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Ask C.Fortunato Your Own Question
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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My daughter got out of her lease because when she went to move

Customer Question

My daughter got out of her lease because when she went to move in she found that one of the other roommates had a cat. Due to her allergies (not documented by doc due to the fact that it is manageable with OTC drugs if not living with one). This was not disclosed at time of signing. She paid her month's rent, deposit, and a parking fee for a parking space. They offered to let her out of her lease if they could find other renters for the space. They did and preceded to charge her for a partial rent charge and the parking fee of $550. Said it was not refunded because fees are non refundable. Any recourse in small claims?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.
Hi frustrated mom,
Did the new renter take the parking spot also?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Don't know because they aren't assigned according to apt. it's a 1st come 1st serve option. When we checked on it originally they had said they go fast because it's practically on campus and parking is a big issue especially since it is a block from the basketball arena. We could keep it but we would be required to pay a few hundred dollars more in order to still use it (because of being a non-resident?)...they didn't mention if it would still be that exact spot or not. Important?
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.
If they were able to rent an additional spot because she was not using a spot, then they have to refund her money, because otherwise the landlord would be "unjustly enriched".
That is the basic contract law concept.
Since the fee for filing a Small Claims Court action is minimal, it does make sense to do so, because there is a good chance that the landlord will at least give her something to just settle the case if she does file. This may be due to the fact that she is entitled to a refund, and partially due to the fact that going to Small Claims Court can be costly for a company, because they have to use an attorney (private individuals do not).

Edited by Christina Fortunato, Esq. on 10/1/2009 at 2:08 AM EST
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
is it important that it be the same spot? And if so how can we prove that they already rented to someone else? Just keep watch and approach that person?
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer!
It will be easier to win the case if you can prove that her particular spot was rented. Check the spot periodically to see if someone is using it.
But you can still get something out of this case, even if you cannot prove that they rented her spot.