Well this has probably been the worst January of my life. To just recap our January so far. We got into a small car accident. Our brand new car broke down driving cross-country home forcing us to stay in a hotel for a couple of days; my wife got the flu which turned into pneumonia. Then I got pneumonia. My wife got an extra package to repair small dings and the like for her car which our dealer said didn’t apply to repair the small dent in our car. The most severe issue has been Mrs. ROB falling down our stairs and breaking her ankle in three places, which requires surgery later this week. I got a quote last night for our new car insurance policy that went up by over $200 for a six month period. It is Mrs. ROB’s birthday and I can’t be with her because of this stupid blizzard. And then to top things off I got a renewed bill from our old apartment billing saying we owe them $831. That bill is what I want to blog about today. My question is am I obligated to pay this bill?
Maybe this is more of a thought exercise, but I am curious from others whether or not I am legally required to pay the bill?
The Bill Background
So Mrs. ROB and I officially moved out of our apartment on November 2nd. I didn’t do a walk through with our apartment company because the apartment was dirty and I knew it was. In fact, i paid the apartment company $200 to pay to clean the apartment. They had a package that would be deducted from my deposit where I could just give them the keys and go. I never thought anything of it.
A couple of weeks later I get a bill and an e-mailed bill from our apartment building stating that we owed over $800 for carpet damage. In fact, the actual bill was supposedly over $1100 and then they deducted the rest of the deposit giving us a bill of over $800.
I immediately thought something was a little fishy. I fully admit to leaving the carpets dirty. I did so because I thought i was paying for the cleaning. But then we get this bill and I do a double take. Moreover, they just said that the bill was for carpet damages. They didn’t provide me an itemized bill as to how they repaired the carpet, what specifically they repaired, etc. It just says damaged carpet.
Well before I paid this bill I said I would need to see pictures of the supposed damage. I then did a little digging and realized that within 30 days, according to our state law, that they must provide an itemized list detailing the nature of the damage and the repairs needed to fix the damage. In my time dealing with them i have never ever received that detail list. All i received was a bill saying damaged carpet and here was the amount in supposed damages. I don’t know if they replaced the carpet, repaired it, or just cleaned it.
So last night I finally got the pictures i asked for over two months ago and they do show a dirty carpet. Again, I thought I paid them ahead of time to take money out of my deposit and clean the apartment for me. Of course they state that i still owe these monies. My question to my readers (if anybody reads this) is do I legally owe the money?
This isn’t about whether I can afford this. I mean with all that has happened money will be a little tight right now for the next few months, but i have the money. I have an emergency funds for things like this. But it is more the principle of the thing? I mean if I don’t pay it it could go to collections, which could damage my credit.
The thing is i don’t necessarily care about my credit that much because i don’t have any future items to finance (although that could change). But I have never welched on a debt in my life. I have never even been late with a bill before. EVER! I take pride in saying that, but at the same time I don’t know if i am legally obligated to pay these monies or if I should just do it so that it doesn’t ding my credit?
This is one piece of personal finance I could use some advice on. Thoughts?
P.S. Mrs. ROB and I have reached our quota for the year in terms of bad things happening to us. We are good universe. I hope February and the rest of the months are better. I hope.