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I was subleasing a room in an apartment. My roommate moved…

Customer Question
I was subleasing a...

I was subleasing a room in an apartment. My roommate moved out and won't return my security deposit, saying she gave it to the landlord and he is entitled to keep it because after she moved out I stayed in the apartment for a month and only paid my share of the rent. Do I have any legal recourse?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

New York

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

Yes,
A security deposit of $1300 shall be paid by subtenant to tenant. Upon expiration of this agreement, tenant will examine the condition of the premises. Any damage to the premises (beyond normal wear and tear) caused by subtenant, or nonpayment of rent, or utilities or outstanding late payment fees, will be deducted from the amount of the security deposit to be returned to the subtenant within two weeks of the expiration of this agreement.

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 3 months ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation. (You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.)

Okay. First of all, let me ask a few things, please:

1) Did you and your roommate have a written agreement for the sublease?

2) Was your roommate subleasing from you, or, were you subleasing from your roommate?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
1) Yes2) I was subleasing from my roommate, who was the tenant on the apartment lease.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 3 months ago

Thank you. Your former roommate/sub-landlord is incorrect.

When you sub-lease, there is a landlord/tenant relationship between him and you.

You paid him a deposit.

Once your sub-lease is over, he pays it back to you minus damages/unpaid rent.

The fact that he moved out before your sub-lease was up is NOT your issue; he should have given the amount back to you.

At this point, I would consider pursing a small claims court case against him, and let the Judge decide.

Kind Reminder: Please, use SEND button to keep chatting, or please rate positively and click SEND to submit your rating once satisfied. You may always ask follow ups at no charge before or after rating. "I STRIVE FOR FIVE!"

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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