Not all hope is lost — one former CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts) tenant made enough of a stink that their deposit has actually been returned to them — with all the interest they’re owed.

The stinker? Appeal reader T., who, as you might recall, moved out of a former CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts) building that had since gone into receivership, the step that comes before foreclosure.

T. was trapped in a dreadful sort of limbo, as CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts) was telling her that the building (and, therefore, her deposit) wasn’t their problem any more. This really sucked for T., because, according to Joby Tapia, regional manager for Laramar SF, the management company that took on her building when it went into receivership, “a court order specifically denies us the ability to refund security deposits during the receivership period.” How long can receivership last? “Between 4 months and a year” said Tapia. “We strongly urge people who were tenants under CitiApartments continue to press them for their deposits.”

And press T. did.

Update! I got my deposit back (plus interest)! Can you believe it? I sent an email with the article to both Joe Vargo and the generic ‘ResidentConcerns’ email and the resident concerns person said to contact Laramar (imagine that) and Joe personally left me a message on my phone and an email saying the check would be in the mail the next week! And I really got it in the mail.

All the credit goes to T. for keeping on Joe and CitiApartments (or First Apartments or FirstApartments or firstapts). It’s not easy to keep fighting for your money when everyone’s telling you you’ll never get it, so we’ll always admire T.’s tenacity.

And we’re certainly happy that T. got results so soon after we covered their story. Could we help you, too? There’s only one way to find out.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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