Defenders get family rare rent refund

Family's expenses increased because of daughter's dwarfism

SAN ANTONIO - A little person's medical problems had a local family worrying about expenses and deciding not to move into a new apartment.

They had already paid the apartment complex the first month’s rent, a security deposit, an application fee and a water use fee totaling $441 and wanted that money back.

But the apartment would not give it back until after the Defenders got involved.

Rachel Tilt gave the apartment complex that money and said her expenses had increased after giving birth last year to Bella, who was born with dwarfism.

Everything was going fine with Bella, who is now nine months old, until last week, when Tilt said Bella had a medical issue.

"The base of her skull was starting to push on her spine and they needed to go in and remove that piece that was pushing on it," Tilt said.

Bella's surgery at Methodist Children's Hospital forced the family to put on hold their plans to move into the Alta Vista Apartments.

They asked the complex for their money back. "They pretty much just said no," Tilt said.

When the Defenders asked the complex manager why all that money was being kept, there was a big change.

"You got a hold of them and probably within a couple hours, they called me and said, 'Where do we send your refund?'” Tilt said. “I thought, 'Wow, that was fast!'"

Tilt said the apartments did the right thing in refunding most of her money. She said she is also glad the Defenders were there to help.

In an email, Tina Vasquez, representing Resident Relations with Adara Communities, wrote that it is standard procedure that any deposit, application or administration fee is forfeited if a prospective resident does not move in.

However, she wrote that because of the family's dire situation, Adara is making a one-time exception and issuing a refund. She also wrote that “our thoughts and prayers are with them.”


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