Moving into a new apartment can be stressful. But moving back out of your apartment and finding that you're not going to get your security deposit back because of something you didn't do can be even more stressful. That's why two WVU law students created a business to make sure that doesn't happen.
"I was really interested in having them help me, mainly because I've lived in Morgantown for six years and this is the fourth apartment I've lived in," said Ryanne Ball, a third year law student at WVU and a client of the Morgantown Security Deposit, LLC. "And I've never gotten a security deposit back."
Thousands of WVU students move in and out of apartments in Morgantown each year. WVU law students said that Student Legal Services received more than 1,000 student/landlord claims between January and August of 2010.
Most places were occupied before and could have damages. That's where Jordan Lomis and Joe Fabie, the co-owners of Morgantown Security Deposit, LLC, come in.
"We take detailed pictures, photographs, record any damage that is pre-existing in the apartment, and we do the same thing when they move out," Lomis said. "That way if there is a dispute and damages that occurred beforehand, or during the term of the lease, there is evidence and proof that can be used in court."
Fabie's father is a landlord in his hometown. He said that his dad has been able to have civil relationships with his tenants.
"I've also had a background in construction," Fabie said. "because that's my family's business. So it helps when I walk in there I can pick out a lot of things that the landlord will immediately go to."
The two go through a check list at their client's apartments when they move in and out. They have dated, watermarked photos, and the documentation if there is a dispute about the deposit when the lease is finished.
"I just think it was great. It didn't take very long and in the long run, if there is up problem, I have a $500 security deposit at stake compared to the $25 per roommate that we paid them for the services," Ball said. "So, in the end if there is an issue, I think I'll definitely come out ahead."
Morgantown Security Deposit, LLC, is accepting more clients this semester. They also are willing to do consultation out of Morgantown and with non-students. Visit their Facebook page for more information.