3OYS: Tenants forced to pay rent twice

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Some residents at a Phoenix apartment complex say they have to pay their rent, not once, but twice.

"This is what MoneyGram sent back to me," says Brigette Manson. "Back in November at my previous apartments we had our money orders stolen out of the rent drop box."

The so-called rent drop box that Brigette describes is completely sealed off now, but it used to be the place Brigette and a lot of tenants at the Monte Verde apartment complex just off of 36th street and McDowell would drop their rent checks. However, Brigette says someone put their name on the money order she put in that slot last month.  Brigette said, "I don't know what to do at this point."

Phoenix police filed a forgery report for Brigette but she says the issue is much bigger.  According to Brigette, rent checks from dozens of other tenants were stolen and forged too.

"If you were a victim of the burglary that took place in November, management will be allotting additional time for you to pay November 2013's rent."

Additional time?  Brigette she already paid the rent once with a money order and she can't afford to pay it twice. "They gave me the date of having to pay back what I owe from November or else it'll get sent to collections," she says.

3 On Your Side got a hold of Arizona Tenant’s Advocates which says there's really not much that can be done. Brigette said, "With the Arizona revised statute there's nothing that addresses like drop boxes for the apartments, and so it leaves liability to no one," she says.

Monte Verde apartment management wanted nothing to do with 3 on your side but confirmed via email "It's an active open investigation."