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Fighting to get your deposit back

Valley woman doesn't give up when told her money was gone
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 09:56:13-04

How do you get your rental deposit back from a landlord who doesn't want to give it? It can be tough if they claim you caused damage.

Sarai Valencia says she signed a rental agreement for a Phoenix house. A few months in, she says both bathrooms flooded anytime the showers were used.

Sarai says the complex was attentive. But three plumbers later, she says none could find the problem.

Going on 30 days now, she says a 4th plumber found a collapsed pipe. The floor would have to be torn out.

Sarai said her family had been through enough. She moved out and wanted her $1,000 deposit back.

Arizona law says before breaking a lease, tenants need to give 10 days written notice for landlords to make repairs. It's five days notice if the problem threatens health or safety.

But in this case, Sarai says the complex was keeping her deposit for another reason. She says the complex told her she had destroyed the carpet.

Sarai says her small family was only there a month and she had pictures showing it didn't happen. With no resolution, Sarai let me know.

The Let Joe Know/Better Business Bureau volunteer team went to work. And this one didn't take long.

In fact, our problem solvers just left one detailed message. Everything changed.

After four months of waiting for that money, Sarai got the full $1,000 back.

She says contacting the Let Joe Know team "was the easiest thing I could have done. I wish I had done it sooner."

Click here for more on your rental rights.