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Can I Get Security Deposit back if LL agreed to terminate Lease?

Posted by Megumi on January 19, 1998 at 16:17:59:

In April, 97, my husband and I asked our LL if they would let us out of the lease if we found a house to buy. They said that as long as we gave them enough notice, that wouldn't be a problem.

Early August, we told them that we wanted to move out at the end of September. They thanked us for giving them an ample notice. We cooperated with the realtor's office through which they were trying to find new tenants.

As October approached, they told us that we didn't have to move in a rush because their new tenants wouldn't be moving in till mid-October. Since our closing date has been moved to 10/14, we agreed to stay till 10/15 and paid rent to 10/15. The apartment was left clean and keys returned.

Now, three months later, they are refusing to give us anything back to us because they ended up not renting the place till late December. When we were moving out, they told us that the realtor's office had told them that someone had signed something.

Do we have any legal recourse to recover $1200 for security deposit? A lawyer told me that if I go to the small claims court, I could be counter-sued for the remainder of the rent even though they had agreed to let us out since the agreement was only verbal and the lease probably has a clause where no oral changes are allowed. Is there anything we can do? Or do we have to kiss it good-bye (it is a lot of money for us...)?

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