What can I do regarding a false charge on apartment repair?

I moved out of my apartment about a year ago and just now noticed a charge of $697 to my apartment. I called the apartment, then the management company, then the collections and finally got an answer. I was charged an ‘unreported pet fee’ and also a charge for cleaning the pet urine out of a carpet. The only problem is that I never have owned a pet and no animals have ever been in my apartment while I lived there. I currently live in another state and unfortunately cannot meet with anyone in person. I am curious if there is any way to prove the charge is false and if there are any

remedies for me with this? The debt collector said I could dispute the charge but didn’t sound hopeful.

Asked on June 21, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The only way to dispute this is to refuse to pay, let them sue you--if they think it is worthwhile to do so--then in court, defend yourself by presenting testimony and evidence that you never had a pet and therefore do not owe this fee. Only a court can force them to drop a charge they assert you owe, and as a practical matter, you get into court on cases like this by being sued for the money.


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