Troubleshooter

Tenant fights apartment complex charges

Friday, January 18, 2013

A man was billed hundreds of dollars after he moved out of his Raleigh apartment.

The charges baffled him because he said he never knew about them until getting a call from a collection agency more than three months after moving out.

"They told me, 'You owe Wolf Creek $579.75'," Cordera Guion said.  "I was thinking, 'Why hadn't Wolf Creek contacted me?' I hadn't received any notices from Wolf Creek prior to that."

Cordera moved out of Wolf Creek Apartments on July 31.

"I basically turned in my keys and everything. They said I had a zero balance," Cordera said.

Fast forward to more than three months later to November and Cordera got the surprise about owing $579 to Wolf Creek. The charges were for trash, electric, carpet replacement, and bad debt recovery.

Cordera didn't feel the charges were justified, especially the bad debt recovery for $143, since he says he never even heard from Wolf Creek about any charges owed.

In a letter, a rep with Wolf Creek said they sent Cordera an account statement back in September to an address in Trenton, New Jersey.  

The problem lies in the fact that the address listed on Cordera's notice to vacate is Trenton, North Carolina, not New Jersey.

Cordera turned to the Attorney Generals Office for help. Wolf Creek responded to that agency with a letter that stated, they prorated the carpet charges and he still owed $423. Still, he continued to fight the charges with management at Wolf Creek.

"It was frustrating because they weren't very cooperative. She was very nasty. She didn't want to listen to me at all. She said that they were standing firm in their charges," Cordera said.

Then, Cordera turned to me. I reached out to Wolf Creek Apartments and Cordera got a call right away.

"Basically, two hours after I spoke with Diane Wilson on the phone, Wolf Creek called me and said they reversed all the charges," Cordera said.

Cordera is relieved and has advice for other renters.

"They should be really careful and always keep check of everything within an apartment. Keep photos, write when you move in any damages that you see, and also, just to get everything in writing," Cordera said.

The property manager at Wolf Creek Apartments said regardless of my involvement in the story, their decision to waive or leave the charges would remain. She said there is no wrong-doing, negligence, or fault in a business owner recovering actual above and beyond expenses that are incurred by them due to abuse or neglect to their rental property.

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wake county, troubleshooter, diane wilson
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