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Building mgmt transition - security desposit question

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Building mgmt transition - security desposit question

Postby josephine447 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:19 pm

Hello

My lease (market rate rental) is expiring on 11/1, and requires 60 days written notice if one decides not to renew. I have asked to have a non standard lease period on several occasions (e.g. 6 months at a time) in the last 5 yrs, and – though management charged a hefty fee fee – it was a quick, easy ask.

In late August, I decided I’d rather not stay another full year, and am ready to look elsewhere, but Nov 1 is painful timing due to work travel, so I asked to extend the lease for several months. I was told the building had been sold and is in transition, and that I would have to wait for an answer since it is up to “new management,” whose identity is unknown. Although I have been checking in regularly, it has now been over a month with no answer.

Now, if the new management denies a short term extension, I will lose my security deposit since I presume I’d have to move out on 11/1 with less than 60 days. (Although I sent my inquiry at the end of August, it was only an email and phone call) Because I do not know if I will have to move on Nov 1, or some unknown date thereafter, I do not know how soon I should be looking for a new place. I did not mean to place myself in this risky situation!

Rent WAS deducted from my bank account for October, which means my last month's rent is still being "held." I don’t think I have any power to solicit an answer faster, since the new mgmt may have bigger concerns than one tenant.

1) Is it official NYC law that I would have to get 30 days notice before having to leave (e.g. new management would not be able to tell me that I have to leave on 11/1 given it’s already 10/4)
2) If I stay past 11/1 and the relationship shifts to month to month…Is it possible that I could permanently lose my security deposit? Do I get to keep it if I give new management 60 days notice? 30 days?

Thank you very much!
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Re: Building mgmt transition - security desposit question

Postby TenantNet » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:46 pm

I don't think an unregulated lease can legally require 60 days notice of non-renewal. It's like a supeer telling a tenant they have to get him permission to move out. (I have seen that). The only leverage they might have in such a situation would be the deposit. I'm not sure how a court would view such a provision.

As for the new management, when they take over a non-standard lease is something they can offer, or not. However the old (still current?) management can offer you that non-standard lease and the new owner is stuck with it until it expires.

I know some tenant don't pay the last month's rent anticipating the owner coming up with bogus reasons to not return the deposit. That happens more often than most people know. But in this case, it's too late. (and for real damages the LL can still come after you).

You can also consider staying after the lease expires. If the LL accepts the rent, then you would be a month-2-month tenant. They can seek your ouster but in NYC that requires a 30-day notice to the tenant as you're aware. Once they accept the rent after the lease expires, you are then a M2M tenant.

A M2M tenant in NYC does not have to give the LL a 30-day notice (outside NYC you do). See the M2M section in the forum's reference section.

You might consider cancelling the automatic rent deduction from your bank and from now on send a check.

If you become a M2M tenant, you might be able to recover the deposit by not paying rent, but be aware the LL could commence a legal proceeding, either a holdover seeking possession, or for the 2-month penalty, or both.
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Re: Building mgmt transition - security desposit question

Postby josephine447 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:34 pm

Thank you so much for your detailed reply! Greatly appreciated. One last point of clarification:

>If you become a M2M tenant, you might be able to recover the deposit by not paying rent

Automatic deduction (of rent) has always been one of the requirements of the building, and I confess I would rather end things amicably with both the old and/or the new management.

However, does this all mean I am NOT legally entitled to getting my security deposit back once the lease expires on 10/31, and I become a M2M tenant by default? I would hope that - because I did not move out with < 60 days notice during the period covered by the lease, I should be entitled to getting it back, but maybe I am at the mercy of the new management for that.

Thanks again,
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Re: Building mgmt transition - security desposit question

Postby TenantNet » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:30 pm

Electronic payment of rent is quite common these days, but it doesn't lend to situations where tenants decide to withhold rent for any number of legitimate reasons.

"Ending things amicably" may be an admirable urge, but it does nothing for your rights. We're not suggesting you go to war against the landlord, but if the indications are that the LL intends to withhold your deposit for bogus reasons, there's nothing wrong with some preventive actions.

One option you have is to withhold the rent for the last month, thereby recovering the deposit or "last month" you might have paid up front. We're not suggesting you skip out after leaving physical damages to the unit, if any. But many landlords will not think twice about refusing to return your deposit. We see nothing wrong with levelling the playing field. And yes, the LL can come after you for legitimate damages. And yes, there are risks when going to court.

You must make the call here.
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Re: Building mgmt transition - security desposit question

Postby Cranky Tenant » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:45 pm

josephine447 wrote:However, does this all mean I am NOT legally entitled to getting my security deposit back once the lease expires on 10/31, and I become a M2M tenant by default? I would hope that - because I did not move out with < 60 days notice during the period covered by the lease, I should be entitled to getting it back, but maybe I am at the mercy of the new management for that.


Expiration of your lease doesn't entitle you to a return of your deposit especially if you continue to occupy the apartment. The landlord may even use this as an excuse to keep the deposit. Check your lease!

Normally landlords won't consider returning the deposit until you've returned possession of the apartment and they've completed a walk-through inspection to assess any damages, which could be deducted from the deposit. Then you can begin the process of actually recovering your money. This is why a smart tenant may apply the deposit to the last month's rent.
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