- 3 years ago
- Wedding: April 2014
My best friend, her boyfriend, and I moved into an apartment in August 2008. We moved out the following year in August 2009. Shortly before our lease was up, they sent us an offer to renew. On the offer, it had 3 different price points based on length of renewal, then at the bottom had a place for us to fill in forwarding addresses and to confirm we were not renewing. Well, we were moving, so obviously we filled in this part. We turned that in, then on move-out day, we turned in our keys and were told whatever part of our deposit was to be returned would be mailed to the fowarding address and we would be billed if we owed more than our deposit. Our deposit was only $125, so we really didn’t expect much, if any, since apartments charge for every little thing. We never received a bill, check, phone call, or anything.
Fast forward to about a year and a half later. I randomly check my credit report and see that we have a $75 charge from some company I don’t know that was reported in October 2009. I call the number listed and they say they represent our old apartment complex. They suggest I call them to find out what the charges were for. So, I do and they can’t tell me! I ask if there were damages and they say no, that no damages are listed on the account. So I tell them I need to know what it is because if they say we owe money, we have a right to know why. The lady says the only thing she can think of is our water bill. We paid through the apartment and when we moved in, there was about a 45 day delay before we got our first bill, so that would mean that when we move out, we could have 1-2 months of water bills still coming.
Understandable except for a few things…first, $75 would NOT have been two water bills. Our water bills ran around $15/mo so that would be FIVE months of water bills. On top of that, they would have taken them out of our deposit since we never got anything back. (So essentially, they were saying we owed $200 with the deposit plus the extra $75 charge) So I asked her why they wouldn’t have called us or sent us the bill if we owed them money. She said, “Well, if you don’t leave a forwarding address, we can’t.” BUT WE DID! And on top of this, neither of our phone numbers changed. I told her this and she said she had no way to confirm if we did or didn’t. So I asked if we paid it, would it be taken off of our credit. She said I had to call the credit company again.
So I do and they say that no, if we pay it, it will show as paid but they refuse to take it off of our credit. So, both my friend and I dispute it on our credit (her boyfriend was not on the lease, so it was not on his credit). Well, obviously they deny the dispute.
My friend applied for a house within the last couple of year and the charge was brought up. The place she applied through suggested to her NOT to pay the money because it will automatically roll off in 7 years, which would be 2016. If we pay it, it resets the 7 years from the time we pay it. Well, that would be all good and fine if the stupid company didn’t keep adding interest to it and renewing it every single year.
My friend also talked to the apartment and the credit company again recently. The credit company says it is OUR responsibility to prove that we don’t owe anything. The apartment still can’t tell us what we owe anything for. So how in the world is it OUR responsibility to prove we don’t owe something. Shouldn’t THEY have to prove that we do?! Seems backwards.
So, my question is what options do we have? Should we just pay it knowing we don’t owe it and reset the 7 years. Should we not pay it and hope it eventually comes off? Should we fight more with the two companies who seem to work together but don’t actually communicate? I’m just so frustrated because I want to look into buying a house soon and I hate for this now $92 charge (with the interest added in) to affect my options. But if we pay it, it’s still there. Ugh.