My question involves a security deposit in the State of: NY
A family has been renting my house for 2+ years. The family has provided 3 months notice, as required by the lease, that the family will be leaving before the end of the lease.
However, the tenants have stopped paying the gardening fees required by the lease, and have refused to pay the last two months of rent. (The two months of deposit that I have will not cover the current rental rate, plus the unpaid fees, plus property damages, if any.)
I have sent e-mails, certified mail, notifying tenant of breach of lease, for non-payment of rent and late fees, and requesting prompt payment to no avail. They insist "it is customary to use security deposit for last two months rent payment".
1) Is this legal in New York (Westchester County)?
2) If not, what legal recourse do I have? (Not being able to use me as a reference doesn't matter since the family is leaving the country.)
3) Do you know what statutes I should reference if I have to start an action against the tenants?
Any assistance would be appreciated, time is of the essence since family will be leaving country.