Friday, April 16, 2010

Schadenfreude, perhaps?

So, when we moved to NKY about 7 months, we first rented a 4-bedroom house.  At the time, it seemed quite the blessing as we the landlord was willing to give us a 6-month lease and allowed pets.  It was perfect for our situation.

As I've blogged before, there were some periodic issues with the landlord, but I decided to write them off.  Come time to move out, however, I was starting to get frustrated.  I sent him our cessation notice, and called several times asking about receiving our refund.  I never received a response.

According to state law, security deposit refunds are due within 2 weeks of move-out.  Needless to say, we did not receive our refund in that specified timeframe.  I called, and I called, and I called, and I never received a response from our landlord.  Upon the advice of my lawyer, I mailed him two copies of a demand letter.  One was sent registered mail, and was sent normal post.  I must confess I didn't understand the reason for sending two letters at first.  However, it soon made sense.  According to, the registered letter still has not been receipted.  I do know that he received the regular letter.

You see, I've been convinced for months that he's been ducking my phone calls.  I always called him from either my mobile or home phone.  Finally, one day about a week ago, I called him from my work phone.  I'd never previously given this number to him.  He actually answered my call.  It went something like this:

Him: "Hello"
Me: "Is this $landlord"
Him: "Yes. . . ."
Me: "This is $merlin. . ."
Him: ". . . . . . . . . . "
(I swear I could her the mental OH ##)(*$@)*#@#$#@#@$) on his part)
Me: "Just wanted to touch base with you as we still haven't received our refund."
Him: "Oh, yeah.  I received your letter.  I'll put the check in the mail tomorrow."

This conversation happened Wednesday evening.  Based on his mailing address (it's one small town over), if he put the check in the mail on Thursday I should have received it today.

I didn't.

I called him this evening and once again rolled over to his voice mail (I've only physically spoken with him on 3 occasions, maybe 4).  I left him a message letting him know that we hadn't received the check and reminding him he had until Monday to get the money to us before I went to small claims court.

Honestly, I didn't expect any sort of response, and fully anticipated having to call him tomorrow as well.

Imagine my surprise when I received a text message from him this evening.  He said that he'd been busy and didn't put the check in the mail today.  We should receive it tomorrow.  I texted back thanking him and letting him know that I'd notify him when I received the check.  He actually responded AGAIN (making 2 times total in 7 months that he'd responded to me, both on the same day) assuring me we'd have it tomorrow.

I think I've finally got this guy running scared.  It's a shame that it took the threat of legal action to get him to comply with his business obligations.  I'll definitely be contacting the local Better Business Bureau and filing a complaint, as much good as that will do.

Oh, and I won't feel completely satisfied until the check has been deposited and cleared.  Not that I'm cynical or anything, but I just don't really trust the guy for some reason.


  1. Don't deposit it. Take it to his bank and cash it.

  2. I realize this is way late (I only just discovered your blog) but doesn't this just remind me of the mess with my former landlord!

    At first stuff got fixed just fine, but a couple years before I finialy moved out it started taking longer and longer to get things fixed, and by the time I moved out (we bought a house) there was moldy ceiling tiles hanging off the bathroom ceiling (5 months), a major fire hazard in the kitchen (6 months), and a major piece of building structure lying on the basement floor (1yr). This despite a state inspection (which caught a ton of other problems as well) 3 months before we moved out. When we moved I left the keys on the kitchen counter and locked the door behind me. And then called the landlord to tell her where they were and that we were out and that since I'd not bothered to clean she could keep the deposit (that was deliberate, I'd have loved my money back, but there was no way in H*ll I was leaving her an otherwise clean apt to move someone else right into-with out doing any repairs-like she outright told me she planned to do), she got all upset because she had no idea where her key was....told her to bad so sad be glad I'm not taking you to court and hung up. Strange how I've not heard from her since!