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Month-to-month security deposit not returned Visitor, Guest

Discussion in 'Roomate & Joint Leases' started by ineedlegalhelp, Sep 17, 2009.

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  1. ineedlegalhelp

    ineedlegalhelp Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I live in New York City, and I am curious where I can find laws applying to a verbal agreement to month-to-month rent when a landlord refuses to return a security deposit.

    I was not on the lease, I was subletting a room. Her reason for not returning the deposit is that I did not give a written 30 day notice. I'd like to know if this is even necessary, when there is no written contract to begin with, but my reason for moving out was that we agreed before I moved in that I could have a pet and one of the girls no longer wanted the cat in the apartment. I also found out that they are not allowed to have pets in the apartment according to the lease they signed with their management so I should not have been allowed to sublet anyway.

    The cat lived in the apartment for almost two months. I moved out 28 days after my roommate said she no longer wanted the cat to be in the house.

    She sent me a letter stating the following reasons for not returning the money:
    1. I didn't give a written 30 day notification of leaving
    2. she had used my deposit to pay her deposit on the lease and it can not be returned until they get it back.
    (Isn't this illegal? I am not on the lease, I am renting from the girls, not the management company, shouldn't my funds be kept separate?)
    3. I had caused too much damage to the property. The damage listed included things like "cat hair on the carpet, nails in the wall, bedside table left in the room" Nothing over normal wear and tear, and a few things added for pzazz
    4. she couldn't find a new sub-letter for September so she had to use my deposit to pay the rent for that room
    (again, I feel this is illegal. I'm not sure how it could be my responsibility to find a new tenant when I was asked to get out my pet)

    Thank you for any help!
     
  2. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    NY has some very complicated rental laws you are best contacting an Attorney. However as a rule when you leave a dwelling without notice (on m2m rental agreement) you owe an additional months rent which may be why Landlord kept deposit
     
  3. ineedlegalhelp

    ineedlegalhelp Law Topic Starter New Member

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    thank you, but as I said, I moved out upon request of my roommate, who I was renting from. How could I give a 30 day notice when I was asked to leave?
     
  4. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    Is your roomate the landlord? Did he give you a "notice to vacate"?
     
  5. ineedlegalhelp

    ineedlegalhelp Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My room mate was my landlord. It is my understanding that when you rent a room month-to-month from people already living in the apartment, but you are not on their lease, they are essentially your landlord.
    I never dealt with their company, just them. I was given no notice, just asked to remove my cat, which I found out was because they are not allowed to have pets, based on their lease with the company.
     
  6. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    You will likely need to resolve this in court as your in a he said she said issue. Legally they must give you a "notice to vacate" time to be within your states guidelines. Equally legally you must give notice if leaving. If Landlord denies telling you to leave then your at fault. If Landlord admit you were told to leave and you did then Landlord is cause. Now depending on condition of rental will play into how much if any of your deposit you are entitled to
     
  7. ineedlegalhelp

    ineedlegalhelp Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I do plan on taking this to small claims court, I am just trying to make sure I know the laws a little before I do. Is there laws against subletting a room on terms different than those of the actual lease?? Is there a place where I can find NYC laws about subletting? A collection I can dig through of all the rental laws about month to month and obligations??
    What I mean is, they weren't allowed to have pets but they sublet a room to me saying that I could have mine, then decided that was a bad idea. Shouldn't any 30 notice be void if my cat being in the house is a violation of their lease with their company?
    I'm not sure you saw my whole original post. They also used my month to month deposit to pay their own, isn't this commingling of funds?
    With all these issues that show I was not given legal habitation, shouldn't I be exempt from the 30 day notice?
     
  8. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    Notice the part bold. Your other option is to wait for Gail in Georgia to see this topic she is very wise on rental issues
     
  9. ineedlegalhelp

    ineedlegalhelp Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I thought the whole point of this site was to get help with understanding laws. I don't really understand why you're repeating information. I'm not dense, I'm just curious and hope to gain more understanding in this matter, that's why I signed on to this website.
     
  10. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    read this at at bottom of every page

    Your asking complicated questions as NY has complicated laws in this area. I told you that. Legal advice comes from an Attorney not a website! We are volunteers who donate their time. Few if any are actual Lawyers. If they are why would they give you advice they otherwise charge for or offer free consultations!? I understand your fears and concerns. I want you to get the right answers so I directed you to two sources for your answrs

    A. Contact an Attorney

    b. Wait for Gail for Georgia to reply to this topic
     
  11. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    As Jacksgal has pointed out, landlord tenant laws in New York City are quite complicated, often involving issues of rent control, illegal rental units, etc.. These laws are even different than those covering the rest of the state of New York.

    In the absence of a written lease a tenant (or a subtenant or someone who sublets) is considered to have a "tenancy at will"; a month to month lease. Their lease begins the first day of the month and ends the last day. This assumes they pay on a monthly basis. If they pay weekly, they have a week to week lease. Generally such a tenant is required to provide a 30 day WRITTEN notice prior to terminating the lease.

    If one does not, they can be held accountable for rent (which can be taken out of their security deposit if rent is not paid). Damages above normal wear and tear can also be taken out of the security deposit.

    New York City (which tends to be very tenant friendly) will often have a bit of a different approach to how much notice needs to be given. This area is governed by the New York Rent Guidelines Board and I've attached information from their website:

    http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/faq/leases.html

    Gail

    P.S. BTW, upon reading your initial posting, I disagree that your roommate/landlord told you to vacate; you indicate that you were told that only your cat had to go.
     

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