I’ve been looking at an apartment complex and have an initial deposit in. But the management company wants me to sign something that says if we have a dispute (for example, they withhold my security deposit and I don’t think it’s warranted), that I will not take them to small claims court, that I commit to handling it through arbitration. No one has ever asked me to do that before, and I’m wondering if it’s a bad sign (do they have so many disputes they have a system set up for it?) or a good one (they have an organized system set up so you/they don’t have to muddle through the court system).
If anyone has any knowledge of this from either the tenant or landlord perspective, please let me know what you think of this policy. Should I be reassured, or should I worry?
The apartment complex is in Santa Clarita, California, FYI.