Article at the NY Times. The only reason this interests me is because of my apartment troubles last year (original here and here). In short, I lived at Hampton Glen for one year. I paid no security deposit, but I did pay a $300 pet fee. After I moved out, they sent me a $220 cleaning charge because they said my dog left “scuff” marks on the walls. I said I thought $220 was excessive, and offered them $100, which they refused. Enter my summer project.
I discovered in the lease that they mistakenly categorized my pet “fee” as a pet “deposit,” so I sent them an invoice for return of the pet “deposit.” The net result was they realized I was sending them a GIANT F U. They didn’t want to go to small claims court, and I didn’t want to go to small claims court, so the regional manager called me and asked if we could drop everything. No cleaning charges, no pet “deposit” refund, just call it a day. That was $100 cheaper than I’d originally banked on, so go me.
The reason I bring this up is because the law in Virginia says that when I sent them my invoice, I could have charged them interest, but the interest would be tied to the Fed discount window. Since the discount rate was half a percent, the interest amounted to just a few cents. Lame.