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 **, 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.