Do I have this small claims case in the bag? Or not?
May 5, 2014 1:26 PM Subscribe
Do I have this small claims case in the bag? Or not? I lived in an apt with roommates. The original people on the lease all moved out except for one... and all the other people that moved in with that one person thereafter were roommates who gave security deposits NOT to the building, but to the roommates LEAVING the apt. Here's how it would work. Whenever person A wanted to leave the apt they would get their security deposit returned when person B MOVED into the apt and gave THEIR security deposit to the person moving out. So whatever damages might have occured during a roommate's stay the person responsible would still be the original roommates that inhabited the apt because it was their checks the building was holding as a security deposit.
When I moved out I was promised by my roommate "dave" that I would get my security deposit back from the roommate that was moving in to take my place. But when it came time for them to move in, "dave" not only denied me access to see the new roommate, he also claimed that I owed money for damages so I wouldn't be getting back my deposit. When I asked what he was talking about he wouldn't be clear as to what those damages were. So I said- "This is too confusing. I'll just go to the building's management and ask them about it." To which dave replies "Well they didn't do the repairs I did. You see, the damage you did was quoted to cost way more than your security deposit so as a FAVOR to you I did all the work myself with help from our other roommate. Except for the cleaning lady. Your room was so disgusting that we needed to hire a professional. We did all that for you as a favor so that you wouldn't have to lose more than your security deposit." Um... right. So long story short I went to management and asked them about these damages and they didn't know what I was talking about. I asked them to put it on company letterhead for me that they did NOT charge me for damages nor did they do any inspection of my room and they gladly obliged.
So here's what I definitely CAN bring to court:
1.- The letter from management mentioned above.
2.- A very old, stained and ratty piece of paper with only one sentence on it saying that I gave a certain amount as a security deposit to dave. He signed it. (I can't remember if I paid the deposit by certified check or money order or cash. This is the only proof I have that I paid it and I hope it's enough.)
3- Photographs of what the room looked like when I first moved in. As well as photos taken when I moved out. (I can prove the place looked cleaner when I moved out of it than how it was when I moved in- debunking their needing a cleaning lady theory).
Is this enough for me to win? Do I need something more? Since he did this with the help of our other roommate and her boyfriend I'm suing both those roommates. Meaning there will likely be 3 people on the defendant side and just me with my evidence on the other side.