Non-returned deposits


Way back when, a couple years out of college, I moved into an apartment with a friend of mine who needed housing for only two months. She had graduated from Tech, which had a late school-year-end date, and heading off to Dartmouth, which had an early school-year-start date. Since she had a summer job where I was working, it made sense to room with her.

To do so, however meant I needed to move out of my one bedroom house. That place was preyty awesome, though the rats, flys and post-earthquake tilt made it less desirable as time went on.

So, my friend and I slapped down a security deposit, paid our first and last month's rent, and moved in.

Thirty days later, we gave notice. Twenty nine days later, the painters arrived to paint the apartment. They came in, looked at the walls, and asked how long I had been in the apartment. I answered, "two months," then asked why they asked me.

"Because this apartment doesn't need painting."

Which didn't matter to the property manager. They had it pointlessly painted, and took the cost out of my security deposit. I was angry. Was? Bah. I'm still annoyed by it. They spent the money needlesly because it wasn't their money.

Today I received the security deposits back from housing from Nationals. In past years, we've received the full amount back. This year, we didn't.

One of the damage costs was for excessive cleaning, which I expected, presumably from a wine spill (who puts white carpeting in a party rental?). The other was for a window replacement. And here's where my two stories merge.

The other charge was for a window repair. The window broke sometime during one of the storms that ran through the area when we were there. We were unfortunate enough to be in the place when the window actually broke, but were not the cause of the window breaking.

Didn't matter, we have to pay for it anyway.

Which annoys me to no end.

I have to wonder if I should write to them requesting a full refund of the deposit, citing non-responsibility for the window breakage, or just let it go. I was told about the breaking, and the amount when I called to see if we were getting our deposits back before I sent out "you owe me this much for housing," so I'm not actually out any money personally (okay, that's not quite true, I'm out $300 / 30 people = $10 for the non-return of deposits, but not out the full amount of $300).

I just don't know if this is going to be another one of those turns-my-stomach a decade afterward because someone shanghai'd money from me.

Or maybe writing about it will be a catharsis of both.