Alton Woman Loses Deposit for Apartment
ALTON – A woman in Alton encountered a problem after she left a deposit on an apartment she was interested in renting, but changed her mind due to appliances in the apartment being in bad condition.
The problem was that she never signed a contract.
Monica Tatum and her five kids were sleeping in her car a couple of weeks ago.
She had given an $800 deposit to an apartment complex in Alton.
“The apartment was never livable. When I got my electricity connected, I noticed the A/C wasn’t working. We didn’t have a refrigerator, so she brought us one. We let her know it wasn’t working,” Tatum explained the problems she ran into with the apartment. “And then we let her know that the water heater wasn’t working.”
That was when Tatum decided she had to find a new place to live. She wanted her $800 back.
Tatum has the receipts for the money she paid, but signed any paper work to hold the landlord responsible.
“She never gave me anything. No verbal agreement. No written. Anything,” said Tatum.
The Better Business Bureau explained the importance of signing a contract to avoid a situation similar to Tatum’s.
“Without a contract, without any legally binding document that protects the consumer, that protect the business, there isn’t anywhere for this consumer to go other than what she’s already done,” said BBB President Dolores Salinas.
Salinas told CHANNEL 5 NEWS when anyone doesn’t have a contract, the deal is not as concrete and they don’t have any assurance.
“It’s very important that consumers take time to check out the reliability of a business before they do business with them,” added Salinas.
Tatum filed a police report and a claim with the small claims court.
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