintenance crew, before we moved in, painted the wall for us. It’s listed on our original lease. I’m sorry, but I’m not paying them to repaint the wall. That wasn’t part of the deal. You offer someone a free wall to put paint on, you don’t make them pay for it later on. That’s just bullshit.
So, out of those, I’ll concede the $60 for carpet. $60+25=$85 in “fees”. $150-85=$65. They owe ME $65. They claim I owe THEM $70.33.
That simply isn’t going to happen. I’m not paying them a friggin penny.
What worse is that they flat out refused to do a walk-through when we left. It was post-hurricane and they said they were too busy and would get to it later.
To me, that says that they’re accepting the apartment “as is” and they forfeit any rights to make damage claims later on.
I still haven’t gotten a call back. I can’t wait till I do. This should be fun.