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REAL ESTATE : RENT IT RIGHT

The likelihood of fraud is remote

August 10, 2008|Janet Portman, | Inman news

Question: We received a notice telling us to pay $50 for a new remote to open the parking gate and that we could use our old remote until a certain date. One month past the cutoff date, the new reader is in place but the old remote still works too. I paid the $50 believing I had to in order to access my parking space. What do you think, and how should I handle this?

Answer: Either the management is running a clumsy scheme to bilk tenants out of $50 each or it's simply forgotten to disable the old remote. Common sense suggests it's the latter. Probably, your landlords forgot to cancel the old devices' ability to open the gate. This is a mistake, but it doesn't amount to fraud. You might, however, give some thought to whether this fee was proper in the first place, in light of your lease and its terms. Check the "Maintenance" or "Parking" clause of your rental document: If it doesn't cover paying for new parking remotes, you may have a viable legal complaint.

-- Janet Portman, Inman news

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E-mail Janet Portman at janet@inman.com

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