Public Mediation

Landlord Keeping Security Deposit Dispute

R. S. vs. Chris Sorflaten
707 N Main St, Fairfield, Iowa, 52556, United States
    • Status: In Negotiation
      This claim has posted for public comment and negotiation. It will remain posted until resolved to the claimant's satisfaction. Suggest a resolution to help these parties reach a settlement.
    • View response from: Chris Sorflaten
    • Claimant Seeks: View.
    • Claim #: 2103610
    • Amount Involved: 395.00
    • Filed On: Nov 17, 2014
    • Posted On: Nov 28, 2014
    • Complaint(s):
      • Refusal to refund rent deposit
      • Failure to honor promises
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Statement of Claim
Claimant says:
"I had to move after spending 2 nights soaking up rain water w/towels from leakage in the kitchen. The rain soaked up some books and clothes. Also, centipedes started running on the walls & the ceiling, dropping on the floor and running amok. I had to move the refrigerator to the middle of the kitchen & had 6-8 containers trying to catch the dripping and, later, running water. The landlord only sprayed the ceiling & declared the problem solved, saying that a neighbor went on the roof & repaired the problem (loose shingles, according to him). However, most of the water stopped coming in when the neighbor upstairs tipped the air conditioner and taped his window right above the kitchen.
Prior to this problem I had problems with wasps coming into the apt whenever it'd get warmer, even w/ windows closed. I had higher deposit because of having a dog and because when I moved in the apt was just vacated, so I did my own cleaning (wiped everything w/vinegar). The prior tenants were heavy meat eaters and I'm vegetarian so I
bought a toaster oven and never used the apt oven, which was impossible to clean. Now landlord's claiming he had to clean it, claims the apt smells like dog, had to clean the windows outside which I didn't open due to wasps or cold. I was there more than 3yrs while doing an MBA. It was not my intention to move in this location right now since I'm looking for jobs in N.Carolina, and will move there when possible. Landlord had also promised to return half the rent since I was moving & having to pay deposit and rent at another location.
I stopped sleeping at the apt on Oct 12, but finished moving items and cleaning up on the 18th. It took me longer because I wasn't planning to move & had to find people available. However, I asked for less than half but no less than 1/3. Another issue is that I made improvements that the landlord often complimented and said it was fine. For ex, when I moved in the closets had no shelves or place to hang clothes, only nails on the wall. I added shelves and place for hangers. Curtains, pots hanging shelf, spice shelves, lg mirror, wooden jackets hanger, smaller shelves, etc... For all that I asked for $100. back, or tell me when I could remove it. The totals were $300. deposit, $130. partial rent return, and $100. for improvements left behind. Only $100. were returned. I feel that I should also be reimbursed for the untimely move and inconvenience. And if I have to go to Small Claims Court I'll insist on that besides court fees."
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Additional Communication Between Claimant and Chris Sorflaten Hide
  • Nov 27, 2014, Claiming party added:
  • Please invite professionals who can offer solutions. I found a local, experienced professional mediator but Chris did not want to pay his part, which was $50. So many things to explain... For example, my dog had not been living in the apt since Sept of 2013. My dog was groomed once a month, at least, and was brushed every day. He had a lg pet mattress & never slept on the floor. I sold his bed, still in excellent shape & no smells, to a lady nearby.

What Claimant Wants Hide
1. Refund: $395. plus moving expenses $200. Nov 21, 2014 $395.00
2. Other – Pay for claim posting cost Nov 21, 2014 $7.99
3. Other – Physical delivery charges Nov 21, 2014 $2.99
Cash total : $405.98
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Respondent's Counteroffer Hide
The claimant's settlement terms were rejected with the following explanation:
  • I disagree with the explanation / grounds provided

    "The unexpected leak was fixed in a timely manner. Therefore moving expenses shall not be paid. I, the landlord, had to help her move dozens of heavy boxes down stairs, into truck, unload at storage shanty. Two loads weighing over 2000 lbs. I refunded her whole cash security deposit of 100$ due to minimal cleaning she did. In the lease it states she did additional deep cleaning to offset the additional 200$ making up the total 300$ deposit figure. This deep cleaning was not performed. Here is a list of the items I had to deal with myself: -Remove duct tape from door knob
    -Clean door knob
    -Remove about 35 nails from walls, trim, woodwork, doors.
    -Fill nail holes
    -Clean 9 storm windows (5 hours)
    -Remove large screws sticking out of two newly painted bedroom windows (trim)
    (the bedroom windows and bedroom closet were painted immediately prior to Rizo moving in)
    -Scrape duct tape residue off of bedroom window trim.
    -Prime and repaint bedroom window trim
    -Remove and throw out dilapidated old shelves.
    -Shop vac out 9 window wells
    -Wash 9 window wells
    -Replace front door lock and deadbolt - $30 plus labor
    -Repair all other windows due to stains, nail holes, screw holes, assorted dilapidated curtains.
    -Deal with dog smell that is getting stronger.
    -Huge dust blobs on kitchen ceiling fan, bedroom fan was clean.
    -Remove ugly foam insulation from closet crack.
    -Remove giant spray foam bubbles from other closet baseboard crack.
    -vacuum with decent power vacuum
    -vacuum edges of carpet with shop vac
    -wash baseboards
    -wash kitchen ceiling fan
    -vacuum window wells
    -clean window glass
    -remove tape from curtain rods
    -remove cardboard from windows
    -paint damaged on window trim from tape
    -wash kitchen cabinets
    -wash oven face front
    -take trash to front
    -organize trash so that trash items are in the cans such that the garbage man will accept it
    -organize large pieces of cardboard, break down, create less chaos
    -throw out holey old curtains (mouse damage)
    -take down defamatory posters around town that Rizo's friend had put up
    -take down defamatory facebook posts from tenant's entourage
    -contact facebook homeshare group to get all these people banned for posting inappropriate remarks
    -explain to people that this was not an instance of elderly lady abuse but instead my Mom, the owner, is the one who decided the figure and who is also 10 years older than Rizo.
    -loss of rent to other tenants - Rizo took so long moving out, over a week longer than the expected date, that my perspective tenants had all found other places. Therefore a partial months rent was not returned.

    I sincerely enjoyed having this tenant and she always paid rent on time.
    Best wishes, Chris"

This claim will remain posted until resolved.

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  • Contributed Solution: by Lauren Webster On 05-20-2015
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