Wednesday, September 06, 2006

So my husband is an awesome lawyer...

If you will recall a previous post titled Lord have mercy in which the Evil Empire deducted hard earned money from us for the bogus charge of urine on the carpets... seriously, this adorable pup does NOT pee indoors... we are barked at often enough to be aware that this dog demands to be outside.

Anyway, this wasn't something that we were going to let go down without a fight... our dog's good name was on the line!

So Adam sat down in about 3 hours time crafted the most beautiful letter to the
Evil Empire.

Here is the letter.... (missing vital information of course!)


Adam XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX, Maryland XXXXXXX
(t) XXXXXXX
(e) XXXXXXX

August 27, 2006

Management

Evil Empire
Corporation
Evil Empire
Apartments
XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX, Maryland XXXXXXX


Re: Return of Security Deposit for Jessica XXXXXXX nee XXXXXXX

For Rental of
XXXXXXX

To Whom It May Concern:


I am writing this letter on behalf of my wife, Jessica XXXXXXX (hereinafter referred to as Jessica XXXXXXX), in connection with the lease of the above referenced property entered into on May 4, 2005, in which Jessica XXXXXXX agreed to take possession of the property on May 13, 2005, and to vacate the premises on May 31, 2006. I, Adam XXXXXXX, was listed on the lease document as "Occupant -
Husband". On May 13, 2005, Jessica XXXXXXX paid to Evil Empire a security deposit in the amount of $X.X.

On April 11, 2006, Jessica XXXXXXX provided
Evil Empire management with her Notice of Intention to Vacate Apartment, informing Evil Empire that she would be vacating on June 11, 2006. This date was later modified by mutual agreement of the parties to June 9, 2006. On this Notice, Jessica XXXXXXX provided Evil Empire with the forwarding address of XXXXXXX , XXXXXXX , Maryland, XXXXXXX.

Pursuant to the Residential Lease Agreement (
"Lease Agreement"), the Application Agreement and Security Deposit Agreement ("Security Deposit Agreement"), as well as Maryland landlord-tenant law, Evil Empire Corporation - the "Landlord" named in the least - was required to return the security deposit paid by Jessica XXXXXXX within 45 days - or by July 24, 2006. The amount returned to Jessica XXXXXXX must, under the terms of the Lease Agreement and the Security Deposit Agreement, include "interest computed at 4% per annum accrued at 6 month intervals".

On Saturday, July 21, 2006, Jessica XXXXXXX received in the mail an envelope bearing the return address of
"The Evil Empire, XXXXXXX , Suite XXXXXXX , XXXXXXX , Maryland XXXXXXX". The sole enclosure in this envelope was a check from "Evil Empire Apartments, Owner-Evil Empire Corporation, XXXXXXX , Suite XXXXXXX , XXXXXXX , MD XXXXXXX" paid to the order of Jessica XXXXXXX (XXXXXXX). This check was in the amount of $X.X. According to my calculations, the full amount of the security deposit plus interest is $X.X. These numbers reflect a withholding of $X.X.

On July 24, 2006, I telephoned
Evil Empire to discuss the $X.X withheld from Jessica XXXXXXX's security deposit. I spoke with a woman who claimed to be the manager, and who told me her name was "Cruella DeVil". I was told over the telephone that the money was withheld because the carpet had to be replaced because of urine stains caused by our beagle. I informed the manager that our beagle was over 9 years old and, in the last 8 years, he has never once urinated or defecated indoors, anywhere. I demanded over the telephone that she provide me with written reports demonstrating the presence of urine stains on our carpet. Moreover, I demanded written documentation evidencing a lack of urine stains prior to the date we took possession of the property. Cruella DeVil assured me that she would get the records to me.

I informed
Cruella DeVil that I had to be in XXXXXXX County that afternoon and that I would stop by and pick up the records then. That afternoon, shortly before 5:00pm, I arrived at the Evil Empire leasing office, where I spoke with Cruella DeVil in person. Cruella DeVil quickly became uncooperative and refused to provide any documentation to me in person. I informed Cruella DeVil that if I had to, I would sue to recover the money which I believe was improperly withheld. Cruella DeVil assured me, this time in person, that she would mail to me an itemization of damages withheld and the documentation which supports their claim of damages.

I write this letter on August 27, 2006, greater than one month after that conversation. As of yet,
Evil Empire has failed to provide my wife and I with an itemized list of deductions or the documentation that supports Evil Empire's claim for damages.

Maryland Real Property Article, § 8-203(g) provides as follows:

(1) If any portion of the security deposit is withheld, the landlord shall present by first-class mail directed to the last known address of the tenant, within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, a written list of the damages claimed under subsection (f)(1) of this section together with a statement of the cost actually incurred.

(2)
If the landlord fails to comply with this requirement, the landlord forfeits the right to withhold any part of the security deposit for damages.
(emphasis added).


Because greater than 45 days have elapsed since the termination of the tenancy, and no written list of damages were mailed to Jessica XXXXXXX,
Evil Empire is absolutely precluded by Maryland Law from withholding any part of Jessica XXXXXXX's security deposit.

As such, Jessica XXXXXXX and I demand that
Evil Empire return to Jessica the amount of $X.X (the difference between $X.X (security deposit plus 4% interest) and $X.X (the amount previously remitted to Jessica XXXXXXX). If a check is not received by Jessica XXXXXXX at her home address of XXXXXXX, XXXXXXX, Maryland, XXXXXXX, by Wednesday, September 6, 2006, she will be filing a lawsuit in the District Court for XXXXXXX County.

In this lawsuit, Jessica will be seeking three times the amount wrongfully withheld plus reasonable attorney's fees. That means that she will be seeking $X.X - three times the $X.X wrongfully withheld - plus $X.X for attorney's fees.
Evil Empire should be well aware that Maryland law provides for these damages:

(1) Within 45 days after the end of the tenancy, the landlord shall return the security deposit to the tenant together with simple interest which has accrued in the amount of 3 percent per annum, less any damages
rightfully withheld.
* * *
(4) If the landlord, without a reasonable basis, fails to return any part of the security deposit, plus accrued interest, within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, the tenant has an action of up to threefold of the withheld amount, plus reasonable attorney's fees.

Md. Real Property Art., § 8-302(e) (emphasis added).


In sum, Maryland law is crystal clear that
Evil Empire, by reason of its failure to provide by mail a written itemization of damages withheld from Jessica XXXXXXX's security deposit, is absolutely forbidden from withholding "any part of the security deposit for damages." Md. Real Property Art., § 8-302(g)(2). On this basis alone, Evil Empire must return to Jessica XXXXXXX the $X.X which has been wrongfully withheld. We are giving Evil Empire until Wednesday, September 6, 2006, to return this money to Jessica XXXXXXX. If this money is not received by Jessica by that day, Jessica will file a lawsuit seeking $X.X.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact me at the telephone number or email address listed above.


Signed,


_______________________ _________

Adam X. XXXXXXX Date


_______________________ _________

Jessica X. XXXXXXX Date
nee XXXXXXX


So, needless to say, we were wondering what the
Evil Empire would do and how they would react. We were sitting around the house on Saturday when there was a knock at the door... which funnily enough annoyed Adam and I because we weren't expecting anyone so we figured it was a solicitor... so wrong... it was DHL with an envelope... addressed to me... I open in and there is a smaller envelope addressed to me... with a check inside. Nothing else, no explanation, no note... just a check.... for the full amount!

Sweet justice!

6 comments:

kathi said...

How absolutely cool is that??? WOW!!
Hey, does he know anything about TX divorce law? :)

The Paco said...

LOL Kathi you are hysterical...

PJ - That is awesome for you and Adam... Congrats from the bottom of my heart.

John said...

LOL, You guys kicked butt! Thanks for the huge smile and laugh. You really took them down a notch!

Rob and Danielle said...

You already know my sentiments on your awesome lawyer husband! Just wanted to post a comment of support. And We're back!!!

Wolfie said...

So sometimes it is fun being a lawyer, or even being married to one.

Good story, thanks for that.

Johnnie Avocado said...

Man I love justice!!!! You got a rockin' Hubby!!!