Family wants deposit back from assisted-living facility

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CHANDLER -- A Valley family says they need help getting a cash deposit back from an assisted-living facility so they contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

Having to put a parent into a home can be very emotional. It's just a big decision that families sometimes have to make and Michael Ross and his family made that decision. But after handing over the cash deposit, their mother died before ever moving in.

Family means everything to Ross, so when he learned his mother would need an assisted-living facility he began the long and difficult search.

"Our only concern was our mother's future happiness and, obviously, we wanted her in a home where the people there were inclined to take good care of her," Ross said.

After weeks of searching, Ross and his sister decided that Summerplace Assisted Living in Chandler was the best fit for their mom.

"The people seemed friendly, engaging, we liked the surroundings, they had a lovely backyard," Ross said. "Everything superficially told us that this was the place we wanted to put our mom in."

So he gave Summerplace the required $500 cash deposit, which would hold a room for two weeks. But after handing over that deposit, the unexpected happened.

"I guess about a week before the end of that two-week period, my mother sort of took a turn for the worse," Ross said.

Unfortunately, that turn for the worse meant that Ross' mother had passed away.

Following the unexpected death of his mom, Ross and his family tried to get their $500 deposit back from Summerplace Assisted Living. But, they claim Summerplace won't return the money.

"They should have told us upfront that it was non-refundable and I think we would have certainly questioned that and said, 'Well, what if for some reason she can't occupy?" Ross said.

So, 3 On Your Side contacted Summerplace Assisted Living. The owner said he would look into the matter and after he did, he called us back saying the $500 deposit was non-refundable and the care center won't be giving it back.

The owner went on to say that Ross and his family knew the deposit was non-refundable.

"Unfortunately, because my mother did die before she was able to take the space over, they did in fact make money on my mother's death," Ross said.

Now, on the receipt it clearly states that the $500 cash deposit is non-refundable. However, Ross and his family insist they were never told it was non-refundable and that they never received anything in writing that it was non-refundable until two weeks after their mother died.