I filled out an application for an apartment at The Lincoln at Central Park in April of 2006. They (Margo) accepted my deposit of $150.00 and approved my application. She instructed me that I would be able to move onto the property as of June 1. On May 31, she called to ask if I could wait and stay at my current location which I could not. I had already given my current landlord in Norman two month's notice (since that April), new tenants were waiting. So she asked if I could move into The Montgomery downtown until July 15, and that I could move into my apartment at The Lincoln at that time.
We agreed that if I paid for the move into The Montgomery, that they would pay for the move from The Montgomery to The Lincoln (this was agreed to with Charles Dodson, VP of Multi-Family Housing). So I paid to move into The Montgomery. A month passed and they indicated the new apartment at the Lincoln was not yet ready. Mr. Dodson gave me a new date in August.
As July passed, I received word that I would in fact be moving to The Lincoln soon (from Mr. Dodson), only to have that statement contradicted a few days later when he said the apartment would not be ready until October. I agreed to stay under the conditions that he paid for my cable transfer and a parking pass (as I had been parking on the street w/ meters until this time). He agreed and the cable & parking arrangements were made. As October neared, I contacted Mr. Dodson to see what the status was, and he again informed me that the apartment would not be ready until early to late November.
When mid-November rolled around, I was contacted with regard to setting up my move-in date by a Kristin Morris. She also discussed details with me about having the moving arrangements set up and also specifics about when I could come by and sign a lease and pick up keys (I had not, or did I ever, sign a lease with The Lincoln. Only a few days later when I contacted her to see about the moving arrangements, she informed me that the apartment would now not be ready until Dec. 8.
At this time, I asked Mr. Dodson to assess the situation and give me the most realistic date the apartment would be available. Mr. Dodson and I came to a clear understanding that if he failed to meet the December 8 date, that I was going to move out of The Montgomery and live somewhere else besides The Lincoln. Mr. Dodson understood.
A few weeks went by when he informed me that they again would be unable to meet the December 8 date. At this time I contacted The Gables at Westlake and applied for an apartment there, which I was approved for. I also arranged to rent a U-Haul truck and hire movers to move my belongings from The Montgomery to The Gables on Jan 5-6, 2007. The U-Haul truck was $85 and the movers were paid $120 ($205 total). Right before I moved out, I contacted Mr. Dodson about my $150 deposit given to Margo in April of 2006. He said after I moved out that the property manager at The Montgomery would assess my empty apartment at The Montgomery and issue a refund check.
I did not contact Charles Dodson until January 16 to again see about my deposit knowing I left a forwarding address. He did not write me back until the 22nd and proceeded to inform me that my request for a deposit had been denied because I failed to complete the terms of my lease with The Lincoln. I never even signed a lease with The Lincoln nor was I ever able to move in.
The statement of rental policy was signed with good faith under the advice of Margo Campbell, who did not give me any indication that the move-in date would be missed by more than a month and a half. At the time I made the decision to "take advantage of a move-in special and receive my first month free at The Montgomery," I was instructed that I would be staying there no later than July 15. There was absolutely no indication or insinuation that I would be staying there for as long as 8 months. If I had known this to be the case in April when I initially signed the statement of rental policy, I would not have signed it.
It is completely unreasonable to expect that I would have known in advance the target move-in date of June 1 would be missed by 8 months. The agreement made pertaining to utilities was made under the same understanding that I would only be displaced temporarily, and therefore it would be impractical to activate utilities in my own name for such a short period of time. I did not request any specific apartment model at The Montgomery and yet was given was one of their largest units (at 1393 sq. feet) wherein I would have incurred considerably higher utility expenses than had I been living in the unit agreed upon at The Lincoln at Central Park (659 sq. feet).
Mr. Dodson and his staff also expected me to pay for my own parking pass downtown at The Montgomery when I complained that parking was very, very limited and subject to parking meters before 5pm during the week. My requests for this parking pass were repeatedly denied until finally I stipulated that it be provided as a term of my continued tenancy at The Montgomery. The issue of my having expressed gratitude to the staff at The Montgomery for their hospitality was to show appreciation to the staff who actually did show concern, and even sympathized with me about the situation.
The first week of January, I contacted Mr. Dodson in regards to my deposit. He informed me that after the property manager at The Montgomery (Karen Masters) performed a walk-through of the apartment, she would issue a refund check. When I e-mailed him two weeks later when I did not receive the refund check, he informed me that "the request for refund was denied due to the fact that your application at The Lincoln stated that your deposit was only refundable if the terms and conditions of the lease were fulfilled. This was not the case since you moved out in January."
I have repeatedly communicated that I did not sign a lease with The Lincoln at Central Park. Though I did sign a lease for the month of June at The Montgomery, I was never asked to renew this lease after the end of June and therefore I was leasing on a month-to-month basis as provided by Section 110 of the Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant Act. This section explicitly states that "when the tenancy is month-to-month or tenancy at will, the landlord or tenant may terminate the tenancy provided the landlord or tenant gives a written notice to the other at least thirty (30) days before the date upon with the termination is to become effective."
On December 4, I gave Mr. Dodson and his staff notice that I would be terminating tenancy as of January 8 (35 days in advance) and would seek accommodations elsewhere not including The Lincoln at Central Park. I left the apartment at The Montgomery clean and undamaged, paid all rent as agreed, and gave Mr. Dodson and his staff proper notice. Mr. Dodson and his staff have refused to refund my security deposit within the 30 day window required by law.
This constitutes a violation of Section 115B of the Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant Act, which states that "the landlord shall return the balance of the security deposit without interest to the tenant within thirty (30) days after the termination of tenancy, delivery of possession, and written demand by the tenant." Because Mr. Dodson and his staff have refused or ignored my previous attempts to request my deposit be refunded, tomorrow morning I will be mailing a written letter of demand to both Mr. Dodson and the property manager of The Lincoln at Central Park, Mr. Alex Klinke.
Section 103B of the Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant Act holds that, "Any agreement, whether written or oral, shall be unenforceable insofar as said agreement, or any provision thereof, conflicts with any provision of this act." In addition, Section 113A.1 states that "A rental agreement may not provide that either party thereto agrees to waive or fore go rights or remedies under this act."
There are numerous apparent conflicts in The Lincoln at Central Park's rental policies with provisions in the Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant Act. Section 120A states that, "If the landlord fails to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the tenant, rent abates until possession is delivered and the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by giving a written notice of such termination to the landlord, whereupon the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and deposit..."
Lastly I would like to note that I will be also be submitting the unsolicited correspondence I received from Mr. Klinke on November 6 in which he was particularly harsh regarding my expressed frustration to Kristen Morris (assistant property director) due to their repeated failure to deliver possession of the apartment at The Lincoln at Central Park. I apologized and indicated to her that I knew it wasn't her fault, but that I was nevertheless very frustrated at having been disappointed yet again.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma