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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101008
Experience:  Lawyer
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Thank you. I am in the middle of a dispute with my landlord.

Customer Question

Hi, thank you. I am in the middle of a dispute with my landlord. I was on a year-year lease which began in November 2015 and ended this November, 2016. Anyways, I did not provide 3 months notice to leave because I had no intention of leaving; however, my landlord proposed giving me a roommate to cut the cost down from $1850 to $925. We met in person to discuss the option of having a roommate, which was less than a 5 minute conversation and anyways, around mid September of this year, my roommate moved in so as he was not moved in right at the beginning of September, I paid $1850 for rent that month and my roommate transferred me $600 for rent later on in September which I was confused by but I didn't question it until he was fully moved in. Come October, I asked my roommate about his share of the rent and he said that he signed an agreement with my landlord that he only has to pay $600 which left me paying $1200. I did not agree to this and I emailed my landlord right away, he was not able to provide me with any straight forward answers and as a result, I left because I did not think that was fair. Anyways, now he is withholding my security deposit from me, which is $925. I would like it back and I understand that perhaps it is not appropriate for me to expect the full $925 but I would like to at least get half of that back. I have asked him twice about negotiating, he was not open to it the first time and disregarded that completely actually but now he is saying that to avoid constant emails from me, that he will give me $200. I have not replied to this email yet as I don't think that it is fair. I was just wondering if I could get your opinion on this matter please. There was no new lease created between myself/my landlord/roommate either.
JA: You just pay a $5 deposit now and the rest only when you get a reply from the lawyer. All of this is 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so you can get a refund if you're not happy for any reason. Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Nova Scotia, Canada
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, nothing has yet.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you, ***** ***** all.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 10 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Great, thank you. I really appreciate it.
Expert:  Debra replied 10 months ago.

Why do you feel that you not entitled to the full $925 back?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I feel like I'm not entitled to the full $925 because my landlord expressed that I did not give three months notice; which I didn't but I would have, had I known that the rent would have been $600 for my roommate and $1200 for myself. My landlord also expressed that he is withholding my security deposit for loss of rent money. That is why I feel like I'm not entitled to the full $925 but if possible, I would like to have that. Over email, I have already asked to negotiate mostly because my landlord is taking $100 for damage, which is just paint here and there coming off the wall because of a painting but I am okay with that, I am just not okay with him getting $725 and giving me $200. I don't understand how that is fair.
Expert:  Debra replied 10 months ago.

It is not fair. It is also not lawful.

You are not bound by the terms of the lease once the landlord breached them. Your landlord and you entered into another agreement that was part and parcel of the written agreement even though it may have verbal or possibly even in writing by way of email. Your landlord told that you would have a roommate and that therefore you would pay $925 a month but instead you had to pay $1200 a month. That is a material breach on the part of your landlord.

In fact, you did not have to move out. You could stayed in and the landlord would not have been able to evict you so long as you paid the $925 per month.

But you did move out and you are where you are. So you are saying that you believe that it will cost $100 to do repair the small damage to the wall and if that is accurate then you are entitled to $825 back.

Does that clarify the law?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your response. My landlord is claiming over email that we did not discuss paying $925 each, however, he said that we spoke about my roommate paying $600 and me paying $1200 which I instantly contradicted him saying that those numbers were unheard of until I paid the October 1st rent. My landlord is saying that he could take it further and charge me more money for loss of rent which I don't think is fair. I don't agree with giving my landlord $100 for damage, however, because I already said to him that I would be willing to negotiate, I would be willing to take that loss but I certainly don't feel it is fair that I accept $200 and he keeps the rest. I've emailed him back and forth for a couple days now and we are both getting frustrated with this, I'm just wondering what I should email him back with now seeing as he really doesn't feel like he owes me any money.
Expert:  Debra replied 10 months ago.

What I suggest you do is send him a letter by registered mail.

This will wake him up into realizing this not going to go away.

In the letter tell him that you have just obtained legal information and that you have been advised by a lawyer that your landlord breached your tenancy agreement in a material way by telling you that the rent would be reduced to $925 but then said you have to pay $1200.

Tell him that lawyer's information was in fact you could have remained in the unit and paid the reduced rent and the landlord could not have obtained an order for eviction.

Tell him that your information is also that because you were forced to move out because the landlord was charging higher rent than what was agreed to you could likely receive damages if were to sue the landlord and would not only receive the security deposit but also your moving costs and also any other damages you incurred. Tell him that if he wants to have this matter resolved in court you are happy with that but if he wants this matter to go away he is to provide you with $825 my deadline that you set.

How does that sound?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That sounds great, thank you very much. I really appreciate it.
Expert:  Debra replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome.

Let me know how it goes.

I cannot stand when landlord take advantage of tenants like this.