My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: New York, NY
Hi, my husband and I have found a sublet via Craigslist, and rented for a month in Feb-March, 2011. The rent was $1500 and deposit $1000, which we cut the check through our bank.
Everything went smooth except that fact that her place was filthy and unbelievably messy. During our stay, her downstairs neighbor came a few times and complained about the water leak in the bathroom, and we were doing everything we can not to spread water when we took shower. She had no shower curtain, so that may have been the issue. Anyway we have left the apartment 3+ weeks ago, but this woman is holding our deposit saying she needs to check the water leak and find out what may happen during our stay but she isn't able to catch super. She also said there is no water leak problem before and after we left. Since there is no problem AND this is not sublease tenant's problem, we complained that we need our deposit back. She started ignoring from that point until now (about 1 week). I've emailed 3 times and called about 3-4 times. She said her neighbor is nasty sometimes but when she we started asking the return of the deposit, she started calling him a good friend and defend him. We think they may be together and try to keep our money. Luckily her rent statement came while we were there and we took the contact of the landlord. We also found in the letter that she was charging us $580 dollars more than her normal rent.
My question is:
1 Can we do something legally to get our money back?
2 I know Small Claims Court might be an option, but they can't make her pay legally even we win. What else can we do to make her pay? A demand letter from a lawyer?
Please somebody help us we are trying to get our deposit back at least.