Posted by TenantNet on February 14, 1998 at 21:09:27:
In Reply to: Can I pay last month's rent with Security Deposit? posted by Danny on February 13, 1998 at 00:40:16:
: I have asked my landlord to use my Security Deposit for last month's rent.
: Now my landlord is suing me for Unlawful Detainer because I said to
: use my Security Depoist to pay last month's rent. My lease says that the
: Security Deposit can be used to pay "any unpaid rent".
: So does this mean that I can tell the landlord to pay last month's rent
: with the Security Deposit since the Security Deposit will cover the
: last month's rent in full?
: I am very concerned about this because Unlawful Detainer means that I am
: going to Civil Court and that can be a lot more expensive than Small Claims.
: Am I going to lose this one? Or was it ok to tell the landlord to pay last
: month's rent with the Security Deposit?
This doesn't sound like New York, so don't take this for granted, but it
does sound that with such a lease provision, unpaid rent means exactly
that. Many tenants do this and if the owner sues you, he should have to
prove actual damages. If your deposit covers the rent, then he has no
economic loss. If there are physical damages to the unit (you should
take photos and have witnesses to show things weren't damaged) that
could increase his damage claim.
Unlawful detainer means you're staying beyond your lease term and
termination, so if you're moving out, it seems odd he would bring
such a case, but it may depend on the jurisdiction.
I would make sure there are no damages, get photos, have witnesses and
ask for a walkthrough with the owner (do it in writing), then move
out. He can only sue you for what his legitimate damages are.
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