Can they do this and HOW!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/30/2008 - 15:30

I am having major problems with an apartment complex I moved out of like 4 years ago. I moved out a month and a half early from my lease.
I know that is bad.
Rent wa $480 , I always paid on time until i moved... So i figure I owe them realistically around 800- 850 dollars.
The problem is is that they sent it to collections in the amount of $4,842
That is ridiculous.
I sent them a DV letter asking that they explain the large amount in detail and tell me how they came to the conclusion that i owe that much.They never ersponded.

How could they charge me so much money?

Hmmm, I would say that they would atleast charge you 960.00 for the two months rent. Most rentals will not let you pay only a half of a months rent. Also did you notify them in writing that you were moving out?
was their any damage to the unit? Did you read your lease to see if any fees would be applied if you moved out early? Were they forced to hire any lawyers to find you?

Also, did you have a deposit on the unit that could have covered some of that cost? When did you send the DV letter? Whom did you send it to?

Wed, 07/30/2008 - 19:32 Permalink

If you were in that much of a hurry to leave than what kind of condition did you leave the appartment in? I'd bet they are charging you money to clean, paint, and do repairs.

As CMBV22 said, did you read your lease? A lot of landlords hide a lot of hidden fees in the lease if you are to break it early. The last place I rented would've charged me 6months rent beyond my rental agreement if I were to break the lease early.

Best of luck.

Wed, 07/30/2008 - 22:12 Permalink

I would say that every post above has very good reasons why your former landlord could possibly charge that much.

I don't know if any of that could be interest. Anyone else know?

Thu, 07/31/2008 - 06:20 Permalink

I myself think CMBV hit most of these answers right square in the nose. If there was in fact an atty involved the amount you owe could go up very quickly. Most places who rent will have some kind of early termination fee. Probaly the worse thing yhou could have done was moved out and not said anything. I myself would have informed them, set up paymants of what I owed and also did a walk through with the landlord before I left so that you both were together looking at the conditions you were leaving the apartment in. I know theres no going back but just a suggestion in case there is a next time. For now at least you started the DV process.

Thu, 07/31/2008 - 18:35 Permalink

Wow, that is a big amount of money. First off you were right for sending the debt validation asking them to explain the amount of the bill, but what I don't understand is why they did not take you to court on this amount of money, they should have had a good small claims case if they could have proved that you damaged the place or that it was in such dissrepair that they feel you owe this much.

I would be suspicious as to why they chose collection over small claims. I would think that if they can not validate this and list all the exact details of the claim then you may have a case against them, I can not imagine the stress this is causing.

I would say that if they do not validate, then look into filing a suit against them.

Mon, 08/04/2008 - 14:34 Permalink

You are right about small claims they would have had a case there. I would also be suspicious and would ask for debt validation. I also would follow GN advice and file the suit if they can't validate.

Tue, 08/05/2008 - 03:36 Permalink

I have lived in many different types of apartment complexes. And from my experience it seems like the ones that are run by some type of "management company" always seem to be the ones that have the most problems. The ones that are more "independently" run are usually better managed believe it or not.

Tue, 08/05/2008 - 03:46 Permalink

I do believe that Lorri. It has been such a long time since I once rented but I found working with a individual person is a lot better than working with a company.

Wed, 08/06/2008 - 02:29 Permalink

Personally, I prefer big companies. Individuals who rent out to you tend to be more visible. LOL I like to live day to day without being pestered. When I rented from a 'person' every darn day I had to deal with her little tips on how to live in her apartment.

Wed, 08/06/2008 - 17:13 Permalink

I hear you, I guess with the small guy though they have a little more than their money invested. It may be a little more personal because of the money for repairs and lost rent come out of their pocket and they feel it personally, where as a corporation isn't as likely to feel it that close to home. But hey I see your point too, some small landlords have eyes all around, LOL, even the neighbors will watch you for them. I guess they forget that once you sign a lease it is your house and your are ultimately responsible or you lose your security deposit.

Thu, 08/07/2008 - 01:10 Permalink

The landlord from helllllllllllllllllllllllllll, I once rented a place that was so outdated, you could smell the age in the wall paper. The elderly lady that owned it would have nothing to do with me updating anything. She was nice enough, just set in her ways and her time period too.

Thu, 08/07/2008 - 03:24 Permalink

Good points all. I really liked your point about bigger places and the little guys who rent monitor the renter more. That is so true. I really haven't rented much but when I did my landlords were never really close to the area. My mother-in-law just rented a trailor and the rules is longer than a grocery list for a person that hasn't been to the store in a year.

Thu, 08/07/2008 - 12:45 Permalink

well the little guy has a lot more to lose, this may be part of their income that they count on as a living.

Fri, 08/08/2008 - 02:45 Permalink

Actuallty you are a bit correct on that. they are older people and I imagine this is how they supplement their income.

Sat, 08/09/2008 - 00:30 Permalink

I agree, alot of them probably have had these properties for a long time and see renovation as an expense that they can not afford. The older we get the more conservative we get with our money.

Sat, 08/09/2008 - 11:38 Permalink

Thats how my dad is now. He finds it hard to put any money into renovating and only does what he needs to. If you figur what these people are living on these days and subtract their daily living expenses and medical you wonder how they can even afford to apy their taxes. I know there are programs out there but they don't give you that much of a break. My mother in law always gets tax rebates but even with her income being $750 a month (I use to do her rebate forms) she was only entitled to 70% of what she paid. Some would say thats a good deal but when you really think about how much the cost of living is and how they usually have to pay someone even for the smallest of repairs it adds up quickly. I think after a certain age property tax should become obsolete for the elderly.

Sun, 08/10/2008 - 02:20 Permalink

OMG, they would have us working folks paying more and more, somebody has got to pay for all of those who chose not to work, we have done it for years and until they revamp the system so that people get off their rear ends and do their part in society, the elderly will continue to pay also.

How about this suggestion: If you have worked all your life and they took 29% of your pay check and you were still expected to pay for your own food, your own housing and etc, then you get to live tax free in your retirement. I am really tired of government hand outs and the abuse of my tax dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are never eligible for anything, because we choose to get up everyday and go to work.

Sun, 08/10/2008 - 04:10 Permalink

Not to make your day worse but it is actually 29.5 percent. AND yes the extra .5 counts. I know though where you are coming from. I still haven't figured out whre I am coming up with almost a grand for taxes and fuel money. Since this job and accident thing I am in financial distress. Last year it wasn't a problem. I lose sleep EVERY night wondering if this is gonna be another long cold winter. I am tired of having to make choices when I need everything on the list.
What really irritates me is when I hear someone say "at least you guys make that kind of money". What kind of money is that? I am no better off then the people getting the freebies cause I actually have to pay for food, school lunches, fuel, mortgage and taxes. Oh and lets not forget the high priced gas to get to work so they can have money for their FREE programs.

Mon, 08/11/2008 - 01:34 Permalink