Landlord Tries To Use Leap Day To Screw Tenants Out Of Deposit

While most of us are sporting yellow and blue and leaving tributes to Leap Day William, one Milwaukee landlord is trying to spoil everyone’s fun by not only using the calendar blip to push a tenant out early, but to screw him out of his damage deposit.

Consumerist reader Lana writes in with this tale of her boyfriend and his roommate:

The two of them are moving into a new apartment as of March 1st. Last night (Feb. 28th) at around 9pm, while finishing up cleaning their old apartment and collecting the last of their items, their apartment manager came in with two guys that he told them were the new tenants and needed to move in right away.

He threatened that because they hadn’t finished cleaning yet, they wouldn’t be getting their security deposit back, and told them that the Leap Day didn’t count and their lease was over as of the 28th, (their lease states an end date of March 1st).

He also told them that he had gone into the apartment earlier that day and thrown away several items from the apartment, including a lamp and a carpet cleaner, as well as several bags of trash that were left (there was zero trash — we left the apartment spotless the day before and only had to clean out the fridge and collect the misc. items).

He said they needed to leave their keys in the refrigerator and lock the door and that he would finish the cleaning himself (again, we left the place virtually spotless).

Even if their lease didn’t extend to the leap day (which I believe it legally should), it was only 9pm on the 28th.

Lana says they have contacted the city’s tenant assistance hotline but have yet to hear back. We suggest they contact the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office which has a Consumer Fraud division. They can also file a complaint in small claims court to get back the security deposit.