My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: New York
My husband and i moved into our apartment and signed a lease for one year in the beginning of may 2007. From what i have read of the lease there is NO AUTOMATIC LEASE NEWAL CLAUSE OR STIPULATION or anything.
In April/May of 2008 we began the purchase of a co-op that will be available to us to move into by mid august of this year. around april/may we called our management company to ask if we can switch to month-to-month for the following 3 months. we spoke to someone who said they have no month to month official policy (yes, vague) but that we can stay on in the apartment for one more month after the end of the lease without signing anything, meaning stay on until the end of june. in june we called again hoping for another extension but we received to concrete answer, they did not say "you must sign lease" they did not say "you will be evicted" they were just vague.
my husband and i asked a real-estate lawyer friend, who without all the details, basically said we are in a month to month agreement just by virtue of them giving us that one additional month. however, in july we received a notice that said we have renewed our lease automatically! the notice asked us to sign something that says we understand that if we move out short of a year from now, we forfit out security deposit. we did not sign anything since the may of last year.
additionally: we have had friends express interest in taking the lease over from us so that hte landlord does not even lose out on any possible income. the management company said that they DO NOT DO THAT. Also, in telephone conversations about seperate issues (about who is responsible to repaint after we move out and a persistent vermin problem) the people we haves spoken with seemed to aknowledge/understand that we are in fact moving out- we are not keeping it a secret. we also just sent them an official 30 days notice that we are moving out at end of august.
my questions are:
is it smart (and seperately, is it legal) to not pay our last month's rent because we know they want to withold our security deposit. and the rent and security are the same amount.
can the landlord sue us for witholding this last month's rent?
should we pay and then sue them? do we have a case?
any answers would be greatly appreciated! thank you so much