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overcharging roomates

Posted by E on July 05, 2001 at 18:46:08:

I have an interesting problem. I suspect that I was overcharged by a person from whom I was renting a room this year. Initially, I did not suspect this, though I know now it happens in New York all the time. I signed a lease agreement with this person in which the real rent of the apt was never mentioned, just what I would be charged per month. Unfortunately, we did not get along, and i decided to move out at the end of May though I loved the neighborhood. Among other things, this person is refusing to give me back part of my security deposit for no good reason. I also suspect that this is a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apt, because he doesn't make much money and it's in a great neighborhood.
Now. I am trying to get my security deposit back WITHOUT getting this guy evicted, which he seemed worried about. I am worried that if I contact the owners of the building to get this info, that they will try to take legal action against him. Even though he was a jerk, that is pretty low. How can I get this guy to give me the rest of my security deposit without acting like a blackmailer? Any advice on this topic, especially legal advice, would be appreciated. Thanks!

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