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Losing My Deposit
Now that the new school year has started and most people are settled in their new apartments, the statements for those who moved out of apartments last (rental) year have come.Now this didn't happen to me--this time so it's really not my deposit. But someone I know just got a bill instead of a check for their deposit.Certainly many people leave their apartments in a poor state but I must believe that many people are taken advantage of and I certainly think that was the case in this instance.Why?Well, I have a couple of reasons.In the last few years, I've checked out of two apartments. I'm not a college student and when I left each apartment, I'm sure it was in as as good or better condition than when I moved in.In both cases the apartments were managed by companies that manage many complexes and hundreds of apartments.In both cases the management company kept my deposit and, in addition, charged me a couple of hundred dollars.In the case that prompted this post, the same thing happened, but the company is charging this person many hundreds of dollars.I don't know the specifics in this case, but I've been around the block a few times now. Maybe a few too many times and here is what I believe is going on. Perhaps I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.Companies know that most people will not complain and just accept this treatment when it occurs.Companies know that if they offer rebates, some people won't turn them in. Of those that do, if the rebate check just never shows up, many more won't protest. And, finally a few won't cash the check.Health insurance companies will deny claims, knowing that many, or most, won't dispute the decisions. In my personal experience, numerous times I've had claims denied which I was able to resolve it with a single call. Never have I had an insurance company deny a claim and then do anything to help me determine if the decisions was correct.So, in this case, the apartment management companies know that most people won't even complain.In my case, I did call the companies, but what leverage do I have? They commonly deal with problems such as this and know how to handle these situations. The only option I know that I have is to go to small claims court.You and I are not likely to be familiar with how to handle situations like this.I consider my self to be fairly proactive in situations like this, but even I didn't pursue the issue very far in either case.In a city with so many renters and so much turnover, my guess is that this is a revenue source for these companies. Since they can usually get away with it, they do.Am I off base? Has this happened to you?