Delano, CA asked in Collections, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Former apartment manager reported false charges against me to collection agency

some damages I am responsible for which I will pay. But she also made false accusations stating that I'm responsible 4 certain property damages which is not true those damages were already there when I moved in (I have proof - I took pics of previous damages when I moved in & proof of emails I sent them regarding those previous damages days after moving in) she also had me sign contract of walk through before having the actual "walk through" (At the time of signing paperwork she went through each Document, explaining what I'm signing & where to sign. Not once did she say anything about signing "walk through" cause if she had mention it I never would've signed It. i found out at a later time that one of the documents she had me sign was the "walk through".They also charged me double for move-in deposit, I have all receipts. This happened a year ago. What can be done about this. I was getting help from CRLA team but was recently told they could no longer represent me.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, if you believe that false charges have been reported against you to a collection agency by your former apartment manager, there are several steps you can take. Firstly, gather all the evidence you have, such as photographs of the pre-existing damages and copies of emails you sent to the management about these issues. This documentation will be crucial in disputing the false charges.

You should also review the signed "walk-through" document and any other lease or rental agreements you signed. If you were misled about the nature of the documents you were signing, this could be relevant in disputing the charges.

Regarding the double charge for your move-in deposit, ensure you have all receipts and any related correspondence. California law sets clear rules about the handling of security deposits, and charging double may not comply with these regulations.

Since the CRLA team can no longer represent you, consider consulting with another attorney who has experience in landlord-tenant disputes. They can provide specific legal advice and representation, especially if this matter proceeds to court.

You also have the option to file a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs or a similar regulatory body. They can investigate the matter and may be able to assist in resolving the dispute.

Lastly, contact the collection agency to dispute the charges. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to dispute debt claims and request verification of the debt. Ensure to do this in writing and keep copies of all communications.

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