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Woman fights to get money back from landlord after Raytown duplex is rented to someone else

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RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Quarters are a little tight right now for Richanda Richardson and her daughter and grandson.

"I'm moving house to house," Richardson said.

She's staying with various family members until she can find a place of her own. Again.

You see, she thought she already found one. She put $1,850 down on a Raytown duplex on April 4. She even signed a one-year lease.

"I was super excited to get out on my own," Richardson said. "Oh yeah."

She was supposed to move in May 1. But the day before, April 30, she learned the truth. The apartment was already rented to someone else.

"I need my money back," Richardson texted the landlord.

But it wasn't until three weeks later after a string of angry texts from Richardson that the landlord agreed to give her back her money.

"Finally, he's answering me and says 'I'll meet you at 435 and State Line,' "she recalled.

But instead of giving her back all $1,850, he handed her three money orders for $800 with the promise of delivering the rest two days later. Except he didn't.

"I don't know where to go from here," Richardson said. "I just want my money back so I can find some place to stay."

FOX 4 Problem Solvers paid a visit to that Raytown apartment and talked to the family now living there. They told us they gave the landlord $4,000 to move in on April 7. That's three days after Richardson had given the landlord her money.

We then paid a visit to the Lenexa home of landlord Ron Davis --head of Midwest Associate Properties. He wasn't there, but later called us. He acknowledged he had rented the apartment to someone else.

He said it was because he has a big heart and the other person was desperate and homeless.

He also said that Richardson agreed to switch to a different apartment once she learned the apartment she rented was no longer available.

That's something Richardson denied. She showed us text messages between herself and the landlord. We saw no mention of him offering or her accepting a different apartment.

Here's the good news. Shortly after we visited the landlord's home, he contacted Richardson and gave her back the rest of her money.