Apartment owners take a long time paying out judgment




Posted on November 20, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 20 at 2:11 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- You can say Laurie Rikansrud's life has been enlightened since she moved out of Kent's Avante Apartments. It's where the mother of two said she went without power in her place for days at a time.

"It progressively got worse," she said. "It would go out for 10 minutes sometimes, then it progressed to the point it was out the entire night."

Laurie reported the issue to maintenance.

"They finally sent someone out to look at the power box, they did something to it."

But the fix didn't seem to do much at all.

"It worked for two days and it went out again."

The last thing the new mom needed was to be without power.

"I would have no hot water so I couldn't take a shower, I couldn't warm up a bottle for my newborn baby."

So she moved out and took the owners, Longwell Company of Bellevue, to court. She sued them for the rent she paid while dealing with the power problems and won a $1,700 judgment.

"I was relieved that the judge saw things my way because a lot of times I've heard they don't, you know."

That was back in April of last year, but Laurie hasn’t seen a dime.

"I've tried calling them, they always tell me call back tomorrow. I call back tomorrow, management's not around."

The company is cutting off her attempts to get paid at every turn.
"At one point when I called them they were acting like they didn't even know who I was," she said.

So Laurie called me and I stopped by the Avante Apartments.

The first person I talked to had to go speak with someone in a back room. She then came out and gave me the number to the home office. After trying unsuccessfully to get my questions answered, they kicked me out.

My next stop was to the home office in Bellevue, but they were not much help either.

The president of the company did send me an e-mail saying "We are still willing to pay the judgment in full in exchange of not reporting in KING 5."

I told him no dice.

A week later a light went on for the Longwell Company. They decided to pay Laurie.

"I'm just a little shocked right now. I just thought it was going to go on and on, until everyone was out of his hair," said Laurie.

I am glad I was able to help work things out for Laurie. If you have a small claims court judgment against a landlord who did not appeal it and refuses to pay, give me a call or drop me a line at GetJesse@king5.com