We will be receiving all but $50 of our security deposit back!!!
I am SO happy! (I mean, a little annoyed about the $50, but whatever. $300 back is our monthly grocery budget!!)
This has taken LOTS of phone calls and emails to the company and to their attorney, but it is officially in writing now, so I wanted to update, especially you guys who gave me such helpful, tangible suggestions.
For anyone who’s in this situation in the future, the BEST thing you can do is educate yourself! I have read SO MUCH on Ohio tenant law in the last week, so I was incredibly well-prepared to speak to the lawyer. In Ohio, as it turns out, they’re required to pay you double damages if anything that they’ve withheld turns out to be fraudulent/inappropriately withheld, so they are VERY leery to actually go to small claims court. When it became clear that they weren’t actually charging me for any REAL damage–and that I was totally willing to go to small claims court–they caved almost immediately.
Also, I was shocked by the attorney just lying straight to my face! (Well, over the phone.) Like, if I hadn’t known the law, I would have been completely tricked by this attorney, who literally just flat-out lied about the law multiple times, as well as claiming that I hadn’t paid my rent on time and other things. It was too weird!
I’m sure in other states it’s different, but being armed with the knowledge of what they can and can’t legally do (and what judges have ruled in the past) made me SO much more confident when talking to the company and their attorney. I partically felt like an attorney myself, quoting the law to them, haha.
I was tempted to take them to small claims court just to try to teach them a lesson, but some Googling of the company suggests that they’ve been sued MULTIPLE times in the past, both in small claims court and in a class action suit, for their dirty, dirty deeds. So my little lawsuit probably wouldn’t have affected them.
Anyway, if this happens to you: FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT and BE EDUCATED about your legal rights! Don’t let scummy people take advantage of you!!