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NWR: Help Please

So my parents moved around the corner from us back in August.  I was the main contact because of the language barrier.  The lady wanted a 2 year lease.  However, I told her my dad is waiting on family issues to be resolved and may need to travel outside the country and if this happens within two years we need to know how much notice would you allow us to give you.  She gave us a lease which states "8 weeks notice before moving out or forfeit the deposit."  We gave her 9.5 weeks, the apartment was intact and I put two adds online for her to help her out but we just received a letter from her lawyer that she is keeping the deposit because they broke the lease.  The letter also says she is able to sue for the remaining rent.

Looking online I found that she was only allowed by law to take 1 month security for anyone over 62years old, not 1.5 months as she did.

She was suppose to show reasonable efforts to rent it under "good faith effort to mitigate damages" and she didn't do this. I tried to help as much as possible responding to emails and forwarding numbers to her to call.

We gave her the key 03/31 and when we walked in to do the last walk through she already had someone's TV, wireless router and cable there.  She stated it is hers which I don't believe.  However, the lawyer letter seems to state she doesn't have a tenant but there is someone's car in the driveway and lights on constantly (I am not stalking, I just live around the corner).

She even asked me for a forwarding address to send the deposit, but two weeks later called said that she needed my brother's address even though he isn't on the lease.  To avoid issues I complied.  Then she called said I can't ask for the deposit even if I'm on the lease.  I stated I am the primary contact and signed the lease because of this.  Also my parents don't speak English.  Her response "well this is America, they need to"  I got upset and told her all I need is a check for the deposit and she called me crazy and hung up. She has called various times to mention small issues (like I walked my dog by her house, my dad told a prospective client to not rent and she understood tho she doesn't speak Spanish). I am no longer picking up her calls because she just seems to want to argue.

I don't know what to do.  My parents live off their Social Security.  Neither works.  Any idea what to do, opinions, anything would help.
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Re: NWR: Help Please

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_nwr-help-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:14Discussion:4bec4bfa-a817-4e08-9d3e-1a00914a6820Post:49c880d2-a0e1-4268-8385-3e9c304b969c">Re: NWR: Help Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to NWR: Help Please : <strong>Contact a lawyer</strong>.
    Posted by LingerLonger1[/QUOTE]

    <div>Absolutely this. I don't think anything anyone might advise you to do here is going to do anything but harm your situation. The more you answer your phoen or try to 'correct' things it's going to end up doing more harm than good.</div>
    my blog - for the love of ein
    'Next time, just fart.' - BriSox81
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    Agree with PP.  There are organizations that provide free or low-cost legal assistance, particularly with landlord-tenant issues.

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    Sounds like you definitely need a lawyer. Sorry this is happening!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Lawyer up. A first step, if finances are a problem, can be to contact a local law school for initial help. Also, call the Fair Housing Authority for your state - try this one, perhaps (via google): Link.
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    Contact a lawyer.  Print out all of the craigslist ads (or whatever) you placed and all email correspondence.  Also have a copy of the lease handy.  Give it all to the attorney who helps you.  I would also take some pictures that show, clearly, someone is living in the apartment.  If there is a car and lights are on, then someone is living there.
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    Thank you!

    I printed every single thing associated with the apartment and have it ready.  My boss has a lawyer who works with our business and he is having him take a look at all my things tomorrow. 

    Apparently most lawyers will not let this go to court or open the case with the state because she will have to have proof that she opened up an escrow account and the deposit is accruing interest. 
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    It's good to run it by an attorney if you have free access to one.

    One thing to note is that attorney fees may cost more than the value of the deposit being withheld. Once you've investigated that and made a value judgement about it, Small claims court is another option to consider. We've used the system a few times successfully. I came to court incredibly well prepared with evidence and records (a s it sounds like you have) and I had read up well on the applicable statues.

    Additionally, sometimes small actions create success:

    I had tenant issues when I lived in CA and the area and the local housing department had a free mediation service that I consulted for advice first and I was told to begin by sending a certified letter with my demand on it, stating the reasons I was entitled to it and providing a deadline for completion. I was given what I wanted immediately upon the landlord's receipt of my letter so it was easy for me.

    My friends were denied their deposit and were ultimately entitled to twice the amount by the time they filed in small claims court. Upon filing, their landlord paid them in full (and my friends dropped the suit, deciding not to pursue the additional amount they were entitled to).

    You are right about the escrow account too, my ex was renting out a room in our house (after I was no longer living there) and when he went to sell it, he told me he didn't have the money to give his tenant the deposit back. I had an absolute fit and had to dig up those rules to share with him. He certainly did not do this.
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    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_nwr-help-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:14Discussion:4bec4bfa-a817-4e08-9d3e-1a00914a6820Post:1ee6e6ed-a51e-40e6-8448-557d6da07c98">Re: NWR: Help Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]It's good to run it by an attorney if you have free access to one. One thing to note is that attorney fees may cost more than the value of the deposit being withheld. Once you've investigated that and made a value judgement about it, Small claims court is another option to consider. We've used the system a few times successfully. I came to court incredibly well prepared with evidence and records (a s it sounds like you have) and I had read up well on the applicable statues. Additionally, sometimes small actions create success: I had tenant issues when I lived in CA and the area and the local housing department had a free mediation service that I consulted for advice first and I was told to begin by sending a certified letter with my demand on it, stating the reasons I was entitled to it and providing a deadline for completion. I was given what I wanted immediately upon the landlord's receipt of my letter so it was easy for me. My friends were denied their deposit and were ultimately entitled to twice the amount by the time they filed in small claims court. Upon filing, their landlord paid them in full (and my friends dropped the suit, deciding not to pursue the additional amount they were entitled to). You are right about the escrow account too, my ex was renting out a room in our house (after I was no longer living there) and when he went to sell it, he told me he didn't have the money to give his tenant the deposit back. I had an absolute fit and had to dig up those rules to share with him. He certainly did not do this.
    Posted by MuppetFan[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the information.  I have printed everything I had from craigslist ads, emails from prospective tenants, statutes which state she shouldn't have taken 1.5 security, statutes that state the good faith she was suppose to show, phone records for all the phone calls received after we gave her a 9.5 week notice, and of course the lease.

    She definitely didn't do the Escrow account because we didn't receive a 1099 for last year's interest.  Also, as you stated there is a statute here that states that we are entitled to two times the amount if we go to court for this.

    My boss said he will help me out with the lawyer we have in house so he is going to be my advisor through this and then I will know where to go.  He said either small claims but most likely the state department first.

    I have so much going on right now that the letter from her lawyer freaked me out and I honestly felt like a fish out of water..
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_nwr-help-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:14Discussion:4bec4bfa-a817-4e08-9d3e-1a00914a6820Post:7314330d-0628-4cc7-8c0b-25762cb0bff6">Re: NWR: Help Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: NWR: Help Please : Thanks for the information.  I have printed everything I had from craigslist ads, emails from prospective tenants, statutes which state she shouldn't have taken 1.5 security, statutes that state the good faith she was suppose to show, phone records for all the phone calls received after we gave her a 9.5 week notice, and of course the lease. She definitely didn't do the Escrow account because we didn't receive a 1099 for last year's interest. <strong> Also, as you stated there is a statute here that states that we are entitled to two times the amount if we go to court for this</strong>. My boss said he will help me out with the lawyer we have in house so he is going to be my advisor through this and then I will know where to go.  He said either small claims but most likely the state department first. I have so much going on right now that the letter from her lawyer freaked me out and I honestly felt like a fish out of water..
    Posted by fperez7542[/QUOTE]

    Just to clarify, the statute that my friends worked with - it wasn't the act of going court that caused them to be eligible for two times the amount, it was the amount of time that passed without them receiving the original amount.

    It'll be super awesome if your in house attorney responds to the lawyer on his letterhead! 
    image   imageimage
    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_nwr-help-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:14Discussion:4bec4bfa-a817-4e08-9d3e-1a00914a6820Post:2e0a3418-fb66-4690-ae35-6940eb7354e5">Re: NWR: Help Please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: NWR: Help Please : Just to clarify, the statute that my friends worked with - it wasn't the act of going court that caused them to be eligible for two times the amount, it was the amount of time that passed without them receiving the original amount. It'll be super awesome if your in house attorney responds to the lawyer on his letterhead! 
    Posted by MuppetFan[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I think the lady only has 30 days to return it which means 8 more days.  After this I believe Connecticut states we can sue for double damages.  I personally just want my parents to get their 1.5month security.  I don't want to go through all the back and forth.  I am on the lease and also they will not be able to communicate with the ladies lawyer because of the language. So this all falls on me.

    I can't wait to speak with him tomorrow and see if he would reply on letterhead! That would be awesome. Being that I am only using him as an advisor even if he just tells me how to respond I will be happy. <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />
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