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Security Deposit kept by roomate

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Security Deposit kept by roomate

Postby alicedeb » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:17 pm


I left an apt that i shared with 2 roomates after 3 months. I signed a paper with my roomate when i arrived with no landlord consent saying i would stay for a year. My roomate agreed one month before i leave to let me go if i found a replacement. Because of their criteria and the price of the rent i did not. The condition where also unbearable since one of them refused to talk to me. I left and now want my deposit back. They refuse arguing that they could not find someone in January (busiest month for rent).Should I fill a small claim court demand? Is the paper they made me signed with no landlord consent enforcable?
I need the original lease that they have with their landlord to show that they made me pay more than I should (20%) but the landlord refuses to provide me with a copy... What can I do?

What can I do?
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:08 pm

follow up

Postby unlearner » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:58 pm

i'm in a similar situation as you, did you ever get things resolved?

thanks in advance!
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:52 pm

Postby ronin » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:09 pm

Well, the original poster is probably long gone, but here's for unleaner:

You should go to small claims court and file a claim against your former roommates. Ask for and pay for a subpoena for records from the Court against the LL asking for rent information.

It will take you some time, but you will be able to get your issue in front of a judge or arbitrator.

Good Luck!
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Postby concord » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:52 pm


The paper that you signed is an agreement between you and the other renter.

The LL does not need to be involved provided that, the terms of your agreement do not violate any laws or lease provisions for that apartment.

You state that there is something suspect about your friend being unable to find a roommate during the busy month of January. But then if it is easy to find a roommate in January why didn’t you find a roommate? This would certainly be used against you in a trial.

It appears that you breached your contract with the other tenant(s).

However, if the contract does not state that your deposit can be held upon your breach of contract then you are entitled to a refund.

On the other hand, if you admit in court that you left early without providing a roommate you may be liable for the rent that they had to pay for your space until they found a new roommate.

I don’t know if you are entitled to a copy of the lease if your name is not on the lease. Ronin suggested that you may subpoena records from the Court against the LL asking for rent information. I hope that he is correct.

Note that all terms of contracts are only enforceable if they comply with local laws.
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