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Old 06-26-2015, 03:44 PM
 
401 posts, read 526,165 times
Reputation: 194

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One of my friend ran into this situation and need an urgent help.

Here's the story:
One of the apartment community has an online roommate matching program where they lease a bed-room where other occupants could already be living in an apartment unit. Thru that he signed an application and also signed a lease online as he was moving from Arizona. He is OK if someone smokes but only if smokes outside (balcony) and he was told that his bedroom will be ready on the move-in date. He was also told that they only allow residents to smoke outside the apartment (balcony or common open area), and it's considered as a lease violation if someone smokes inside the apartment.

He took the keys of the apartment and lease agent took him to the apartment and ran into a horrible situation...... One of the occupant was siting in living area and the whole living area / kitchen was a mess. Entire apartment unit smelled like someone heavily smoked inside the apartment for an extensive period of time because the smoke smell was throughout the apartment. Management company only cleaned his bedroom and bathroom.

My friend decided to not move-in to this apartment, as it's not the place where he was told over the phone while signing up lease remotely. Management has already got an application fee, prorated rent for this month and NOW they are asking 85% of one month as a relating fee as they call it's an EARLY MOVE-OUT.

My friend feels that he was cheated by the management company about the condition of the apartment. He repeatedly asked them to send him an actual apartment photos as well as name of his future roommates so he gets some idea, but they denied both requests.

Should he really be asked to pay 85% of one month as a relating fee? As per rental laws in Texas, does he have any option to avoid paying this hefty fee? What are the options he has at this point?

Any help or some tips would be really appreciated!
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:48 PM
 
401 posts, read 526,165 times
Reputation: 194
Folks..... no one here to help????????
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
3,926 posts, read 4,413,162 times
Reputation: 3395
If the company is a licensed real estate company, it falls under TREC. Check the credentials of the company, then call TREC
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:07 PM
 
401 posts, read 526,165 times
Reputation: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Restrain View Post
If the company is a licensed real estate company, it falls under TREC. Check the credentials of the company, then call TREC
Not familiar with TREC and their power. what is TREC responsible for and capable to tackle this type of cases?
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
3,926 posts, read 4,413,162 times
Reputation: 3395
Texas Real Estate Commission, governs all real estate brokers and agents, sets the rules, pemalties, etc.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:11 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
29,978 posts, read 34,616,587 times
Reputation: 36003
Small claims court for misrepresentation.

He needs to document everything and ask for his money back. If no loss of money just walk away.

This is why the Internet will never replace touching and feeling a House in person. Photos and people lie.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:31 AM
 
401 posts, read 526,165 times
Reputation: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
Small claims court for misrepresentation.

He needs to document everything and ask for his money back. If no loss of money just walk away.

This is why the Internet will never replace touching and feeling a House in person. Photos and people lie.
hmm never dealt small claims court situation before. If he does not pay 85% fee, would they force him to pay thru collection agency? What could collection agency do in that case other than sending a payment notice?
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:14 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,996,260 times
Reputation: 1892
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas_cowboy View Post
hmm never dealt small claims court situation before. If he does not pay 85% fee, would they force him to pay thru collection agency? What could collection agency do in that case other than sending a payment notice?

I'm not a lawyer or a renter. But make no mistake - there are very few protections for renters here as compared to other states.

1). If the apt mgt company sends to collections, it will go on your friends credit report and make it very difficult for him to rent another apartment.

2). Tell him to review his lease closely to ensure that what the mgt company is demanding is actually spelled out in the lease. (if not, then problem solved). Also review lease for a "dispute" clause (this will spell out procedures if there is a disagreement. Sometimes it mandates binding arbitration, which would bypass small claims court).

3). If it appears he is on the hook for the fee, he should pay up (to save his credit rating) and then sue for damages (if he has the perseverance, time and means): misrepresentation, additional time and expense for having to find another apartment, hotel stay (if necessary). Pain and suffering from the stress of the situation. Did he take lots of pictures? Preferably of an ashtray or cigaret butts inside the apartment (would help evidence). Any doctor visits resulting from exposure to smoke also would be an expense and further evidence of harm.

4). Alternatively, he could put #3 in a letter and then send a copy to the mgt. company. When they see he is serious (and persistent), they often will compromise.
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