My question involves a roommate in the State of: NY
(I'm reposting with a different title in the hopes of getting more responses and since my initial post accidentally went out before I could finish it.)
Here we go...
I temporarily rented out my room via craigslist from April 1st until January 31st. The room is in a non-rent stabilized loft where I have been on the lease since 2004. There is one other lease holder besides me and we have two occupants. Our total rent is $2075 and we divide the room rents based on seniority and the money I spent to build the rooms, furnish the apartment. We divided it 212.50 (lease holders) and 850, and 800 (other occupants). All people living there write checks to the landlord directly. I should add that this loft is in a neighborhood that has exploded since I moved in - now, the area rentals are far high than when I moved in.
Anyway, all of this was fine until I decided to temporarily take over a sublet through February where I could experience living alone after years of multiple roommates. I did not sign a new lease, but have some utilities in my name where I'm staying. I rented out my room for market value (I had the best room), which I found to be $975 based on the number of responses to my craigslist posting and people interested in the room after seeing it. The person I chose has been a total nightmare....
I had him sign a temporary contract with me through July and at that time he could choose to stay until February or leave. A month ago he asked me about the division of rents at the place and his rent share. I responded to him truthfully and he stated he was fine with it, but it would effect his decision to renew in July. He assured me that he would stay until July and provided me with post-dated checks, which he did.
At the end of May he told me that he would be leaving by the end of June and using his security for that month's rent. He said that if I gave him any problems that he would take "legal action" taking me to small claims and informing the landlords of an illegal sublet. I told him that using his deposit as rent was fine, but since I wasn't prepared for his move out I would prefer to use the June check as planned and give him his deposit when someone else took over the temporary rental. His response was that he canceled the checks and again threatened "legal action" and also informing the landlords. Most recently, he wrote me saying that has found a place for the 15th of June and that he is demanding $500 cash by Sunday to cover half of June rent or again, he will send a letter to the landlord (which he attached) and sue me at small claims court. Additionally, my roommate informed me that he has padlocked the bedroom door.
What should I do? What are my legal rights and how hard would it be for the landlords (who are very hands off) to evict us; how hard would it be for him to sue me (and win); and what are my rights if he doesn't remove the padlock on Sunday? This guy does not seem very stable and I think I ought to take his lunacy seriously. I fear that his blackmailing will not end since he has already changed our his agreement with me three times despite getting what he wants up to this point. "agreement" I'll post email correspondence separately removing our names or private info. Thanks for any and all advice... M.