Shady landlords get away with a lot of things because people are too lazy, or it’s too costly to fight them. Well, one couple wasn’t about to let their landlord take money that didn’t belong to him, and it wound up costing that landlord a lot more than he expected.
A Reddit user recently shared a story about how they fought and beat their sneaky landlord. They say when a new person bought the apartment they were living in they jacked up the rent so they decided to move. When they did, even though they left the place spotless, the landlord tried to charge the a $80 cleaning fee. When they fought back he threatened to keep the whole deposit, which he did.
That’s when they took him to court. First, the person filed paperwork with a “rentalsman” who sided in their favor, but really couldn't do anything to get their money back. They then went to a local sheriff, and despite a $100 to $150 fee they paid to have a legal demand letter sent, which the landlord still ignored.
At that point the sheriff could go ahead with proceedings to recover debt and costs, but it would take a while and cost about $250, and despite the added costs they moved forward. This is apparently where most people cut bait, but this couple was persistent, and because of their filings, now the landlord would be forced to repay all of his outstanding debts, and apparently there are lot of them.
In the end, the sheriff wound up seizing the title to the landlord’s SUV and gave him 30 days to pay back all his judgments. The couple wound up getting back $885, but couples who had started a similar process but gave up also wound up getting money, to the tune of $5,000 more out of the landlord’s pocket.