The lease term for the tenants ended August 3, 2012. An itemized list of deductions from the security deposit was sent to the address the tenants provided before moving out. The date stamped on the envelope for postage, sent directly to one of the tenants, is September 4,2012. Per the lease agreement with Laurel Ridge and Aspen Square Management, it states:
Well mail you your security deposit refund (less lawful deductions) and an itemized accounting of any deductions no later than 30 days after surrender or abandonment, unless statutes provide otherwise.
From the time that the lease agreement ended, August 3, 2012, until the time that the postage was applied to the envelope, September 4, 2012, was 32 days. This is in violation of the above terms stated within the lease agreement. Furthermore, the Tenants Rights handbook for the state of Texas states:
A landlord is presumed to have refunded a security deposit or provided you with an itemized description of the security deposit deductions if on or before the thirtieth day from your move-out, the refund or itemization is placed in the United States mail and postmarked on or before the thirtieth day. If a landlord who has the tenants forwarding address fails either to
return the security deposit or to provide a written list of deductions on or before the thirtieth day after the tenant moves out, then the landlord is presumed to have acted in bad faith. If your landlord retains all or part of your security deposit in bad faith, you may sue her and recover $100 plus three times the amount of the security deposit that was wrongfully withheld, plus attorneys fees and court costs. If your landlord, in bad faith, fails to provide a written description and itemized list of damages and charges to you for a portion of your security deposit that has been withheld, she has forfeited all rights to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring suit against you for damages to the premises.
Laurel Ridge and Aspen Square Management needed to have postmarked and placed the refund or itemization in the United States mail on or before the 30th day from our move-out. This was done 32 days after move-out. Laurel Ridge and Aspen Square Management had the tenant's forwarding address before the lease term ended. Thus, Laurel Ridge and Aspen Square Management acted in bad faith. In failing to provide written description and itemized list of damages and charges to within 30 days after move-out, all rights to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring suit against the tenants for damages to the premises have been forfeited.
A certified letter was sent to Laurel Ridge and Aspen Square Management on 11/2/2012 to demand these charges be removed from the account and a timely response was requested to the letter. No response was ever sent back. The tenant had to call Laurel Ridge to find out what Laurel Ridge and Aspen Square Management was doing to correct the errors on the account. Virginia Kennedy, the property manager for Laurel Ridge, claimed she spoke with Denny Petrov at Aspen Square Management. She informed the tenant that the charges still stood after reading the letter. The tenant then called Mr. Petrov to discuss the matter. He allegedly spoke with his "legal team" which said that the 30 day rule stated within the lease no longer applies if the damages outweigh the security deposit, and therefore the charges still stand. However, the lease agreement and Texas tenants' Rights handbook state that the itemized list of deductions must be also put in the mail within 30 days of move-out, and this was not done until 32 days after move-out. Mr. Petrov and Ms. Kennedy were asked to provide a written statement to confirm Aspen Square Management's rejection of the tenants' demands. They both rudely refused multiple times and claimed the charges still stood, while consistently interrupting the tenant on the phone. Aspen Square Management is still adamant that they have not broken the lease agreement and they are not violating Texas tenant rights, even though they are in direct violation of doing both.