Rape survivor receives $12,000 bill from old apartment complex

Local News

LAYTON, Utah (News4Utah) – A rape survivor in Layton was told she needed to move from her apartment in April because it was impacting her PTSD. Alisha Olson, 21, thought she went through the proper steps to break her lease, but received a collections notice three weeks ago saying she owed more than $12,000.

Olson said receiving the notice and having to deal with collections has been a tough situation.

“I’m okay with sharing my story, but I just wish that they would listen to my story, and they would understand why I had to leave,” said Olson.

Olson said she told the managers at Villas on Main why she was moving out, and gave them information to her detective and doctors.

Real estate attorney Robert Spjute notes while Utah law does allow renters to break leases in certain situations. It can be hard to actually meet the requirements.

“Whether that’s complying with it specifically according to the requirements or actually being able to make the payments it requires,” said Spjute.

Olson said she never received any notices or bills until the collections agency contacted her. When she called the collectors she was shocked by their response.

“That’s when he told me I have consequences for my actions so now I have to pay the full $12,846,” said Olson.

We did try to contact the property manager at Villas on Main, but the person on site said they couldn’t comment and referred us to their corporate office Alliance Residential Company. Although we never received a response from the company by our newscast on Monday, Olson said they did contact her.

Olson said the property manager looked through their files and found the note from her doctor. The manager said they would only charge Olson and her roommate for $294 in damages and cleanup of the apartment.

Olson said she’s happy the situation has been resolved, and should be able to pay the lower amount.

Experts note that these types of disputes are common in the rental market. They say the best way to avoid it is to always follow up with an email or text so a paper trail exists.

“Putting it down on paper always helps,” said Spjute. If it’s not in writing it didn’t happen.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call the toll-free Statewide 24-hour Sexual Violence Crisis and Information Hotline at Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100. Click here for a list of resources.

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