My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Washington
I have a drag on my credit caused by a broken lease in the fall of 2010. Deployment orders were turned in, I checked out, and I was informed that a check for the security deposit would be sent to the address provided. 8 months later, I get back from my deployment and I start recieving collection calls from agencies saying I owe money for this broken lease. I go to the place and speak with them to which they informed me that they would look into the matter. The collection calls stopped. The security deposit was never returned but it was on such the low level of importantce, that I forgot about the money. My wife and I went to go buy a house and see that this is dragging my credit down because it shows that it is being disputed but that their side hasn't drop their claim. I call the location and they admit that why they show they recieved orders (they have pcs orders written down and not deployment but pcs orders have the same power) they don't have proof of when I recieved the orders compared to when I gave them the orders (7 day window) as they just don't have them being written down on their side (which they don't do) and I have no signed letter from them proving my side (which is not done as far as I was aware). Truth being that I recieved the orders and gave the orders to them in the same day. I have access to copies of the orders, my Unit Deployment Manager can write a signed memorandum showing the date I recieved them, and I have a friend who gains nothing from this dispute one way or another who was with me when I gave them a copy of the orders. I have gone back and forth with three females at this rental place (all with names ending with Y) who just pass the buck back and forth and refuse to make any headway that doesn't involve me paying for the broken lease. What are my options here in getting this dropped from my credit and getting my security deposit being held because they show my lease being broken without the protection of the military? Should I just take them to small claims court, and if I do, how do I sue for the dropping of claim on my credit, how much money can I sue them for as of penalty (just the amount of the security deposit), and is there a way to force them into just doing the right thing.