My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: District of Columbia.


My lease is September 1 2013-August 31 2014. My unit is a condo that the owner leases through a property management company. The actual owner lives in another country and I have no way of contacting them directly. On April 21, I notified my landlord's property manager in writing that I would need to move out early by July 1 (72 days later). PM said this was not a problem and would contact the owner and reply to me with "the details". I contacted him again on May 8, 13, 16, and 21 (all in writing)- I should have called, but I was out of town a lot. On May 22, the PM emailed me to say that a new PM had been hired. I called the new PM, and he demanded to keep my security deposit and that I pay for the entire month of July. I insisted he try to re-rent the apartment instead. He 'agreed' (not sure whether he intends to follow through on this). I sent another email (and copies of all emails by certified mail) to tell him I am available ASAP for prospective tenants to tour my unit.

The reason I need to move is non-protected under DC law. I will be completely moved out by June 29. I will be moving very, very far away and not able to return easily.

Does the landlord/PM have the right under DC law to keep my deposit when I gave +60 days' notice? I've read that DC landlords have no specific obligation to re-lease, but this just seems silly. It galls me that the landlord could have been (and I thought they were! I would have helped!) looking for a new tenant this entire time. Is there anything else I can or should be doing to get my deposit back/make this process go smoothly?