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Terminating lease early

Posted by Whitney on May 28, 2001 at 17:57:43:

I live in Queens and signed a 2 year lease that is up Oct 2002. I am seriously considering breaking the lease. I have had many problems with my LL. He is creepy. He used to enter my apartment whenever he wanted - I solved that by installing an alarm system. My apartment was infested with termites and he refused to do anything about it - thanks to that, too, has been solved. I want to move because of the above and I found a better living situation in a better location.

I am now seeking the help of again. A rider to my lease states "Breaking the lease will result in the loss of the security deposit or one months rent. Landlord must be notified on the first day of the month, with two months advance notice that you will break the lease. Have all signers of the lease sign a letter stating that you will be breaking the lease and the day you will be moving out. Along with the letter the rent due for that month and the rent is also due on the first day of the last month you are staying. The landlord with then begin immediately to show the apartment to prospective tenants."

I want to move out August 1st. My understanding of the above is that I need to send him a letter with June's rent stating that I want to break the lease. Then I either loose my security deposit or pay rent for August. To complicate things... when I signed my lease - I was suckered into paying a "cleaning fee" which happened to be the amount of one months rent. I told LL to apply my security deposit (also one months rent) toward the "cleaning fee". Instead of paying August rent, can I forfeit my security deposit that was used to pay the cleaning fee? Would there be any other penalties that I should be aware of? I want to do the right thing and pay what I owe, but LL is a low life scum and will probably try to screw me so I need to be prepared.

Thank you in advance for your quick responses. Whitney

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