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Residential Property Management/suing myproperty management company for mishandling funds

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Question
I have been a resident of this management company almost 10 year no and never really had major issues until November of 2013 that I noticed on my rental receipts that my negative rental balance began to drop drastically without reason/notice. I called my management company to find out what was going on since my income nor family status changed to cause a change in the amount I pay for rent. Yes I get a rent subsidy and I'm fully aware of my portion to pay monthly but due my low income status public assistance pays the portion of rent I'm responsible to pay out of pocket therefore leaving me to not have to pay anything. Like I said I reached out to management to go d out what was going on only to continuously be given the run around and told to pay up to five different amounts from different people working at the office. I even reached out to the owner who also was a dead end. Finally I requested all paper work of my rental history to go over for myself but they won't give me any type of paperwork so I don't know my actual rental amount. Nobody will take my phone calls and the voicemail box is full every day so that I can't leave a message. Now every month I have to watch my rent receipts show a balance saying I owe almost a thousand dollars and I don't know what to do. I have reached out to my subsidy programs and they cant tell me anything. I believe money is being stolen and paperwork is being tampered with. I want to sue. What do I do???? How do I go about getting my funds back?

Answer
Housing assistance funding can be complex and ever changing, so you really need to get your case worker involved. I don't recommend suing the management company since if all of your rent is supposedly covered by that program, you can't sue for money that isn't yours (which is why I strongly advise getting the housing authority involved). I recommend putting your request to the management company IN WRITING, and copy the housing authority on all communications. The management company would then be put on notice to provide the information you are seeking. If they don't respond, put pressure on the housing authority (again, in writing). If nothing else, this will help protect you in the event of an eviction for nonpayment of rent. However, it's important to understand that these public assistance programs do change, so you'll want to make sure your benefits haven't been altered.

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Mike Fortunato

Expertise

Very familiar with all aspects of property management (tenant/landlord issues, lease administration, facilities maintenance, financials, etc). 25+ years in property management

Experience

I have been in real estate management for 25+ years, both residential and commercial properties. Currently own and operate a commercial and residential real estate management company in southern California.

Organizations
IREM; BOMA; MLS; National Association of Realtors; California Association of Realtors

Education/Credentials
CPM (Certified Property Manager) and RPA (Real Property Administrator)

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