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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm new to this site and hoping some of you might be able to help me out and shed some light on a terrible experience I went through that's still haunting me. Let me start at the beginning...

My boyfriend and I rented an apartment here in Wisconsin (West Allis) in October of 2008. At first, our landlord George O and his wife Ursula O seemed like a nice older polish couple. The first several months were great and they were always willing to give us a few days extension on rent payments if we were going through a rough time. We didn't take advantage of their kindness and eventually after about 6 months we became more financially stable and paid our rent on time every month.

I won't go month by month of our time there but by the time we finally moved out of that place last month, George had made our lives a living hell. He tried on several occasions to enter our home illegally without notice. We know for sure he was in our apartment at least once while we weren't there as he once stopped me on my way in to my building and told me my apartment was filthy and needed to be cleaned immediately. I was dumbfounded since he would never have known that unless he had just been inside. I had cleaned my place a week before that day but with a little 4 year old running around it was looking like a bomb hit it just a few days later. George had not been in my apartment for more than a month before that.

On several occasions he accused either myself, my boyfriend or one of our friends of breaking a window in the hallway between my apartment and my neighbor across the hall. No matter how many times I told him that we never touched the window, he continued to blame us and threated to charge us to fix it.

On one occasion he yelled at a friend of mine who was smoking OUTSIDE on our balcony saying it was a non-smoking building. He was outside! Hello! My neighbor did the same thing every day! WTF?

He would always harass our friends whenever one of them came over asking them who they were and why they were there. After a while some of our friends were afraid to come over.

Then there was the time he accused my boyfriend of beating me because he heard my daughter crying out for me though an opened window in her bedroom around midnight one night. He believed she was crying because my boyfriend was abusing me when in actuality she had a nightmare and woke up scared. My boyfriend and I were in bed together so naturally our door was shut and we didn't hear her at first. George told me IN FRONT OF MY CHILD that if he heard anything like that again that he would call the cops on us.

The icing on the cake came on July 1st of this year. As my boyfriend and I were walking through the parking lot, without saying a word George handed me a piece of paper and quickly shuffled away. I looked down at and came to an abrupt stop. It was a 28-day notice of tenancy termination. He was giving us until the end of the month to move out. I immediately yelled out "what the hell is this?" in his direction. My boyfriend was holding a basket of laundry and dropped it in the middle of the parking lot when he heard me scream. I showed him the paper and we both began asking George why he was kicking us out. At first he refused to give us a reason and then came up with some BS excuse that he needed to update the apartment. When we kept pressing him for a real answer, he and his wife both told us that if we wanted to argue further, they would call the cops.

We had a month to month rental agreement. I actually lost our copy and requested another one from George in writing via snail mail and he completely ignored it.

We had very little money and were faced with the real possibilty of not finding another place to live before the end of the month. After being left with no other choice but to borrow $1500 from my Dad, we found another place. We had no money for a moving truck and no one that could help us other than our soon to be roomate and my mom's SUV so our moving day was long and frustrating to say the least. We actually had to leave behind some of our furniture and other belongings that we couldn't fit into the truck. I did the best I could to leave the place looking decent but I was not about to get on my hands and knees to make the place look sparkling for the a-hole landlord.

Needless to say we are so much happier now and our new apartment is gorgeous and bright but this whole ordeal is still haunting me because I have not gotten a penny of my security deposit back nor anything in writing as to why. I know that by law if my security deposit is being withheld, my landlord has to send me notice and a list of deductions if there are any within 21 days after I moved out. It is 21 days today and nothing. I know I shouldn't stress so much over $250 but I'd at least like to know why he thinks he can withhold it and what the deductions are.

Does anyone know what I could do to light a fire under this guy and get an answer? Is it really worth it? I don't need or want to go through any type of legal battle but it bothers me that this man thinks he doesn't have to follow the laws.

Any advice would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!!!

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #2 

I had actually fallen very deeply head over heels with my landlord, yet very stupid looking back!

You really have nothing to worry about here, take him to court and get your deposit back as he still owes you that (even) if there are deductions.  Lighting a fire is not a great idea at all, yet he does have to follow the law if you want legal action to pursue.

Take some heavies you know and intimidate him if you are afraid of the law: he will have no option but to back down, yet my advice would be to move on from it and not allow him to haunt you anymore than he has already.  You can easily make the money up again over time and if he is pursuing you, confront him - he won't expect you to do that and will soon run far from you!


Posts: 44
Reply with quote  #3 
You need to check what the laws are in your area.  Here in Oregon, if I fail to provide a written accounting of all charges against the deposit within the time limit, the tenant can sue me for double the amount withheld, whether or not I had legitimate reasons to withhold the money.

I did a google search for your state and there are several links on this subject.  I found this for your area (link at bottom): 

Notify the landlord, in writing, of their failure to return the deposit.

Complaints may be filed with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The bureau keeps complaint records and will contact the landlord about the violation.
For a complaint form, call or (800) 422-7128 or obtain one online.

If the issue remains open, you will have to sue the landlord in court for a return of the Wisconsin Security Deposit


Posts: 44
Reply with quote  #4 
Oops... just noticed the date... sorry.
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