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‘They thought they had a dummy’: Renter says she caught apartment trying to swindle her upon move-out

'They had a whole setup ready.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Apr 3, 2023   Updated on Apr 3, 2023, 12:19 pm CDT

You won’t need to look too hard on the internet to read about a disgruntled tenant who believes their landlord or property management is attempting to swindle them out of their security deposit.

This is what TikToker @kig0404 says happened to her when she received a paltry portion of her deposit return upon moving out of her home. She says she snapped photos of the condition she left her apartment in prior to leaving, which painted a much different picture than the images property management allegedly sent to her when she questioned why she wasn’t refunded the full amount.

@kig0404 Lol they thought they had a dummy 😭 y’all be careful with these apartments #fyp #foryoupage #apartments #theythought #runmemymoney ♬ Blicky – Fresh X Reckless

The TikToker issued a warning via the text overlay and caption of the video: “Always take pics of every apartment or house you move out of. … They thought they had a dummy … y’all be careful with these apartments.”

As the clip progresses, a montage of different photos of a cleared-out apartment is featured. The place looks spotless, from a clean stove, oven, and kitchen countertop to an empty refrigerator and bare white cupboards.

After showing more pictures of their place, the clip then transitions to a logo of the housing complex @kig0404 says she moved out of: St. Croix Apartments. The TikToker alleges management took pictures from another apartment that looked similar to hers, except it was dirty. She says management then used those pictures as justification to try and keep her deposit. “They took pics of somebody else apartment and tried to say thats how I left it,” she wrote.

Her video on the matter was viewed over 3 million times. The Daily Dot reached out to the parent company of St. Croix Apartments, Strata Equity, via online contact form and to @kig0404 via comment.

One TikTok user wanted to know what happened afterward, and so @kig0404 posted a follow-up video. She says she was shocked to see that she was only given a portion of her security deposit money and adds it was only after she asked management why this was the case did they send her the photos of the other apartment.

@kig0404 Replying to @thediaryoftia ♬ Lay Up – Future

She says she decided to halt all communication with them and instead reach out to corporate.

@kig0404 also shared a screenshot of a demand letter she says she worked on with her sister to send to corporate, explaining the photographs they sent her are vastly different from the ones she took. She attached the photos with time stamps, along with dates and times of the TikToker’s correspondence with the property management, in the letter.

“So this is a demand letter that my sister wrote up for me after the fact of them sending me a check for $49. So after I got that check, I was very confused on why it was that amount, so I reached out to the property manager, and that’s when she sent me those pictures along with the breakdown of what I was charged for. After I viewed that email I didn’t even bother responding to her I just went ahead and found all of the corporate information, so that I can get that situated with them,” she says.

She says that after relaying her evidence to corporate, she received a quick response and more importantly, a prompt refund. “My pictures did start off as a video, but you can’t mail a video, and you can’t send a large video via email. The corporate lady reached out to me, and she got everything situated had them give me my money back, and yeah, in my opinion, since it was handled so fast, there was no need for court,” she says.

@kig0404 delineates how much the property management attempted to take from her deposit: $285 for allegedly not moving out in a timely fashion, $80 in refunds for a carpet cleaning fee, $85 in refunds for an apartment cleaning fee, and $120 in vinyl repair damage.

Viewers who saw the TikToker’s post applauded the way that she handled the situation. One commenter wrote: “You had the RECEIPTS”

Someone else urged her to be vocal about her experience living in the apartment complex so that future tenants can properly prepare themselves for when they move out. “Make sure you post reviews online so current tenants/future tenants can be forewarned. I do this as well when I go on vacation to hotels & airbnbs,” they suggested.

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*First Published: Apr 3, 2023, 12:00 pm CDT