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Tough situation regarding sublet. Can anyone help?

Posted by Sucker on December 15, 1997 at 23:38:29:

Recently, myself and two other people subletted an apartment from a gentleman in Harlem. We each payed 1 mo. rent of $460 plus one months security (Total $920) and I myself have since paid an additional months rent. It recently came to our attention that the subletter has not paid his rent since June and that the actual rent on the apartment is actually only $642. Therefore, including my deposit (which I don't plan on seeing), I have overpaid. $730 in rent. The subletter has given zero dollars of our rent to the owner and now owes them $3400. He has pocketed about $3000 from us. My idea is to talk the owner into putting the lease in my name (we are meeting tomorrow. I also plan on changing the locks at the same time.O.K question time-

1.Does the landlord have any right to expect me (us) to come up with any of the rent he has not received, keeping in mind that the other 2 havn't paid for Dec. yet. Or should I simply ask to pay for January now?

2. Do we have any "squatting rights on the apartment since we have lived here 6 weeks and have made improvements such as painting and paid the rent to the leasee in good faith? Or is the landlord free to rent the apartment to anyone he wants?

3. Can the leasee's lease be considered void at this point because of all the violations (i.e.-Subletting without permission, overcharging and failure to pay the rent for 6 mo.)

4. Does the leasee's pocketing our rent constitute a criminal offense and should we consider pressing charges?

I would be extremely greatful to anyone who could offer insight into my situation. E-mail me or post a response. Thanks.

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