Sheri and I received the remainder of our security deposit on Friday from Washco Management Corp, the company that owns and operates Springfield Farms Apartments. Maryland law requires landlords to return a security deposit no later than 45 days from the move out date. It took Washco Management Corp 43 days to return our money, two whole days before they legally had to.
They didn’t even return all of our money. They illegally withheld $212.50. They sent us a check for the remainder of our security deposit with the following breakdown of expenses:
- General Cleaning: $168
- General Maintenance Labor: $27
- Maintenance Supplies: $24
- Rent: $6.50
It’s absolutely absurd that they would charge us $168 for cleaning. We left the apartment in immaculate shape. We paid to have the carpets professionally cleaned. I was actually proud of how clean we left the apartment.
I have no idea what the $6.50 rent is all about. It would be nice if they explained what it was for. Legally, they are required to.
We did everything right, Washco Management Corp did everything wrong. When we gave notice that we were leaving at the end of our lease, we sent a letter by certified mail informing them. We also requested a walk-through inspection within 5 days of leaving and we requested to be informed by certified mail of the date and time of the walk-through inspection. This was our right under Maryland law.
We never got our walk-through inspection. According to Maryland law, if a landlord fails to provide a walk-through inspection when the tenant specificity requests it, they forfeit the right to withhold any of the security deposit and must return all of it.
The law is totally on our side on this. It’s not even debatable. The problem is, how do we enforce the law, call a cop? No, the only way to get the rest of our money back is to take Washco Management Corp to small claims court. The problem is, I’m not sure it would be worth going to court over this. I’ve never sued anyone in my life and I’m not so sure I want to start by suing someone for only $212. Is it worth taking time off from work and going to court over $212? I don’t think it is and I’m sure that’s why Washco Management Corp chose that amount to withhold.
The good thing about all this is that I will never have to go through it again. Sheri and I are now official homeowners. I have Washco Management Corp to thank for making me want to buy a home. It was the wood floor fiasco that made me realize owning our own home had real advantages.
If you live in central Maryland and you are thinking of renting an apartment owned and operated by Washco Management Corp, do yourself a real favor and don’t. We were good tenants. We paid our rent in full and on time each and every month and they thanked us by ripping us off for $212.50. Don’t let them rip you off too. When looking for an apartment in central Maryland, make sure it’s not owned and operated by Washco Management Corp. If you are looking for an apartment in Williamsport, Maryland, don’t even think about Springfield Farms Apartments.