What was that quote by Bette Davis on aging? It's something like: Getting old isn't for sissies. Well, it's also not for push-overs. Fortunately, my mom doesn't appear to be either.
Mom shared with me recently that her previous landlord is attempting to withhold the security deposit on the rental house she and her husband lived in for 11 years. About six months after my mother was widowed, she moved out of said rental and moved in with an old family friend to sort of re-group before ultimately finding her own place to live. (We asked if she wanted come live with us & she made a face as if she were sucking on a lemon, so that's out.) Mom has been living with her friend since June of this year. By California law, a landlord has 21 to return the security deposit in full. Should there be any other issues with the rental property beyond normal 'wear and tear'--repainting, carpeting updated, etc.--then that would be dealt with separately. The onus is also on the landlord to provide receipts of property work done & presumably photos of the damage incurred.
My whole life, my mother has been one of the tidiest people I've ever known. Even now, at 76 years of age, she's still keeping every counter cleaned, every bathroom fixture scrubbed, every bit of flooring sans dust bunnies. If there were to be a picture under the word 'tidy' in the dictionary, then it would probably be hers. So, not only is the normal 'wear and tear' minimal, but also there is no extraordinary damage done to the house. I was there. I saw the absolutely fine state the place was in as we helped moved Mom out.
It doesn't really surprise me that there is yet another duplicitous landlord out there in the world (sorry, to any of you may be one), but was does gall is that this f*cker knows my Mom's just undergone a tremendous loss (like, DUH, that's why she moved house) & is seemingly quite keen on trying to steamroll her out of $4500. just the same. Not only is what this man attempting illegal, but also just plain mean.
Mom texted me the response she crafted to her former landlord re: security deposit; here it is in most of its glory:
Look, I don't know if this is actual elder abuse--he'd probably try this sort of shit on younger tenants--but it sure does feel like this person is sort of counting on my Mom to just fold like a tired, old house of cards & give up her cash. Is she an easy target? Not by a longshot!