The primary leasing office isn't in Des Moines. It's in Bumfuck, Oklahoma.
Apparently, there is some confusion in the paperwork. While they have my notice of termination of tenancy which clearly states that I will be vacating the apartment by midnight of 4/30/05, their records indicate that my keys were not recovered from the drop box until 5/31/05.
I suggested to her that this was very likely a mistake, since I had put the keys in the drop box the night of 4/30 when I left, and somebody just wrote down the wrong date. She was pretty adamant that they hadn't made a mistake, and since they hadn't recovered the keys until 5/31, that I was responsible for the occupancy of the apartment for the month of may.
I actually had to suggest to her that she should reconsider that position, that perhaps it was not the most tenable, that it was much more likely that someone had simply made a mistake and written down the wrong date than it was that I had somehow decided to drive down to Des Moines in the middle of the night on May 30th and deposited the keys in the drop box.
She promised to look into it and call me back. I'm not expecting a phone call.
Some perverse part of me hopes that they decide to pursue it. At this point, I'm reasonably expecting it to be an easily-admitted mistake, that they could just cut me a check for 70 bucks and be done. But this other part has a sneaking suspicion that some pencil jockey is gonna get greedy and figure they can push me into accepting their terms.
That would be a bad assumption.
1.) They have my official notice of termination of tenancy, which clearly states that I will be out of the apartment by midnight of 4/30/05. It also very clearly has my forwarding address and telephone numbers by which they could easily contact me. I also added my e-mail address.
2.) They had 30 days from the end of my tenancy to provide me with the dispensation of my security deposit, or they forfeit all claim to any amount. They did not send the notice until well after the 30 days.
3.) Making the claim that because they didn't have the keys to the apartment, that supersedes my notice of termination is pretty doggone stupid:
a.) I depositied the keys in the drop box on 4/30. The office checks the dropbox for rent checks, and they allow rent payments on the 1st of the month. It would be a normal, expected part of the operation of the rental office to check the dropbox on 5/1.
b.) It's possible (though unlikely) that they missed the keys. It's further possible (though unlikely) that they continued missing the keys until magically somebody found them in the drop box a month later. (It would also be a normal, expected part of the operation that they would check the dropbox more than once a month, but I digress.)
c.) Even if they did not have the keys, it would be a normal, expected part of the operation to say "hey, his notice said that he moved out at the end of April, but we don't have his keys. Perhaps we should check on this by giving him a telephone call or by going to the apartment and checking to see if he moved out".
This would be known as due diligence. It would take a whopping amount of really serious screwups to get this bad, and it makes a lot more sense that it was just a mistaken date that somebody wrote down wrong.