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Re: Please help, being sued and locks being changed

Posted by Megumi Kinoshita on January 22, 1998 at 10:40:33:

In Reply to: Please help, being sued and locks being changed posted by Christine W. on January 19, 1998 at 21:53:06:

: I moved into a private residence in Nov and paid 1st month plus security
: by check. My landlord requested I pay Dec rent in cash because he had
: trouble cashing the check at his bank, Foolishly, I guess, I did this
: and never received a receipt. I informed him that due to work I would
: be relocating and needed to move out but not until Feb 4. I infomed him
: that I would use the security to pay Jan rent and settle Feb 1-4 before
: I move. He has now gotten nasty and said if I dont pay for all of Feb.
: that I have to be out by Jan 31 so he can re-rent(this is private res).
: He said If I dont pay Feb in advance he would change the locks on Feb 1
: and take me to small claims court for not paying Dec and Jan rent.HELP!!!

(Please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer.) Do you have a lease? If not, and your landlord changes the lock, then I believe he can sue you for only one month at the most, not two, because he does have the security deposit that covers one month. It will be your word against his at the court for the remainder that you paid in cash, but if you have a bank statement with exactly the amount of the rent withdrawal around that time(if you don't have it, get a copy from the bank), it will help back up your side of the story.

MAKE SURE that he does not stage a damage to the property and claim the security deposit for it. Take photos, do a walk-through (read a recent post about the landlord not agreeing to it), etc. Protect yourself.

As far as February goes, I really don't know. What's the law regarding oral month-to-month leases in NY? I think you are better off moving out on 1/31 if you can manage...

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