Thursday, July 28, 2022

Elder abuse?

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: 


Can be 'embiggened' for better viewing.


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!

21 comments:

  1. That's her security deposit. $4500??? OMG. I can't imagine. In any case, in all the years of renting, we have only held money back from a security deposit three times. That's a darn fine letter though. I hope you'll come back and tell us what happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's really a crazy-high amount. -more than double the rent. Thanks for your comment, Debby. Fingers crossed all goes in my mom's favor.

      Delete
  2. FEISTY! Good for your Mom! Hope she gets all her money back ASAP.

    ReplyDelete
  3. $4500 is serious money! If Mr. Landlord holds out, she has my blessing to go hammer and tongs. Of course she will get it; he doesn't want to mess with mom. But the need for the letter could never have happened.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is an excellent letter - and very generous too. I suspect I WOULD be asking for double the amount.
    Let us know how it pans out please.
    I am tired of greedy oxygen thieves. Very tired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renters are also entitled to the interest earned on held security deposits and mostly no one I know even asks for that back. Will keep you posted.

      Delete
  5. I have a special name for landlords like that. It begins with a C.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm happy when landlords are reasonable, but too many now are trying to screw out every penny they can. My daughter's university accommodation was £30,000 p.a. between 7 of them, in a house that probably cost no more than £250,000 a few years ago. It's money for nothing. It pushes up house and land prices (so they profit in two ways) and loads costs on the future generations. It is at the root of many of our problems. I think it should all be properly taxed, and I say that as an owner-occupier in a house that has increased in price around 5 times since we bought it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a lot of money. Yes, as an owner-occupier I agree with you. We're on the other end from you, having bought fairly recently. Our property taxes are very high, while our neighbors who've lived here decades pay relatively little for the same house, if you will. I'm for spreading the 'joy' around more equitably.

      Delete
  7. Sigh. Sadly, it doesn't surprise me. I hope the landlord is now reasonable and returns her money. You'll have to let us know how it all works out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think my comment is in your spam box. Maybe this one will go there too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Go Mom! She's definately not a push over and he may be sorry he tried to be a shithead to her, sorry for the word it just seems appropriate. Keep us posted.
    Sandy's Space

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Total shithead! How dang dare he?! I'm looking forward to the return of her security deposit. And, if not, then it's Small Claims Court for the landlord.

      Delete
  10. Not cool, landlord dude. Hope karma bites him in the butt on this one. Glad your mom isn't rolling over on this one as well and taking it to him. Best of luck to her in getting this resolved quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, man. Yeah, I have yet to hear from her if there's been resolution at this point. I look forward to her receiving her due.

      Delete
  11. Sure hope her letter does the trick without further ado. Small claims court can be complicated, costly getting subpoena served if can find person, and can't always even collect if ruling won I've been told.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joared. Yes, I can imagine Small Claims Court is not a walk through the park. The landlord, as of yet, has not signed for the letter. My mother has sent a second letter via registered mail in the hopes he will respond. I may contact a lawyer pal of mine re: serving him papers, if need be.

      Delete

A piece of your mind here:

Culturally appropriate kids' television

I caught an interesting piece on the radio recently about how Russian television adapted Sesame Street, an American kids' educational pr...