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bad landlord

Posted by Bill Pitcher on July 12, 2000 at 21:21:06:

First of all, this regards a property in Dutchess County, N.Y., south of Poughkeepsie.

Management of my last apartment changed hands six months ago when the owner got rid of her niece as property manager. After taking over, we had numerous problems that were ultimately the result of bad communication.

-- Our locks were changed six days before the lease was up. We had cleared out of the apartment a day earlier but returned to finish cleaning. (We had arranged for a steam cleaning of all carpets, among other things).

-- The landlord would not return our phone calls when we inquired about the locks being changed. All I really wanted to do was get back in to clean.

-- I finally reached the landlord 10 days after the lease was up. She said the locks were changed because we never informed her of our intent to leave. In fact, we had informed her, even though terms of our lease said I didn't need to.

-- At the end of the month, the security deposit had not been returned. When I finally reached her -- 10 days of unreturned phone calls -- she said I owed her money since she said her records said I didn't pay rent for the last three months. In fact, I had all 10 cancelled checks, including one three months before the lease ended, for the amount of the last three month's rent. She finally agreed that I didn't owe her money.

-- She says my security depost will be on its way, minus damages. What damages? The carpets just needed cleaning. Just like I had arranged earlier. At this point, by the way, it's been almost 45 days since we left.

I'd like to be able to warn future tenants about her poor practice. Is there a state agency that hears complaints about this?

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