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Tenant rights to copies of files Giving Notice

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by rachelabella, Feb 7, 2014.

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  1. rachelabella

    rachelabella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I moved out of my apartment complex in September of 2013, giving proper 30 day notice with my forwarding address and paying all remaining rent owed. I turned in my keys and asked the office agent to walk the unit with me to make sure it was clean etc. She sent two of the maintenance workers to walk my unit with me. They checked off that my unit was in prime condition. I took a picture quickly of the damages form I filled out when I moved in, documenting the damages I had filled in when I moved into the unit.

    Fast forward 45 days later, I had still not received any type of communication from the complex on the status of my security deposit refund. After two phone calls to the complex giving me no information, I went into the office questioning why I hadn't received anything. The employee looked on my record and say that no damage deductions had been charged to me, and that I should receive a $250 deposit refund. That amount is after deducting the non-refundable portion of the pet deposit. She had me write down my forwarding address once again, to make sure the office manager had it and saying I had came by requesting my refund. The manager never called me, so a few weeks later I went in once again to speak to her in person. I made her call the property management to see why I hadn't received my refund yet. I left that day with the promise of a check in my mailbox no more than 10 days later. I waited 3 weeks, then called the property management directly. I spoke to an agent complaining about the complex personal and explaining what happened, said she would look into my situation and call me back within a few days. I waited a week and called again, this time being told that the company doesn't own the apartment complex (even though the prior agent said the did), and once again saying the agent I requested to speak to would call me back.

    It has been 2 weeks since that last phone call, and I am done dealing with them and I want to sue the owner of the property under section 92.109 of the Property Code of my state.
    I have copies of my lease and my lease renewal, but I have somehow lost the receipt of my 30-day move out notice that proves I gave proper notice and my forwarding address. Is there any way I can get copies of my case files from the apartment complex office? If I were to go into the office and ask for copies, are they legally bound to give me them? And if not, how will not having that proof affect my case in court? Is there an other legal advice you can give me about my case and if I should/how to represent myself in court?
     
  2. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    "If I were to go into the office and ask for copies, are they legally bound to give me them?"

    No

    "And if not, how will not having that proof affect my case in court?"

    We can't say if this would hurt your case.

    "Is there an other legal advice you can give me about my case and if I should/how to represent myself in court? "

    It's best to make all contacts in writing, keep a copy of all documentation for yourself so you have evidence to present to the court regarding the time factors on when you contacted management regarding this issue. Right now it sounds like all your contact with them has been verbal.

    Before taking this to the court, WRITE a demand letter citing the statute for security deposit return for Texas and send it to management giving them two weeks to return your security deposit. Tell them you are fully prepared to continue this issue in court if they do not respond to your satisfaction.

    If no response (or one that is not suitable) you then consider taking this the next step.

    Gail
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you can't prove you gave proper notice, you have a very big problem.

    Why?

    I suspect their account of your move out and the alleged notice given will differ wildly.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    They will not know you are missing that document if you don't tell them. Don't make it easy for them.
    The demand letter suggestion will probably work. Cite the statute that explains their time limit which is clearly passed as well as the penalty for not complying.
    At this point you could likely sue and obtain more than your deposit amount due to penalties, but the demand letter is the simplest approach right now.
     

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