We checked out of an apartment after giving due-notice and paid about $141/- over the $600/- deposit for damages to the otherwise ill-maintained facility due to a pet (urine stains, blinds, and frayed carpet. Originally - we paid a non-refundable pet deposit of $350/- that the Apartment Company conveniently forgot all about. At the time of handing over the keys - we disputed their estimate of the approximately $740/- in "past due", and went aead and paid the shortage over the $600/- deposit and felt that we walked otherwise clear. They had a copy of the forwarding address in the same city, the phone number, and an e-mail address, plus the address of the Guarantor as of June 2009.
Suddenly 10-months later, a Collection Agency sends the Renter and the Guarantor a collection Demand Notice for about $380/- for unspecified damages. On calling the Collections Agent - we are told they tried to reach the Renter at the forwarding address provided once and that is all they need to do leagally to comply. The Renter did not get any letter from the Aparment at all. Neither did the Guarantor until April 2010. The Guarantor contacted the Apartment, and the Property Manager refused to explain anything stating that all we could do at this stage was to work through the Collections Agent.
My question is this fair at all? They othewise settled by collecting the keys and a money order for the final settlement and claim to have send us a letter? Do they not have to make one or two more attempts and have a "Certfiied Mail" or something sent? And, why in the first place do they consider the account settled, and then send us to a Collection Agent 10 months after we vacate?
We have a stellar credit (800+) and are trying to see our options at this time before the Collections Agent turns us over to the Credit Bureau. The paper work sent to me by the Collections Agent upon my request shows hand-writeen notes that were no tthere on the original given to us - something we do no thave at this time. We have no issues in paying the full amount if it is due. All I am seeing is why the problem with such an attitude on part of the Management Company managing the property on a University Campus? Can they get away with this behavior? We always paid the rent in time.
Appreciate any pointers you may give us as we have less than three weeks to settle this - hopefully in our favor and showing the Apartment Company the right way to treat tenants and citizens, and more importantly prevent them from harassing others in the future.