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The Ultimate Sleazeball Landlord

Posted by Carrie Robinson on August 04, 2001 at 11:18:02:

If anyone has advice on what to do about this guy, let me know:

My husband and I spent three days cleaning our apartment before we moved out, we did everything in our power to ensure that the place was in the same condition as when we moved in 6 months prior. During our time there, our perpetually drunk proprty manager refused to keep up with little repairs - things like calking in the bathroom, leaks under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, etc - nothing that makes the place uninhabitable, but enough to make me feel like we weren't getting our rent's worth.

So after six months we moved to a better place. The landlord refused to do either a written move-in or move-out inspection despite several requests, but he did state verbally that we were entitled to the whole deposit back. Now, over a month later, despite repeated phone calls, the sleazeball is not giving our deposit back. And every time I call to find out where the check is, he says he's deducting something else from the deposit - but he refuses to provide receipts for any of these deductions. Finally, last time I called, he said (and this is a direct quote) "I don't need to listen to this bulls*** from a f***ing madwoman. You'll get your G**damn money when you get it." And then he hung up on me.

So I've contacted the Better Business Bureau, I've contacted Equifax, I've contacted Legal Aid, I don't know what else to do. And I'm reticent to call the guy back to subject myself to another round of verbal abuse and yet another (what I consider) fraudulent deduction. California law requires that he provide my deposit within 21 days, and that all deductions must be itemized and (on request) supported by receipts. Which I've requested. He has neither returned our damage deposit, not provided receipts for the deductions he claims he intends to make if or when I ever get it back.

I can't afford a lawyer. Legal Aid has no time to make my case a priority. Any suggestions? I feel like this rich sleazeball is getting richer off of my money - and I'm already pretty poor - I don't need this on top of everything else.

If I could afford it, I'd risk Libel and Slander Charges and just take out a full page ad in the Union Tribune letting everyone know this guy is ripping me off.

Any help or advice anyone has would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

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