We have rented an apartment
in NYC for the last 18 months. Initially we had a 1 year lease that we renewed for another year. For work reasons, we then had to relocated and we informed the landlord nearly two months before our proposed move-out date that we were planning to leave.
He then informed us that he was happy with us to leave the contract once he found a replacement tenant that was paying our terms ($2,950 per months). He also hired an agent that was marketing the apartment for significantly more at $3,200.
A few weeks later he informed us that a tenant has been found and we should vacate the property by the end of August (our proposed move-out date):
Based on our mutual agreement your lease will therefore be terminated on 31 august 2013. You are therefore responsible for rent payment until 31 august 2013 and for the moving out fees as explained in the attached memo.
Please e-mail me the required certificate of insurance from the moving company.
Please send your $500 dollars for the moving out fee and $1,000 for the move out deposit payable to XXX to my colleague by 15 August 2013:
XXX will schedule an appointment with you for the walk through and to get the keys back from you.
Thank you and regards,
We then paid the fee and deposit. 1.5 weeks later the lettings agent asked us to show the apartment again as apparently the deal with the prospective tenant fell through.
Since then the landlord has been bullying us with various email stating that we now need to pay the rent until the end of our lease or until the landlord finds a new tenant.
I would assume that the confirmation of the landlord that our contract would mutually end on August 31 is legally binding as it was not conditional to anything. Could you please provide your view of the situation and indicate what steps we can undertake to get our deposit back?