After bout in small claims court, local woman awarded security deposit

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local woman reached out to Call 12 For Action for help after her landlord kept her security deposit for what she thought was an illegitimate reason.

Rose Ann Robert lived in her Pawtucket apartment for five years. She said she took care of it – and before she moved out in August, she washed the appliances, walls and carpets.

According to Rose Ann, her handiwork wasn’t good enough, because her former landlord sent a letter saying he was keeping the security deposit.

“I was frustrated. I was frustrated. He was giving me nothing,” she said.

In a letter to Rose Ann, Michael Artesani of 1704 Associates, II, LLC. claimed he was withholding the $725 because he had to “replace three sets of window blinds” and “reprime” the apartment.

Artesani even tried to charge Rose Ann an extra $50 for the work. So she took him to small claims court.

“It’s not fair,” she said. “I’m a woman, I’m not a young woman and I just thought he was taking advantage of the situation.”

The judge ruled in Rose Ann’s favor and awarded her the full amount of the security deposit.

By law, the landlord had 48 hours to file an appeal. According to court records, he never appealed the decision and after months, he never paid her the money.

That’s when Rose Ann reached out to Call 12 For Action.

Since Artesani failed to return the money voluntarily after the judgement, Rose Ann’s next step was to go to the court clerk and request a document for an “execution of judgement.”

A sheriff formally served the landlord that form.

Last week, Rose Ann received a check in the mail for $725. She said she is still waiting for a check for the court costs.

Call 12 For Action spoke with the landlord by phone. He said he does not believe a judge’s order is legitimate until the paperwork is formally served.

In this case, he said he sent the check to Rose Ann the same day the sheriff showed up to serve him the papers.

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