By Carrie Bradon | Mar 19, 2019

GALVESTON — A couple is suing a Galveston County property owner, alleging their rent was raised without warning and that their security deposit was not returned.

Lauren Martino and Adham Kamel Elsayed Elokda filed a complaint March 14 in Galveston County District Court against Sandra R. Casper and Richard L. Moutz, alleging violation of the Deceptive Trade Practice and Consumer Protection Act and breach of contract.

The suit says the plaintiffs and the defendants entered into a lease contract Feb. 7, 2018, when Martino and Elokda agreed to lease a Galveston County property from March 1- Aug. 31, 2018, for a monthly lease amount of $2,200. The plaintiffs say they also paid a security deposit of $2,200. 

The suit states on Aug. 1, 2018, Capser and Moutz offered a renewal of the lease with the same terms. The plaintiffs say they were mailed a note that the lease for Sept. 1, 2018-Jan. 31, 2019 would be $2,400. The defendants alleged that because the plaintiffs did not reject the terms in a certain period of time, they were not able to cancel the lease and increase the rent. 

The plaintiffs say they vacated the property Jan. 31, 2019, and gave Casper and Moutz their written notice, along with their forwarding address. The suit alleges the defendants have failed to return the rent that the plaintiffs were overcharged, and Martino and Elokda are seeking their security deposit as well as $100, plus treble damages for the wrongful withholding of the deposit.

Martino and Elokda seek relief of $100,000, costs and damages and attorney fees. They are represented by attorney Amy Rose Oliver in Clear Lake Shores.

Galveston County District Court case number 19-CV-0442

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