Rental deposit lawsuit slated for trial |

Rental deposit lawsuit slated for trial

Susan Wood

A lawsuit that alleges Tamarack Rentals withheld security deposits and issued fraudulent bills for repair work is slated to go to trial in El Dorado County Superior Court Oct. 16.

Four current and former South Lake Tahoe residents are suing the rental company, a business that manages about 270 units in South Lake Tahoe on D Street, Heather Lake Road and Pioneer Trail, the company’s home base.

Marcos Sanchez, Eric Aquino, Charles Wynn and Carlos Acevedo filed the complaint that covers a period from June 1996 to the present, but their attorneys said numerous tenants have come forward.

The complaint was filed last June for injunctive relief and damages “to prevent defendants from continuing to engage in a pattern of unfair business practices,” it claims.

The plaintiffs are trying to recover deposits ranging from $450 to $650, but the court should determine the amount of the damages, said Herb Whitaker, chief litigator and managing attorney at Legal Services of Northern California in Auburn. The civil legal aid office serves El Dorado County.

Whitaker is working alongside local attorneys Dee Schilling and Will Marshall.

“One thing we’re still trying to do, if we could, is resolve this without going to court,” Whitaker said. A settlement conference is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Tamarack Rentals owner James Beattie said he’ll consider settling, even though he feels the company has a good case.

“We categorically deny these allegations,” he said.

Beattie has been gathering documentation, including papers to show returned deposits in more than 400 rental agreements.

Beattie said he has no idea how the case came about, but he added there are times when deposit monies are channeled to apartment repairs.

“If they trash the place, and it costs to fix it up, we feel they should pay for it,” he said.

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