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security deposit rights

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security deposit rights

Postby kforeman » Tue Jul 16, 2002 5:56 pm

Our former landlord has kept $500 in painting costs (the cost they said it took to paint one room) plus $400 for a "water utility bill" out of our $4000 deposit. We said that it was unacceptable, as the 6 estimates we received for painting that room never topped $200, and despite 7 phonecall discussions throughout a month asking to see those mysterious bills, we still have seen nothing. We never received a water bill during the year we resided. We have since been told that a water bill doesnt exist, but that they have been waiting oh so long for it to appear, and they are calculating based on prior bill amounts. They have now forwarded our deposits to an escrow attorney, will no longer answer our calls, will not make a copy of our lease, and said that in the lease there is a line stating that "in the case of a dispute between tenant and landlord, tenant assumes all responsibility for landlords attorney fees", and also that "tenant is responsible for various utilities". I believe that such lines exist in the lease. What on earth are our rights for getting back our money? Can they legally withold money for bills they cant produce? Can they deduct even more money for phone calls to their lawyer? If we take them to small claims court, and they can fabricate a painting bill from their illegal employees (they own a LOT of buildings and pay EVERYONE under the table, including their 15 brokers) will that hold in court? We were willing to pay our fair dues, but now it's looking like we may lose all of our money, any advice? [email]kdoodlebug74@yahoo.com" target="_blank[/email]
kforeman
 
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Brooklyn

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