They’re baaaaack! Yep, we thought we had heard the last of our home buyer friend, Doug Kienzle, when I had asked him for written proof of his right to take $310 out of our security deposit to help pay the cost of his mortgage above and beyond our agreed-upon rent payment during the 60 days we were there (not to mention the rest of it for random cleaning costs) and heard nothing back from him. Of course, this is pretty much par for the course of how he handles matters, so we let it be and assumed we had heard the last of him. And we might have. Until, in late January, he contacted the title company to request the payout of the $500 deposit that had been sitting in escrow and undoubtedly, much to his disappointment, they contacted us to double-check that we were in agreement with dispersing the funds to the Kienzles. As a matter of fact, no we’re not in agreement. Not at all.
So, last week, what started out as a conversation stating disagreement between the Kienzles and ourselves, with the title person serving as the go-between (our preference to keep communication with him to a minimum) – turned into a heated exchange on email when Doug opted to start direct communication with a list of reasons as to why he and Sara deserved our money. Let me say that the more emails he sent, the more ludicrous he sounded.
Though, one of my favorite reasons about why we needed to reimburse them for cleaning was part of one of the first emails he sent. (For background, we learned around November 3 that we needed to be out of the house by November 15. Beginning November 11, the house was officially empty. The last person who was there the night of November 10 was our house cleaner.):
The $130 charge for the house cleaning from top to bottom is valid by ORS 90.300 (7)(a)(B) due to the cleaning the dust, cat hair and other materials that accumulated in the cupboards, pantry and corners of the house. Since you moved out before the 15th without notifying us, the house sat idle and the items mentioned above collected in the areas mention above.
And, though he mentioned nothing of it when we received an email in December itemizing why he intended to keep all the money, he also decided to now indicate that there was damage in the house from our 60 days to repair, and took very close-up pictures early the next morning (per the time stamp) of picture holes and two chips out of the woodwork around a door frame in the house to “prove” it. Each email he sent included an arbitrary deadline by which we were to respond, otherwise he informed us that he had decided that no response meant no disagreement and therefore his entitlement to the full deposit amount.
Honestly, the whole experience made me start to wonder if these people are for real? I mean, do people really go through life being this manipulative? And if they do, how do they ultimately feel about themselves? Will he teach his child(ren) the same values: that it’s okay to manipulate situations to try and get what you want?
Back in gremlin land, it was becoming clear that we were facing one of three options, in our mind: 1) leave the money sitting in limbo indefinitely 2) take it into the legal realm or 3) make another push for agreement. As much as the last one pained me, we decided to make an offer to split the funds 50/50 and give them the vacuum attachments to the home’s central vac system, which were packed in our move and they believe should have stayed with the house, although we had purchased the attachment kit ourselves for shy of $500. On Friday, Doug told us that they were accepting our offer to split the money and get the attachments, but instead of leaving it there, the email continued with another arbitrary “request”:
Per Gary’s Vacuflo, there are 8 total attachments/pieces (please note the attachment for reference):1) 30’ Hose with Sock
2) Wire Hose Rack
3) Fabric Tool Bag
4) Crevice Tool
5) Deluxe Floor Brush
6) TurboCat Zoom Power Head
7) 2 smaller attachments
We hope that the vacuum attachments are in good working and fully functioning condition. If any of the pieces listed above are broken, not functioning or missing, we request that they be replaced at your expense.
Our response: Um, no. We will give you the attachments as they were in the home and at this point, if that’s a problem, let’s have a judge decide. We are currently awaiting a confirmation from Doug that there’s no misunderstanding on that front. I’d like to say that after about a year now of having these people in our lives, that I finally see light at the end of this long tunnel where we’ll go our separate ways, but with Doug Kienzle, one never knows.