Despite proof, tenant who double paid rent can’t get refund

Apr 18, 2022, 6:24 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:54 pm

SALT LAKE CITY —With rents on the rise, who can afford to double pay for one month’s rent?

David Martinez of South Ogden said he was pressured to do just that.

Martinez prepaid his rent through May 2021. In April, his landlord sold the property to Cornerstone Residential. Right away, Martinez said there was a problem.

“For the new company, they said that they did not get the May payment,” Martinez explained.

He claimed he showed Cornerstone’s property management proof of the payment multiple times. “They just said, OK, we will take it to the higher-ups,” Martinez said. “Then a month later, we’d get a notice again.”

Martinez said the situation came to a head in October 2021, when Cornerstone told him to pay for the May rent or he would be evicted.

To avoid eviction, he paid $897. He continued trying to get a refund since moving out in December.

When Martinez reached out to Cornerstone about the refund, he said they told him it wasn’t their responsibility to get the money back for him from the prior owner.”

David Martinez (KSL TV) (Cornerstone Residential) Attorney Jacob Kent discusses renters' rights. (KSL TV)

KSL Investigators reached out first to Martinez’s previous landlord, who confirmed via email that he had paid May rent, and that money was given to Cornerstone at the time of the sale.

We reached out multiple times to Cornerstone Residential but never received a response.

“If I had paid, I would be wanting that money back,” commiserated attorney Jacob Kent with nonprofit Utah Legal Services.

Kent said when properties are sold, all prepaid rent payments and deposits are typically included in the sale of the property to the new owner. The tenant shouldn’t have to pay again.

“If the new owner wants to go after the old owner because they didn’t get it, that’s, that’s up to them,” said Kent. As for Martinez, shortly after our calls and emails to Cornerstone, he got a check in the mail: a partial refund of his deposit. As of this report, he was considering his legal options for obtaining the duplicate May payment.

Court may be his only option, Kent told KSL Investigators, where a judge would be able to review the proof of duplicate payment and force the landlord to issue the refund.

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Carfax found that roughly 2.1 million vehicles in Utah have rolled back odometers. (KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt

Odometer fraud is making a comeback and could cost car buyers thousands of dollars

Con artists selling used cars have a new way of rolling back an odometer, making it significantly cheaper and quicker for them to achieve. On average, someone who buys a car with a rolled back odometer loses about $4,000.

3 days ago

Matt Gephardt reviewing the letter sent to Robert Bohman. (KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps man stuck with an out-of-network bill for a test his insurance pre-authorized

After a Morgan man went for a medical test pre-authorized by his insurance, he was surprised with an out-of-network bill he thought he was covered for. Get Gephardt helped him to sort everything out.

4 days ago

When Daniel Reeder moved into his Bountiful home, he quickly realized its synthetic, membrane roofi...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt helps Bountiful homeowner who says he can’t get roofing company to make warranty repair

When Daniel Reeder moved into his Bountiful home, he quickly realized its synthetic, membrane roofing had a problem. Some of its adhesive began peeling.

5 days ago

Americans spend millions of dollars on digital entertainment: movies, music, audiobooks, and e-book...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

What happens to your purchased digital movies, music and e-books when you die?

Americans spend millions of dollars on digital entertainment: movies, music, audiobooks, and e-books. But is any of it really ours to keep? It's a question a Hooper widow is tackling after losing access to her e-books, so she decided to Get Gephardt.

6 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt & Cimaron Neugebauer

Bountiful woman left without phone service or answers days after her husband dies

When you pay for a phone service, you expect it to work. But after being unable to make or receive calls despite reaching out to the provider multiple times to fix it – a Utah woman decided it was time to Get Gephardt.

10 days ago

Cami Johnson reported to police in 2017 that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by her ex-husba...

Daniella Rivera

Sexual assault survivor says delays in police investigation allowed perpetrator to attack a teenager

A Utah woman said delays in properly investigating her report of sexual assault allowed her perpetrator to remain free and attack a teenage girl more than a year later. The KSL Investigators examined the timeline of multiple investigations involving the same man.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Despite proof, tenant who double paid rent can’t get refund