I was a tenant of Kenneth Johnson for a year. For the first couple of months I had no real problems with him. However, later, pipes in the basement of my apartment sprung leaks and water began accumulating on the floor. I contacted Mr. Johnson and after he came to take a look at the situation, he promised that a plumber would be out to fix the problem. However it took weeks for him to get a plumber out there. In the meantime he simply put newspaper on the floor. After a while, even the newspapers became soaked. In addition, the mixture of stagnant water and decaying newspaper became a breeding ground for flies. I had to spend my own time and money to combat the flies and take up the newspaper and put new layers down.
When the plumber finally did come, I was given no prior notice. I came home from work to a rearranged and dirty apartment. The plumber had made a mess of my place because of the installation of a new pipe that went from the basement, up into my living, and up the wall into the upstairs apartment. Dirt, dust, and pieces of wood were everywhere. Neither Mr. Johnson or the plumber attempted to clean the mess. I had to do it.
When I finally moved out a few weeks later, Mr. Johnson sent my returned security deposit via certified mail. I received the notice in my mailbox and went to the post office the next day to retrieve my letter. Unfortunately the post office was unable to locate me letter. I spoke with a supervisor over the span of 2 weeks and my letter never turned up. They had lost it. I called Mr. Johnson but he never answered or returned ANY of my phone calls. I then wrote a letter to which he didn’t respond. After more unsuccessful attempts at calling him I wrote him a letter threatening him with legal action and gave him 7 days to respond. I waited 14 days and after not hearing from him I went to the court and filed my suit. That very day I received a letter from him in the mail. It included a portion of my security deposit, a list of BS charges, and a Post-It note telling me that the post office had returned the original letter to him and as such, he wasn’t legally responsible to resend my money to me. In other words, the post office’s screw-up was his opportunity to try and screw me out of my security deposit.
The things he deducted from my security deposit included the following BS list:
$100 to clean the kitchen – He provided no sort of documentation whatsoever to back this claim.
$50 for non return of key – I did in fact return the keys. I slipped them under the door of the apartment because the week I had moved out he made himself unavailable by not returning any of my phone calls. So after a few days of not hearing from him, I simply slipped the keys under the door of my old apartment. (I lived in a duplex and had no idea where he lived because he received all his mail at that property).
$300 for moving out late – I did move out late due to my new apartment not being ready. I was prepared to pay a prorated charge which would have been $90. His charge of $300 was arbitrary and just another attempt to screw me out of my money.
I sent Mr. Johnson a letter challenging these charges and told him that unless he fixed them and refunded me the difference, I would still proceed with my lawsuit. To this day, he has not replied to my letter. I say all this to say, do not rent from Kenneth Johnson! He owns properties in the Germantown section of Philadelphia:
43 E. School House Lane
115 W. Washington Lane
He primarily uses craigslist to advertise his properties. He also owns an architecture business by the name of Architecture, Urban Design, and Policy. He’s a shady character and I wouldn’t recommend doing business with him in ANY capacity.
To make matters worse, I found out that he is my frat brother! But like the O’Jays said, “For the love of money...”