Ewing Properties, LLC.

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Just return our security deposit, PLEASE!
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MADISONVILLE, KENTUCKY -- I am writing this in hopes that you could offer me some much needed advice or assistance.

We recently purchased a home and in turn moved out of our rental apartment (Cottonwood Townhomes) in Madisonville, Kentucky.

We are having a serious issue with the refund of our security deposit and we are fed up with the run around we are getting from the property management company (Ewing Properties, LLC.).

When we were living in the apartment we had a problem with the right front burner on our stove. The burner switch shorted out while the switch for that burner was in the off position, causing it to turn on. In turn a fire started because of the short and while I was killing the power to the stove via the circuit breaker box, a plate I had sitting on the burner exploded because of the heat. The shards from the plate landed on the linoleum in the kitchen causing burn marks. This was NOT the first incident we had with this stove.

Upon moving into the apartment in December of 2006, the right front burner would work intermittently, our calls for repairs or replacement fell upon deaf ears. In the year we lived there we had the stove repaired approximately 6 times before the fire, and always for the same thing, the burner switch and/or the right front burner sparking and only working when it wanted to. So this is not a one time incident. In the year we lived there we were without a stove for a total of 30 days.

We called Ewing Properties and spoke to Carla no less than three times the day of the fire explaining the situation in the kitchen and what was going on with the stove and were told that maintenance could not get out to the apartment until Friday, this happened on a Monday. Carla then told us to go ahead and use the stove anyway. So we had a choice, either use a stove that was clearly dangerous, one that could potentially cause an even larger fire, or worse injure one of us, or call the Fire Inspector of Hopkins County just to show Ewing Properties how serious the situation really was regarding this stove.

Much to our dismay, we wound up having to call the fire inspector, he deemed the stove a fire hazard and called Ewing Properties and told them that the stove was in fact a fire hazard and needed to be fixed or repaired within 24 hours. He spoke to Doug at Ewing Properties who also told him (the fire inspector) that we would not be held responsible for the damages because it was a malfunction of the stove. Copies of his report as well as photos he took of the damage can be made available upon request, or by calling the phone number provided as they are considered public record. That same night the head maintenance man Rick came to the house and stated they were replacing the stove and told both me and my husband that we were not responsible for the damages that resulted from the plate. His immediate supervisor Doug called us later that night and apologized for the issues and also once again stated that we were not responsible for the damages and also apologized for us having to call the fire inspector to get our stove repaired. They refused to provide us anything in writing, even though we requested numerous times that we get a letter stating that they were waiving the fees for the damage to the floor.

Last week we received a letter in the mail from Ewing Properties containing a check for $8.27 (US) as well as a breakdown of the final security deposit disposition, (copy available upon request), nowhere in this disposition is there a form or anything we are able to sign to dispute this. Upon reading the landlord/tenant laws located at this provided link http://tenant.net/Other_Areas/Kentucky/ltguide.html#2secg
The landlord (Ewing Properties) must provide to us a damage list in writing and allow us to sign or refuse to sign prior to drafting up the final damage disposition. Ewing properties never allowed us a final inspection nor did they provide anything in writing to dispute the charges regarding the damage to the linoleum in the kitchen.

Not only did Ewing Properties not provide us essential services, a working stove, but they also violated numerous portions of the Kentucky Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1974.

We come to you as a last resort for help. Unfortunately for us we do not know who to turn to or the right person to talk to to get some results. We are constantly given the run around when we call Ewing Properties. The one time that we did receive a call back from Doug, he claimed that he could not get a hold of Rick to ensure that he did tell us that we were not responsible for the damages. I find that hard to believe since Doug is Rick's immediate supervisor. I honestly doubt that someone would have absolutely no way of getting a hold of their immediate supervisor. This whole situation has left us confused and very angry. These people failed to uphold their end of the lease numerous times and created false damage claims which we never had the ability to dispute. Time and date stamped pictures of the supposed carpet damage is available upon request. If they did this to us, how many other's have they done it to? We want to know what we can do to get results. We don't want them to think they are above the law anymore. Not only has this egregious display of unprofessionalism resulted in this e-mail to you, it has also resulted in my posting of this account on the following consumer websites: my3cents.com, planetfeedback.com, consumerist.com., and Don Perryman, a reporter for the local newspaper The-Messenger, located in Madisonville Kentucky.

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User Replies:
GothicSmurf on 02/12/2008:
Well written letter girl. The only thing I would suggest it taking out the part about the principle, if you haven't sent it already.
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
I did take that out, thank you. I am so mad right now I could shoot laser beams out of my eyes!
dimplepie on 02/12/2008:
Principissa-you seem to have a legitimate point and have your records/information very organized. If they fail to compensate you for what you deserve, you could always take them to court and most likely win.

P.S. You should take them to Judge Judy :)
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
dimple, I would love to go on Judge Judy. She's so mean it's funny!
Anonymous on 02/12/2008:
Ahhh' Judge Judy. She is a sweetheart!

(just don't make her mad)
MSCANTBEWRONG on 02/12/2008:
Very well written Principissa. Good luck to you! I'd take them to The People's Court...Judy Marilyn Milian "ain't" so nice either! :)
old fart on 02/12/2008:
Is there a small claims court available in the state where you live...It may limit the amount of damages you could sue for but it might be better than nothing..
In Michigan, lawyers are not permitted in the court, only the plainfiffs, defendant and judge..The judge makes the final decision... It's worth a try..
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
OF we thought about doing that, but the limit is 500.00. The amount they owe us is 249.01. I guess we could try a lawyer, but the cost of the lawyer will probably cost more than the refund amount.
GothicSmurf on 02/12/2008:
Limit for small claims means anything under that amount. Unless KY really is that bass ackwards. ;)
old fart on 02/12/2008:
In small claims court you don't need a lawyer...That's why the system works.. it's just between the plaintiffs and the judge..You probably would get it all back and the court costs would probably be paid by the loser or at least split and it isn't that expensive
old fart on 02/12/2008:
Go to your county court house... they will have pamphlets on how to file a claim
yoke on 02/12/2008:
Don't cash the check they sent you if you are planning on suing. I would go ahead an sue. You will win, especially if you have the fire inspectors reports.
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
We're snowed in today, we had an icestorm last night, but I will go down there tomorrow after the little guys speech therapy.

Gothic, KY really is that bass ackwards in some aspects.
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
yoke, I have his reports, our pictures, the dispositions, and the pictures the fire inspector took of the damages.
yoke on 02/12/2008:
Then I would take them to court. I say do not cash the check because once you cash it you have agreed to the amount and may not be able to get more.
They sound like creeps.
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
I agree with you about the check. We didn't even sign the back because we thought the same thing. We were under the impression that signing the back would be like us agreeing to their terms.
They really are creeps. It's not like we were bad tenants either. We paid the rent, in full, on time every month, we weren't loud, I don't see what their problem is.
Anonymous on 02/12/2008:
Have been ripped off many times over the years by pukes like these. They come up with anything they can in order to keep your money. The disreputable places figure that most people are too busy to pursue the matter and that is how they get away with it. Being homeowners, we are just not used to this type of treatment.

The only problem I've heard with small claims is that although you can be awarded, they still don't necessarily pay up.

I really think your best bet may be the TV station. Businesses really don't like that kind of publicity, especially with all the proof you have.

Good luck!
GothicSmurf on 02/12/2008:
Maybe your son left the toilet clogged and they had to call HazMat to come and clean it up?
madconsumer on 02/12/2008:
call your local Kentucky Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant association. they can handle this all for you for free.
Slimjim on 02/12/2008:
I would first find the contact for what mad said and if you can't find it then maybe send a copy of this letter to your state to see if they will assist. I did a quick search and the standard AG's office seems to be the hit that comes up. here's the address. http://ag.ky.gov/consumer/
Considering the fact you alerted them of a potential life threatening situation and they didn't rectify it, I think they may not want this to blow up in their face and a letter requesting a response from these guy's should get them to escalate getting you your check, or at least an explanation of what other damages there were if that's their angle.
fascismsux on 02/12/2008:
how is it possible that 6 repair tries couldn't fix that little problem -
(larry , curly, Moe, larry, moe, and then curly again ?).
Anonymous on 02/12/2008:
Madconsumer--good research and advice!
Anonymous on 02/12/2008:
Diane has an excellent point. We have won a few small claims awards over the years only to find the defendant's assets well hidden. Then you have to drag them back in court for an asset review (they will lie about the assets). But in this case it's a big public company that will settle before court or I'm sure will pay the piper.
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
diane it's a shame that people like this can get away with these things for so long.
GothicSmurf on 02/12/2008:
Yep. My oven's been out for at least 6 weeks and I have pictures of my ceiling crumbling in starting in September. If my stove isn't fixed this weekend, I'm going into Rent Escrow.
Anonymous on 02/12/2008:
Yes it is. They prey on people like vultures--no matter how good of tenants you are. They are the scum of the earth!

I do have to say, we have also come across some great management companies who appreciated the way we took care of our places. Unfortunately, the bad ones are what stick in most people minds.
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
Our last apartment in Virginia Beach was wonderful. If you called up with a problem it was taken care of in no less than 48 hours. We actually had a problem with our oven there and they replaced it for us no questions asked. How flippin hard is it to just do the right thing.

mad, you rock!
slim, you rock!
BA's to both of you!

sarahnkrystal on 02/12/2008:
I feel you Principissa. It is impossible to get apartment complexes to fix anything. My apartment flooded last Easter due to a hot water heater above us blowing. I still have damage to my apartment that hasn't been fixed.
thensider on 02/12/2008:
My dishawasher hasn't worked for a week. when they came to fix it, they A) didn't fix it and B) used a notepad (mine, in a cabinet, in another room) to leave me a note. and they ran the dishwasher, I guess to test it, with MY dish soap, which they had to look for, because it isn't in the normal under-the-sink place, and the detergent was wasted because the dishwasher is not, in fact, fixed. I can do mine dishes by hand, but because I didn't realize for a few days it was broken (I thought the dishes in there were clean) the dishwasher smells and I cannot get rid of it.
moneybags on 02/12/2008:
OK..all states do not have Resident/Landlord Associations to deal with this. And if your city/county does, Prini, it's probably a voluntary organization.

Though I'm a Realtor now, I was a property manager for 14 years. This is what you should do

Get your lease, move-in check list and read them. Lots of leases call for maintenance requests be given to management IN WRITING. I know you made copies of the written requests, didn't you? (Hint, hint.) Then get your reports from the fire inspector, etc together. Did management do a Move-Out check list? They should have sent you a copy (which you would have signed during walk-through at move-out. NO? You mean they didn't do a move-out checklist? Good.

Take your documents to the DA's office and ask for an investigation and possible CRIMINAL CHARGES for THEFT BY FRAUD! Call the investigative reporter at your local TV station. And if all else fails, go to Small Claims Court.

I was a good manager and was very fair to all my residents. I even still hear from some of them. Good luck.
Principissa on 02/12/2008:
money, they didn't require written requests. I have all the reports and necessary paperwork filed, pictures, fire inspector reports and his photos, copy of the move in check list. Apparently they lost their copy of it, how convenient so I am now waiting for them to locate it.
As for the final walk through, we were never given one. We called and called they never sent us any info for a date, time, etc. We didn't hear a peep from them until we got the final damage disposition last Friday. They didn't send any proof of the damage, they didn't send a dispute form. I've written them two letters both certified/return receipt asking for a dispute form, and so far all I'm getting is the run around. Any advice you can give us would be appreciated.
moneybags on 02/14/2008:
Sorry for the delay - had surgery this a.m. - Doing fine.
Gather all your paperwork and contact DA. Also send to the Attorney General's offuce - Consumer Fraud Division. This company is in violation of state law and should be investigated and fined. File in Small Claims Court. See if your state offers anything like triple damages for what they have done. Ask the judge to access the damages, too.
It will take perseverance on yoyr part. Go get 'em!
Understand on 02/21/2012:
I know this is old but I found it on a google search and thought it was interesting since I am taking legal action against this company and Doug (surprise surprise) was the main representative.
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