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Landlord Claims I owe money from 4 years ago Security Deposit

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by MTlawquestions, May 13, 2017.

  1. MTlawquestions

    MTlawquestions Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    I am currently filling out applications as my current lease is almost up. One had me get a report from myscreeningreport.(com). No worries for credit/background. The issue is that a landlord I rented from 2013-2014 shows to be claiming we owe him $4,000. However, I have moved twice since then, and never had any issues on the other applications. Even with the home I rented directly after him (2014-2016), there were never any issues with the application. He claims we didn't do any yard work, left the house a mess, ect. Until now, I thought we were in good standing with him, since we never heard anything after we left his house. Two other relevant points: 1) When we moved out, we actually did get some of the security deposit back- all he took was cleaning fees for the carpet and fees for a broken handrail (no worries there, that makes sense).
    2) Two of our roommates (out of 4) stayed at that location for another year and we are skeptical they were the cause of any large amounts of damage. Iv'e tried to contact them, but the reason for the move was a break of friendship so no answers yet.

    I will be needing to move at the end of May, is there anything that I can quickly do to make sure this doesn't show up, or when contacted, he is unable to say "yeah, they owe me a bunch of money", and then fully figure it out later.

    Thanks!
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That's the problem with living with roommates.

    My guess is that you moved out before the lease expired and you were jointly and severally (google it) liable for anything that occurred until your roommates also moved out and surrendered the rental.

    If that's what happened then the "claim" could be valid and there might not be anything you can do about it.
     
  3. MTlawquestions

    MTlawquestions Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It shows up on his section in the myscreening report, in the balance owing tab it says $4,000, and then in the comments "landlord states applicant left house dirty and failed to do agreed upon yard work, balance owing for move-out costs"
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    My guess is that he left that remark on the reports for all the roommates.

    Is there a way to dispute what's on that report?

    Did you keep documentation of your move-out refund?
     
  5. MTlawquestions

    MTlawquestions Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm 50/50 on finding the documentation of our move out refund since it was 3 years ago, but looking for it.

    I was thinking of calling him and just asking if it is maybe the other roommates that stayed longer, and if so could he take that off ours. I guess depending what he says I'd hire an attorney to help dispute it, just worried about the time that'll take.

    If I get a copy of my current apartments rental check (which I'm assuming shows nothing wrong since they rented to me) do you think that'll help in getting a place now? Just showing that the claim came up so much later down the road
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    For a long time I have preached that people with computers should have a flatbed scanner and scan all their records contemporaneously on to the computer, back up the data and keep the documents forever.

    Couldn't hurt.

    At an average fee of $300 per hour with no guarantee of success you might be better off offering the landlord money in exchange for cleaning the report if there's no other way.

    It might. Anything that shows that you pay on time and take care of the place would help.

    Washington doesn't put a cap on security deposits so you might also consider offering a larger deposit. See the security deposit statutes at:

    Chapter 59.18 RCW: RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD-TENANT ACT
     
    MTlawquestions likes this.
  7. MTlawquestions

    MTlawquestions Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I'll go over that act. Kicking myself for not keeping all that info somewhere easy to find.
     

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