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Re: Mishandled Security Deposit vs. Demand for Rent

Posted by Mark Smith on March 01, 2000 at 12:14:21:

In Reply to: Mishandled Security Deposit vs. Demand for Rent posted by Sheila on February 26, 2000 at 02:35:11:

General Obligations Law 7-103, 7-105, and 7-108 govern security deposits. It looks like your landlord may have co-mingled your security deposit with his own funds. This conversion could lead to the forfeiture of the landlord's right to hold a security deposit, but whether a housing court judge would decide that issue in your favor is open to question.

: I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has been in my situation or who has advice. I live in a 20-unit rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan; it is about 100 years old and is not a coop or condo. After years of timely and early rent payments, I lost my job last year and have also been experiencing some medical problems. (I have discussed those problems with my landlord.) Consequently, I sent a postdated check for my January rent to my landlord, which bounced because he deposited it twice earlier than the date I had written on the check. I also have not yet paid rent for February, and today I received a 3-day demand for the two months rent. If not paid by next week, he threatens to commence summary proceedings.

: I have been wondering if I might have leverage against my landlord, as I believe he has mishandled my security deposit, in the sense of not having deposited it an interest-bearing trust account, as I believe is required by New York law. To date, I have never received any statements about accrued interest, and a Bank Name for a trust account is not referenced on my lease. My lease does acknowledge the deposit, however, although every time I renew, he asks for an additonal amount to bring it up to one months rent (the option of using accrued interest to offset the additional amount has also never been offered).

: I have just started a new job this week, so my prospects of paying my back rent are good, but it will probably not be in time to forestall an eviction proceeding. Would appreciate opinions as to whether I should ask my landlord in writing to return my deposit immediately as he is in violation of

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