We are a newly married couple and¬†have been renting a condo in Reston, VA. We signed a 6 month lease and things were going well for the first 3 months.
Recently, we went for a week long vacation and came back to find our car towed. We had to pay $435 to get the car back. We had not received any notification and so we immediately called the condo¬†management. They informed us that we were not on their records since our landlord¬†never registered us with them. The landlords are obliged, by rules of the¬†condo community, to fax¬†the lease and provide our contact information. The¬†condo management had actually sent notices a month in advance. However, in absence of any information on us, they had sent all notifications to our landlady, who conveniently forgot/ignored to tell us anything. The¬†condo management advised¬†us to take this¬†up with the landlady.
When¬†we called her, she immediately refused to take any¬†liability for the towing costs. She later asked us to talk to her¬†friend, who is a real estate agent, and has¬†refused to get involved since then. The agent has not made any significant progress in resolving the matter either.
Since our lease¬†is running out soon, we were forced to withhold the $435 from our rent check so they resolve this issue.¬†We sent the remainder of the rent¬†promptly in time and dropped the agent an email explaining why. Since then, she¬†has just been nasty and intimidating. She has maintained that the landlady is not responsible for¬†where we choose to park¬†our car and has ignored everything we have had to¬†say.
The situation has been extremely stressful, and¬†we continue to get rude emails. My problem at this point is that¬†the last rent check is due next month. They already¬†have a month’s rent as security deposit with them. If I pay my rent next month, I am 100% sure that I am not getting my¬†deposit¬†back in time. Also, I plan to leave the country after the lease runs out, so¬†if they cause issues, I will not be around to fight it.
As much as I do not want to refuse to pay rent, (and am worried about eviction), I am not sure if I have options¬†other than not paying rent next month. I do not know what rights do I have as a renter, and how much harm they can do as landlords. Can someone please help?
Edited on: Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 2:05 am
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