• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Property management charging for repairs not done

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

limpyL

Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? MD

real long story short

my property management company has been charging me for work that was never completed. This is not the first time but it is the latest. I got a bill for $674.00 of that bill NON i repeat NON of the work was completed. I have pics with a letter from my tenant proving the work was never completed.

I also was charged $440 for smoke detectors due to a new law, the issue with that is mine never had to be replaced. i spoke to the sr. deputy chief who "WROTE" the law and he confirmed and quoted me the law stated that i did not need them to be replaced. Not only that but I called the same repair guy on the phone and he quoted me a price of $250. when i brought up the invoice and how parts were covered with white out he said he did not do it and there must be an error.

I also have a friend that deals with them and he was charged $150 to replace a flapper in a toilet and to caulk around the outside of his shower.

everything I have listed I have before and after pics, taped phone calls, letters from my tenants. Once I called and made them aware of these issues they won't take my calls, they won't return my calls.
 


FarmerJ

Senior Member
Cease calling and use written on paper letters where you keep a copy and staple it to your certified mail receipt and send your written communications with them via certified mail from now on. If your going to sue them or have any legal dispute with them then your going to have to have a paper trail to prove you have communicated with them or are disputing the charges . HOW many more months is your current contract for ?
 

limpyL

Member
I have placed calls to lawyers and waiting to hear back. A tenant was placed dec1 and they told me I'm under contract for 6 months. So 4 months left. I'm driving down Thursday to meet in person with a letter to terminate for cause. I'm not sure if I would be breaking the law by doing that. Is there md law stating what I can do? Also I read that md does not have any price gauging, if that is correct is it legal to charge $84 for $17 worth of parts I could by at lowes or Home Depot? Filter, drain plug, toilet paper holder?

If I can sue what does the law allow? Also what are the chances the company will be forced to close their doors? Or what do I have to prove or be able to prove?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
...is it legal to charge $84 for $17 worth of parts I could by at lowes or Home Depot? Filter, drain plug, toilet paper holder?
Yes, it's legal. It's called "mark-up". Furthermore, it's not just a matter of buying the parts, it's a matter of knowing which parts to buy.

If I can sue what does the law allow? Also what are the chances the company will be forced to close their doors? Or what do I have to prove or be able to prove?
You can sue for what you feel you are out. It sounds to me like your total complain is for less than $1,000. If that's true, then I doubt this matter will put them out of business.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
Before seeing them or talking to them any further I would suggest you first go to your rental property since they now know that you are aware of work they billed you for but not being done and verify for your self that the work was not done and get pictures too of your own and then proceed. The so called mark ups you might not be able to do much about but them billing you for work they did not do they don't have a defense for that and if they had known for a while that you were aware of them billing you for work they did not do then you may want to have your attorney prepare a letter to them that addresses the fraudulent billings and your course of action ( you may want to talk to your attorney about your going to the property and changing the locks first so the tenant can get new key and written directive from you for their records.
 

limpyL

Member
I would like to stress this EVERYTHING I AM POSTING I HAVE PICTURES OF, EMAILS, PHONE CALL RECORDINGS.. Im trying to figure out what is legal and what is not. I contacted a lawyer in MD but because I live out of state its very time consuming to go over items if there is zero legal problems with what is happening that is why I am posting items here, so i know what is legal and what I should be concerned with...

My house is also 10 miles south of where they normally work with, but I was told that my house would be an easy rent because of the shape it was in.

My tenant sent me the before pics and a letter stating that none of the repairs were done or were not done right, I took after pics about 3 weeks after the repairs were "done"

Before seeing them or talking to them any further I would suggest you first go to your rental property since they now know that you are aware of work they billed you for but not being done and verify for your self that the work was not done and get pictures too of your own and then proceed.
I understand a markup but 400%-500%?? That seems to meet the definition of price price gouging, excessive or exorbitant, more than the normal average price.. 400% meet that? again MD does not have a law regarding that unless i was reading old information.

You can sue for what you feel you are out. It sounds to me like your total complain is for less than $1,000. If that's true, then I doubt this matter will put them out of business.
This has been with this property management company (PM) for 5 years now, never questioning anything for 3 1/2 years. The first bill I questioned was an HVAC bill, PM sent maintenance for my ac's units. Unit A was good unit B needed repairs. $220 total.. sounds fair. Less than 24 hours later HVAC was called out again because unit A went bad. Again, a charge of $220? Both units were serviced 24 hours earlier for $220! How is it possible tHVAC was called out 24 hours later to look at a unit they just serviced. HVAC didn't replace 1 part and the total was $220 the same as the day before when they fixed 1 unit and serviced the other? When I called PM asking that question, it fell on def ears and PM did nothing.

When my last tenant moved out in June 2016, i requested to be there for the walk through. PM cancelled Friday and Monday appointments, then completing it on a day when i could not make it. I did a walk through the following weekend and noticed 26 1-2" holes around the house (from metal wall anchors), painted 2 rooms without written permission and accidentally packed nearly $500 worth of items (was told that husband had cancer and they needed to move to FL for medical care ASAP). I also noticed that PM sent out maintenance (checking if it was the alarm guy) to repair a leaking shower. Maintenance applied white caulking half way up the corner on a tile/grout shower! When i contacted PM the owners son came over and said "yes this is excessive, no we didn't give them permission to paint, i'll have to look into that". How did PM inspect my house 4 days earlier giving it a thumbs up now its excessive? After this happened I started looking at my bills from PM and noticed other items that seemed odd. On Jan 11, 2017 her son emailed me stating that they have charged this tenant for items that "the judge would not have allowed that repair to have been a security deposit deduction". This email was sent to me 5 months after they moved out and after PM kept the deposit for the repairs!

A year or so before that i paid PM $1300 to do an initial walk through, on a unit they do not manage (condo) and to complete a final walkthrough inspection. PM completed the initial walkthrough but never did the final inspection, (I told PM I did not have to be there for it) When i called to see if PM completed it so i can return the deposit, PM told me no they did not know the move out date. I took a screen shot of my text to the owner and where she confirmed the move out date (dec 31, 2016). (MD has a 10 day window to get this completed). I called for the second time asking when they were able to complete the final inspection they told me they could not because they had other items going on. I paid $1300 in advance and they did not complete the job.

Around Oct/Nov I questioned a bill for $250 to clean the house. (this bill was charged to my old tenant) The wood floors sticky, bathrooms were untouched, counters had dust coving them. I ended up having to clean the house. When I asked about that I was told they have been working with them for years and they do a good job. again not addressing my concerns.

This is not just happening to me, a friend looked over his records and have noticed questionable charges, $125 to "reattach" a gutter spout, no parts were needed just "reattach" it. The contact clearly states in section 12 "that ANY repair needed in which it is necessary to send a service person to the property... the tenant is responsible for the 1st $50." So the maintenance guy was paid $175 to "reattach" 1 gutter spout? Thats 2 nails/screws and NO stepladder! This house is located 5-10 miles from his office

Come to find out, this repair guy was the same repair guy who quoted me $250 to replace 6 smoke alarms but charged PM $440 that they paid. This is also the same repair guy PM sent out that charged me $234 to complete 9 items. 7 of the items were NOT touched. 1 item was to replace 1 3" white, Lowe's basic contractors pack, outlet cover. It was replaced with 1 4" BEIGE cover that was a different style and one bathroom door latch was removed than replaced with drywall screws, now it strikes the bolt when the door closes. The items he did not do

replace filter in basement
tighten ceiling vent
adjust 2 bedroom door latches
sand the top of a door so it will close (door still does not close.)
replace toilet paper holder
replace broken shower drain (he did put a cover there but it is the wrong one and it floats up when they are taking a shower)
clean basement drain/steps of leaves (I did it when I went to the house)

Maybe because my friend and I both live out of state so we are not able to get down here and check if the repairs were competed correctly or if they were completed at all and PM is rubber stamping invoices. I thought that is what i was paying them $236 a month +$2500 first month rent, to do for me.
 
Last edited:
When shopping for good Management CO's ask for 5 references. Good ones shouldn't have any problems with that. You should be able to find one that their out of area clients will be happy to talk to you.
Good Luck.
 

limpyL

Member
When shopping for good Management CO's ask for 5 references. Good ones shouldn't have any problems with that. You should be able to find one that their out of area clients will be happy to talk to you.
Good Luck.
I did this.. I asked a friend of mine at that time he was using them for 6-12 months, they also provided me with a few other people everything seemed good. i also had a different friend, who was looking to rent a house to talk to them. He later told me that they seemed like good people. Although they did not use PM (they were looking too far south and PM didn't want to travel that far south.
 

Sponsored Ad

Top