Need Help. Apt. Mgmt. is taking to me court..

saleemkkAugust 29, 2005


I have lived in One Apartmnet compound for 6 years, and 4 years in the same two bed room Apt.

I have been wanting to move out from this place becuase of the Mgmt., they treat you like you live there for free. (Eg:- when you complain about AC, they ask you to open the window,etc.)

Anyway, I moved out from there in end of June. My wife and myself spent a couple of week cleanin up that place, but still with some crayon marks,etc. on the wall.

Since I did not find a new place when I had to give them move out notice, I gave them my work address.

Suddenly, a couple of weeks back I got a Attorney Letter from the Apt. Mgmt. asking me to appear in the court to pay 780 (Maint.Chg.) + 300 Attorney Fee. Actually, that was the first letter I ever recieved from them.

I called the Apt. Office and said, I haven't reived your first letter, hence I shouln't be paying Attorney Fees. But we can discuss other charges. Some of their claims are true, as I have two kids and there are some crayons marks,etc. which I could not remove, or some pen marks,etc.

But some are outright lie, like bed room carpet, kitchen floor,etc. They all are very clean. You can't clean better than that, unless you hire real professionals. Keep in mind, I have lived there four years.

But they rejected and said, I have to pay the entire money, if I do not want to go to Court. And the Mgr. told me, If I went to court, even if I pay the money after judgement, that will go to my credit Report. Is this True ?. If I go to Court, and I pay the money as per judgement, will it still go to my Credit Report ?

Anyway, while I was discussing with her, she (the Apt. Mgr.) agreed that I can go with her to vist the APt. so I know what now they are talking about. I pointed each thing like Bed room carpet, kitchen floor,etc. and asked about them. She pointed me 1-2 very very small particle on the floor and said Kitchen is not clean. And for carpet, she is not willing to give any explanation, just that "it is not clean". So I took some pictures and left.

IN addition to above question, my question is, If I go to Court and present my case, why I shouldn't be paying for Attorney fee (I did not reieve the first letter), and I am willing to pay some of the charges, and some are very exaggerated, will I Get some favourable judgement.

Any help, guidance will be very highly appreciated.

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what does your lease say about cleaning up and disagreements?

most state standards are "broom clean" ---- swept and vacuumed.

is your lease different?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 11:08AM
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After four years the place should be painted anyways. The junk carpeting most appartments use should probably be replaced too. Did they ever hear the term "normal wear & tear". Sounds like you should fall into this catagory. They also appear to be bluffing you into paying something you shouldn't be held repsonsible for. Fight them to the end and don't pay the attorney fees. It's great you took photos and make sure to blow them up. The judge will love the photos and will easily see through the appartments unethical practices.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 1:20PM
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is it CRAYON marks, or marker marks? Crayon marks come off amazingly well w/ the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser--can you get them to let you take one more stab at getting those off?

And if you do go to court, point out that this product, available in every grocery store, has a great reputation but has not even been tried on the crayon marks.

And they should paint between tenants--in NYC at least, it's the law; every tenant gets a fresh paint job.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 1:36PM
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What about appearing in my Credit Report. Is it true, if it goes to court, would it still appear in my credit report, if the verdit is against me.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 1:39PM
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if they receive a judgement against you it will be on your credit report , what you should of done is primed over all the crayon and magic marker spots , you would of got free paint after all those years , but they are probably charging you a crazy amount for the priming .. we moved out of a townhouse that we lived in for 5 years and had 4 little boys ,the mgr told us carpet was due to be replaced anyway and we would get paint as long as we primed and cleaned everything else .They will probably receive for the priming , not for the reg painting.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 3:00PM
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Did you take photos? If you go to court, you'll need photos so the judge can SEE what your talking about. Don't give up, fight the charges.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 10:50PM
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I would go to court, get yourself an attorney they are insane, and obviously not good at managing their vacancies if the place is still vacant 4 weeks after you moved out.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 10:24PM
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i would have never called the manager in the first place unless i had received the summons as certified/signature receipt mail. even if they had taken the case to court and you lost, you could challenge that and prove you never received the notice or summons because 'they' have no documented proof that it was sent to you. don't worry about the credit report - if it ever gets there, it will disappear in 10 years. yes, you have ten years.

make sure you enlarge/blow up the photos. hopefully, they will have a date on them to show that they were taken after you left and that she had to let you in. in court, challenge her to show photos. my camera has a video feature, so i did a walk-thru of my entire apt, too. my landlord didn't do an initial walk-thru inspection with me so, even if he did one upon my departure, he had nothing to compare it to. did yours? did she have a check-off list and ask you to sign when you moved in? if not, then she has no legs to stand on in court and your photos will speak for themselves in the wear-and-tear category. if you did sign an inspection list during an initial walk-thru WITH the manager, she should have asked you to sign another when you vacated the premises.

you will most likely go thru housing court. don't be intimidated if they bring a lawyer - it just means they don't know how to handle it themselves. depending on the state in which you live, the manager can only attach the court documentation filing costs, not the lawyer fees. that will be explained to you by the mediator if you get one before you see the judge.

this is all i know.

good luck.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 6:32AM
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