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Missing security deposits; renters want answers

Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 17:06:43-04

TEMPE, AZ — While huge rent increases and bogus fees have many renters complaining now, there's an old problem some renters are also still fighting. They don't know what happened to their security deposit refunds.

Steve McMain's son lived at the Tides of South Tempe apartment complex. He moved out in February.

"We gave them the 60-day notice in December," Steve says.

On move-in, his son paid a $400 security deposit. He put in writing that on move out, he wanted the deposit check sent to his dad, Steve, and gave his West Valley address. But months later, they didn't get the refund.

So, Steve says he called the apartment office.

"She said corporate sent a check out [on] March 16," Steve says.

In April, Steve says he sent a letter to the Robinson Group, the property manager, saying no one had received the refund check.

He then reminded them of the correct address.

"Was the check cashed? Could someone look into this...and call me with an explanation?" Steve asks.

"I've tried several times by phone but nobody answers... We saw you on TV and said well, maybe I'll contact Joe and see if he can help," Steve says.

A simple oversight? I called the Robinson group to ask. I left a detailed message and asked for a reply. I didn't get one. I called back a week later. Again, no reply.

And after I emailed them through their website, the same thing. Nothing.

A check with the Better Business Bureau shows 112 complaints involving the Robinson Group in just the last year.

Steve and his son needed answers so we went to the Robinson Group's offices in Scottsdale.

As we waited for someone to help, we noticed interesting signs. One sign says their top priority is "We Go Fast." There was also an "Ambition/It's Never Enough" sign.

There were also pictures of the Monopoly man throwing cash and playing with tokens. But there was no help for us.

"Can someone talk to us about this?" I asked.

Finally, one woman just said, "no comment."

It may be Monopoly money to them, but to Steve and his son, it's real.

After our visit, Steve got an email saying the original check had been sent to an address provided by his son.

"We did not receive any further communication and the correspondence was not returned including the security deposit issued. We assumed it had been received," the Robinson Group email stated.

They say they did everything in accordance with the Landlord Tenant Act. Then Steve got a delivery.

"I ended up getting the check," Steve says.

While they could have taken out money for unpaid utilities, Steve says he got the full $400 back.

"I want to thank you. It really helped us out," Steve says.

I talked to the attorney for the Robinson group.

She was nice, apologetic, and says it was an oversight. We thank them for making this happen.

The money is important, but simple communication seemed to be the big problem here.

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