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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Sublessee Failed to Pay Rent

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: New York

    I am a college student in Ithaca, New York and housing issues are common in my area.

    I never signed an official lease for my apartment in 2009-2010. I lived in a four-bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment with four other people. Two of my housemates signed the lease for the apartment while the other two (me included) did not. All of us gave a security deposit for the apartment for $525 each ($2100 total). Rent was $525 a month per tenant.

    I was unhappy with the living situation and decided to move out by the end of December 2009. One of my roommates found a replacement for me. No documents were signed. I assumed she would simply take over my room.

    My former housemates renewed their lease and will be living there next year. I would like my security deposit ($525) back, but my former landlord informed me that the girl who took over my room did not pay one month's rent, and my security deposit will be used to cover her unpaid rent.

    I have contacted the girl who took over my room several times, and she claims she cannot afford to pay it. She also now lives in NYC. I would like to get my security deposit back and have this girl pay the rent she owes. Do I have a case here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Sublessee Failed to Pay Rent

    I don't see that you would have a case against the girl who "took your spot" as you have no contractual relationship with her. I'm not sure that you have any direct claim against the ex-landlord, as you weren't on the lease - odds are the lease calls for the return of any deposit to the named tenants. (Obviously I have no access to the lease, and thus can only guess as to what it may say.)

    If your ex-roommates asked the landlord to apply your "share" of the security deposit to unpaid rent when the prior lease ended, you are free to try to negotiate with them to pay you the money or to attempt to sue in small claims court.

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