Should I continue this fight with my landlord?
October 9, 2012 8:04 PM Subscribe
Towards the end of September, I realized that the property management company did not cash my rent check. I called the company and asked if they had received it, to which they said they had not. I feared it lost in the mail, so I called my bank to ask how much it would cost to cancel a check, which is $15. Trying to save myself some money, I went down to the office to talk to the property management company in person. The surly man at the front desk informed me that my rent was overdue, that I should cancel the lost check and write a new one. I explained to him I didn't want to have to pay for it, and could he take a new check to cover my rent and not cash the old one if it arrived? I had brought with me a letter I had written which very clearly stated the problem with my rent not being paid on time and the costs associated with cancelling a check. I detailed which check # was lost in the mail, which was the new check # and to please DO NOT CASH the lost check if it showed up. He said he would give it to the rent manager. Fast forward to a week later when both
checks have been cashed. It was so much money that my account went negative and now I've been charged a bunch of fees by my credit union! Should I fight my landlord to get them to pay for these fees?
posted by cristinacristinacristina to law & government (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I know, I know. I should have just bit the bullet and paid the $15 to cancel the check. I've been kicking myself for days now about that. Now I'm out over $200 in fees, and after some negotiating with my credit union they waived a few of them. It's still a lot of money to me and I am FURIOUS at the property management company for cashing that lost check. It's two months of rent out of my account! I called the office and spoke to the man that I had originally left the letter with about my lost check. I explained what happened with the account going negative and he said that it's not their fault, I should have cancelled the check. I asked him what happened with him giving the letter to the rent manager? He said that does nothing and repeated that I should have cancelled the check. I pressed him and ask if I can I talk to her? He responded, "No she's not here anymore. She left. She's retired." In the span of two days, really?? I got irate, told him I was trying to work with him but he was making it impossible and can I speak to a manager? He said "No" and hung up on me! He did not pick up the phone for the rest of the day.
Over the years I've come across a lot of other problems with this management company (not responding to requests for repairs, no heat/hot water issues, inability to provide proper lease paperwork in a timely manner, inability to pay rent in any way other than mailing a check, etc.) but being unable to reach anyone is one of the biggest. I have sent emails and left voicemails, both of which go unanswered. The only way I get through to them at all is if I go there in person (and the only person I can see is the surly man who at this point knows and hates me) or call repeatedly all day long until someone picks up (usually the surly man). All of these are very thick brick walls. I've gotten very furious, and am now very exhausted. My question is this - do I continue to fight? Do I have any recourse at all? Part of me wants to keep fighting just because they give me no room to discuss or deal with problems at all, and that boils my blood more than anything. I feel like at this point they are just deleting any voicemails or emails that I send. A friend suggested deducting the fees from my rent next month, writing another letter stating the cost of their mistake and providing a bank statement highlighting the charges that came from not following through on what they said they would do. I guess I could do this, but I have a feeling they will disregard the letter, roll the unpaid amount into next month's bill and keep rolling it forward until I pay it or until I move out - and deduct it from my deposit. I've been here for years and want to keep living here. Could not paying the full amount stir up trouble? (I live in NYC.)
Or should I just consider this a very expensive and depressing lesson learned about this horrible company, try to prevent myself from putting a bag of flaming poo on their front steps, and move on with my life?