seagull105

fleas in condo

5 posts in this topic

I'm from Ohio and rented a condo in Myrtle Beach through VRBO website.  I paid cash to the owner of the condo.  After 1 night at this condo, my sister and I noticed tiny jumping insects.   We took pictures.  My sister was also bit.  I took a picture of the bite.  After doing some research we realized these were fleas.  I notified the owner immediately after realizing the condo was infested.  You could not sit anywhere in the condo without a flea landing on you.  I told the owner we were leaving and wanted a full refund.  She did notify the Real Estate Management company and an exterminator was there about 5 hours after I notified her of the fleas.  We were told we had to vacate the premises for at least 5 hours.  We did return to collect our belongings which I had to launder everything and disposed of my suitcase and purchased another.  The owner refused to give me a full refund.  She was very defensive and even suggested we brought the fleas in.  She offered only to reimburse for the remainder of the stay.  I was very upset about the fleas.  I did not expect this stress when I paid for a supposedly nice place at the beach to relax.  I was forced to spend time finding other accommodations in a resort town.  These accommodations cost me a good deal more than what I paid the owner.

 

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Doucar...

 

I am considering taking the owner of the condo to small claims court as she refused to reimburse me what I paid for the condo.  I was in the condo for 2 days when I realized these were fleas and reported it.  I have pictures to prove.  My question is what is the likelihood that I would win this in small claims court?  And if I did, how does the plaintiff get the money from the defendant?  I have heard that you can win but the problem is collecting.  It is not so much about the money, but more about how the owner of the condo responded.  I want them to be accountable as owners of a residence  I did not agree to rent an insect infested condo at the beach!

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You would have to sue the owner in Myrtle Beach or wherever he or she lives.  You are seeking reimbursement for two days because you were (or could be) reimbursed for the remainder of the period.  Presumably the owner woud tender the partial payment.    Is it worth your time to travel from Ohio for one, maybe two, court appearances?  

 

Indeed, getting the money can be difficult.  The judge only rules that you are entitled to recover a certain amount.  If the defendant does not pay the judgment you will have to find assets of the defendant, like bank accounts or money owed him or her by others', that you can garnish.  When I was practicing I had hundreds of judgments obtained fror my clients that turned out to be uncollectible.

 

If I were you I would take the partial reimbursement and use social media to report your satisfaction.

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47 minutes ago, seagull105 said:

My question is what is the likelihood that I would win this in small claims court?

 

We have no way of assessing this meaningfully.  All we have to go on is your one-sided, self-interested description of what happened.  I'm not criticizing you for your post being one-sided and self-interested (indeed, that is to be expected), but it is utterly impossible to give a meaningful assessment of your chances of success based on such a description.  If you sue, the other party will have an opportunity present its case and rebut yours, and we have no way of knowing what that would look like.

 

 

47 minutes ago, seagull105 said:

And if I did, how does the plaintiff get the money from the defendant?

 

Well...for starters, you'd have to sue in South Carolina or wherever the owner lives or in the jurisdiction and forum provided in the VRBO standard rental agreement or standard terms and conditions (if such a thing exists) or your rental contract with the owner.  With that said, if you sue and win, you can enforce your judgment in whatever ways are permitted by the laws of the state where you obtain the judgment.  The most common ways of enforcing a civil money judgment are bank levy and wage garnishment.  Since the owner has rental property, you could also serve a levy on an renter who owes the owner money, but the practicalities of that could be extremely difficult.

 

 

47 minutes ago, seagull105 said:

It is not so much about the money

 

If you really feel this way, then suing is a waste of your time and money.

 

 

47 minutes ago, seagull105 said:

I want them to be accountable as owners of a residence 

 

Have you posted a negative review on VRBO and/or submitted a complaint to VRBO.  Those sorts of things may be far more effective than a lawsuit.

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