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broken lease/withheld security deposit

Posted by Jon N. on August 21, 2001 at 21:19:50:

Do to a change in jobs, my wife and I moved from our Brooklyn brownstone (6 units) to a house we just bought in Ohio. We left 4 months before the end of our one year lease extension, however we told the landlord about the move around 90 days in advance and sent him written notice 60 days in advance. He is now withholding our security deposit on the grounds that we broke the lease. He says that he's having a hard time renting the place and that the market in our neighborhood is 'flat'(it's more likely that the problem is that he has raised the rent from $1768 to over $2000), otherwise he wouldn't have had a problem with the refund. We were model tenants for almost 3 years and I am feeling very ripped off. Also, I feel like there are a few issues here that might be in our favor:
1) he told us when we moved in that if we had to leave early, we should just let him know and it would be no big deal (of course, we don't have this in writing).
2)He never provided us with a copy of the lease.
3)He did not show our apartment or attempt to rent it in any way until 3 days before we moved out (I believe that he waited until we moved so that he could do some renovation to the unit to be able to justify the huge increase).

Does anyone know if we have a leg to stand on here or are we SOL?



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