In the summer of 2008, I rented a house from S. Group Investments LLC at 257 NE 26th st., Boca Raton, Fl, 33431. After living there for about 7 months (out of an 8 month lease), we informed S. Group investments LLC that we would be vacating the property at the end of the lease. This news did not sit well with them because it is becoming harder and harder to find good tenants. We were excellent tenants and here is some emails from S. Group Investments that proves it.
Here are some sample emails from S. Group Investments LLC to show that we really were great tenants.
Hi All --
Thanks for the note. We are sorry to hear this. You have been great tenants. If you change your minds, just let us know!
Hi (N.O.) --
Good morning. Thanks for your quick reply.
Yes, as soon as you let us know that you are vacating the house, we will do the inspection with you.
Let everyone know that in the future, if anyone ever needs a reference from a previous landlord, we will gladly give good reviews for each of you.
Upon moving out I cleaned the house above and beyond what any other tenant would ever do. I soaked the stove in oven cleaner and scrubbed it until it was perfect. I removed all the burners and cleaned all around them. I took every possible drawer out of the refrigerator and scrubbed each one individually. I sprayed and washed out all the drawers in the kitchen and the whole house. The other roommates swept and mopped every floor in the house. The house was in great condition.
I did a final walk-through with S. Group Investments LLC a couple days later. An elderly lady representing S. Group Investments LLC walked around and first told me that a soap holder was broken in the bathroom. I saw that and concurred that it should be taken out of the security. She then said a support for a burner was missing from the stove. This "missing part" was absolutely never there to begin with. I was the first one in the house, I cook every night and I noticed it right away. I told her there never was a support but she insisted. I am too easy going so, not wanting to argue I said it was fine knowing it was a part that costs less than 5 dollars. She then said that the drawer in the kitchen was broken. I informed her that the track was never installed and I showed her where the track was located in the adjacent drawer. She said that was fine, and the rest of the house was fine and that they would mail our security deposit to our new address. We all shook hands and I left thinking this was the end of a decent business relationship.
A week later I received a certified letter from S. Group Investments LLC. I opened it to get my check for what I figured would be about $500. There was only a check for 25.00. I assumed this was an extra $25 because of what great tenants we were but upon further inspection of the envelope I noticed that there was no other check. I read the enclosed letter and that is when I discovered the true face of the company I had been dealing with. In my opinion, they deducted anything they could so that they could keep my security deposit. If they could make something up, it was on there. I am going to display their letter in its entirety below so you can make up your opinion about whether this is a company you want to deal with.
Some of the more ridiculous charges:$65.00 charge to replace the broken tile soap/toothbrush holder in the main bathroom; $60.00 charge to replace the broken burner on the stove; $55.00 charge to repair the a damaged drawer in the kitchen; $50.00 charge to repair the drain in the master bathroom; $35.00 charge to replace broken screw in return value in master bathroom; $100.00 charge for locksmith to change all locks given that you did not return four keys that were provided to you; $50.00 charge for excess (beyond ordinary) cleaning required;
My response to the charges:
Broken burner on the stove: First of all the burner is not broken. It worked fine the entire time we were there. I pulled the burners out to clean the stove and it probably did not get pushed back in all the way. If you need someone to come push it in for you, you can pay me 60.00 every time it happens at your properties and I will gladly come around for that kind of money. Additionally, there was a support for the burner that was missing. It was never there to begin with. I was the first person to move in the house and the first thing I had to do was clean the stove because it was disgusting. I noticed the burner sat lower than the others but it is not that big of a deal so I did not say anything. What would we do with the support rack so that it would be missing? It is a $5 dollar piece of metal that can't be broken or used for anything else, so any thought of us losing it or breaking it is ridiculous.
Broken Drawer: The drawer was broken to begin with as well. There was the track for it in the drawer the entire time we were there. You probably paid someone to do it before we moved in and it was never done. The track never moved from that drawer until the last day I was there when I cleaned out all the drawers. The only damage we would ever be liable for with a kitchen drawer would be if we exerted pressure on it and ripped it out of the wood. That is obviously not the case so we are in no way liable for that. Once again, if you want to pay me $55 to install two screws I will gladly drop out of school and become your regular handyman.
Broken tile soap/toothbrush holder: Finally, some actual damage. You can sleep well at night with this one. But, seriously, $65 for a $20 dollar repair including parts and labor is laughable at best.
Broken screw in return value: The return valve was the wrong size for this sink and never worked. It wouldn't go down because it would hit on the metal. I don't know what was wrong with it, but there isn't anything we did that caused damage to it.
Repair drain in the master bathroom: This is news to me. If there was a problem with the drain, we never noticed it. I think everyone could agree that any drain work could be considered normal wear and tear to begin with. This insinuates that we intentionally or accidentally caused damage to the drain which is simply not true.
$100.00 charge for locksmith: I honestly hope you did not pay for this. During the final walk through I told, the leasors that (my GF) inadvertently took her keys to Paris with her. I was explicitly told that it was no problem and that I could slide the keys under the door when she returns. She returns on the 25th of January and I will uphold my end of the verbal agreement as I always have. If you spent or choose to spend 100 dollars, that is money out of your pocket, not mine.
Charge for excess (beyond ordinary) cleaning required: I personally cleaned most of the house myself. I know what I did and I know that I went above and beyond what would reasonably be expected. I scrubbed the stove (which was not done for us to begin with), I took every possible drawer out of the refrigerator and cleaned them one by one, I sprayed and wiped out every single cabinet in the kitchen, sprayed and cleaned the microwave, wiped down all the appliances, etc. I did more cleaning than you will ever have another tenant do for you, an action I now regret. You cannot simply deduct whatever charges you want and keep money for yourself from my deposit. Since, you think this is an acceptable practice, I am charging you $150 for the excess cleaning I did before I left. My calculations are 50 dollars an hour times 3 hours of excess cleaning. You can subtract the beyond ordinary expense and that will leave me with a 100 dollar surplus. If you would like a written receipt for that please feel free to ask.
S. Group Investments maliciously and unethically confiscated my security deposit even though we were the best of tenants. So yeah, I'm pissed!