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Old 08-26-2014, 03:31 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,348 times
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Hi. I'm a graduate student and I recently moved into an apartment in Maryland.

I checked out this apartment in July and really liked it. The woman who was going to move out showed me her room, and I met the other two roommates (a man and a woman), and chatted with them for nearly 2 hours.

I agreed that I wanted to move in, filled out a rental application (which was accepted by the management after they did a background check on me), and paid the woman who moved out a security deposit of $1,000 and half the month's rent for August at $332 starting from August 15 (so full rent for my room would be $664).

I was foolish and gave her this money before signing a lease (so technically she is still on the lease). I moved in, and the first day discovered cockroaches in the kitchen, which neither she, the roommates, nor the management had warned me about (not sure if there's a legal obligation on their part, but it seems like false advertising).

However, the management is going to spray the building on August 28, and my roommates are very sincere about keeping the apartment clean. They said the problem used to be much worse.

I looked up public reviews of the building, however, and discovered comments from several years past that the building has had roach (and other) problems, so I am not confident that the problem will go away, even if the management sprays.

The other day, I went to see the management because there was one last document I needed to sign, the "change to resident addendum." So far, the woman who moved out has signed it. In order to put me on the lease, I, my 2 roommates, and the management must sign it. I did NOT sign it.

During my meeting with the management, I discovered the following:

(1) The security deposit the management had on file for the apartment was $600. I wondered why I had paid $1,000? I called the woman who had moved out, and she figured it out after going through her old emails. The security deposit per resident (there are 3 residents for the apartment) is $100, and the other female resident paid $300 as a security deposit for her pets (which my other female roommate has confirmed). The woman who moved out said she would pay me back and I am supposed to meet her in person this Thursday to get a $900 check.

(2) The management would not show me a copy of the lease or the change to resident addendum. They said I had to ask the woman who moved out, or her current roommates.

(3) I got, in writing, a signed statement from the management staff (a gentleman) whom I spoke with during this meeting, that the current amount of security deposit the management has on file is $600, and that the management cannot provide me with a copy of the lease or the change to resident addendum.

I am considering moving out because

(1) I do not want to live with cockroaches, and

(2) I have not yet seen a copy of the lease, which the woman who moved out said she would provide me with.

However, because I gave her a security deposit (even if it was the wrong amount at $1,000, which should have been just $100), I am thinking that I have technically established a legal tenancy.

I am not going to pay anything else until

(1) I get a chance to read the lease

and

(2) She refunds me the $900 she owes me from the security deposit.

Please understand, this woman who moved out and her roommates are very nice people. (I get along with them, so I think it's a shame that I would have to move.) The current roommates said she is very nice but also absent-minded, and it does seem so for her to not have told me about the roaches and to have added and extra 0 to the security deposit...

I am currently looking at other apartments, but as September 1 approaches, I am getting nervous that the management could kick me out for not being an official resident or paying September's rent (which is due September 1).

NOTE: The management charges apartments for rent and utilities collectively (per apartment), so the current security deposit they have on file ($600) is not under anyone's name in particular.

The woman who moved out currently lives in New York City, where she moved to. I am also from New York City (just by chance). I know where she lives because we met to exchange the keys and the check for the half month's rent and security deposit.

I believe that she will refund me the $900 (I'll soon find out), but I am wondering what legal recourse I would have in case she doesn't?

I really don't want to go to small claims court, and I'm not even sure how we could do that since we are both now located in two different states.

Last edited by wonderingwander; 08-26-2014 at 03:41 AM..
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