Landlord Negligence

By FrustratedRenter

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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