Top tips before signing for your summer rental

FIRE ISLAND, Long Island (WABC) -- Before you sign on the dotted line, there are some things you should be thinking about. Check out this cautionary tale that just might save you big in the fall, after you've left your summer rental.

Daniel Maillaird says the broker he's been renting the same Fire Island summer house from for the last five years went AWOL with his $2,100 security deposit.

"My housemates moved to Chicago, we decided we weren't going to rent and I just asked for my deposit back," Daniel said.

A simple process clearly outlined in his lease agreement. But six months after he and his friends enjoyed the Pines property, he's still waiting for the check that the broker even agreed he was owed.

"I got an email that I was owed the full deposit back and he was putting a check in the mail," Daniel said.

7 On Your Side called rental broker, Jon Wilner asking about Daniel's deposit. His lawyer said one check had been sent but apparently was never received. The broker agreed to send a replacement check but then mailed it to the wrong address.

"Funnily enough the person at my old address opened the envelope thinking it was him because John Wilner owes him money. Very random," Daniel said.

The guy who bought Daniel's Brooklyn apartment was also having no luck getting the deposit for his Fire Island summer rental from the same broker.

"He thought he was finally getting a check, opened it up, saw my name on the check, and was kind enough to forward it me and said, "How'd you get your money back?" And I told him I got 7 On My Side," Daniel said.

We got both of them their deposits.

The broker's lawyer said Jon Wilner apologized for any inconvenience and this was a rare issue in decades of deals. The broker thanked 7 On Your Side for helping to bring this to a resolution. The big takeaway:

-Pay rental deposits by credit card
-Take pictures & get a signed condition report
-Do not wire deposits for property you have not seen in person

Full text of Jon Wilner's attorney's statement:

"As you are aware, this office represents Mr. Jon Wilner, and his company Island Properties of the Pines Inc. ("Island Properties") in connection with the two (2) security deposit issues we discussed involving rentals on Fire Island.

"Regarding Mr. Mailliard, my client had (at Mr. Mailliard's request) used his security deposit for the prior five (5) years as a down payment for the upcoming summer rental. In January of this year he requested his security deposit returned and, upon confirming with the property owner that no utility charges were owed, he advises he sent out a check (that was apparently not received) and the next he heard of the matter was from your office. After you and i spoke my client promptly provided a replacement check to him via express mail which closed out the account.

"As concerns (the 2nd renter) I am advised there was an issue with $1,359 in unpaid utilities which has subsequently been addressed and he has received his security deposit refund check.

"We trust this satisfies the contractual obligations of Island Properties to the individuals aforementioned.

"My client apologizes for any inconvenience, would note that these issues are quite rare in his decades of working as a broker on Fire Island, and thanks you and ABC for helping to bring this to a resolution.

-Dean Lakis"
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