San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
Updated: Landlord charging hourly rate for emails and phone calls (rant, I guess)
User Forum Topic
Submitted by Balboa on July 8, 2016 - 7:19pm
Update added at the end of the thread.
Spoiler alert - landlord is a lawyer.
After 3.5 years in the same spot, we broke our lease* to buy a house. I've just received the returned portion of the security deposit and supporting documentation. Landlord deducted at an hourly rate for emails and phone calls between landlord and us, the landlord and their leasing agent, and the landlord and their handy man and cleaners. Close to $400 on top of the expected cleaning fees and leasing agent fees.
We were not squeaky wheel tenants, this is not payback for years of pestering them. We asked for *maybe* three things in three years -- maybe four things, if you count when I requested they replace the lock on our storage unit after one of their handymen cut it off while we weren't there. And the things we did call them about were, "Hey, SDGE red tagged our heating system today" and "Hey, I turned the shower faucet to 'off' but the water is still running full blast."
I have a hard time swallowing this from someone who left us without heat until mid-December in an (expected) El Nino year, and failed to properly notice or even perform, let alone document, the pre-move-out inspection, *and* didn't even properly document the deposit deductions. Landlord is a lawyer with 20 properties -- no excuse for these omissions and failures.
Oh, and they raised the rent for the new tenant, so they actually ended up with two increases in a two-month period.
*Before anyone chimes in to the contrary -- it was a lease, not a blood oath binding us for life. While the landlord is entitled to be made whole, breaking a lease does not mean a landlord can just charge you whatever they want when you leave. It's possible they can charge this hourly rate, but I think it's just as likely that a judge would tell them to suck it.
~Active forum topics~