Can we use our bond to pay last 2 weeks rent?

We gave our 2 weeks notice yesterday with a letter stating “by not providing us with a receipt for our bond of 2 weeks rent you have not adhered to the signed flatmate agreement therefore we will use our bond to pay our last 2 weeks rent”. the day after giving this letter they gave us a receipt and demanded we pay the rent. can they do this? It states in the flatmate agreement we will be provided with a receipt, we moved in 4 months ago.

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Leases are enforceable against both parties. If the lease did not  allow you to simply move out and sue the "bond" (I believe you mean security deposit) as rent, the landlord may demand that you pay, and sue you if necessary for it. Moreover, unless the lease allowed you to move out on two weeks notice, the landlord may hold you liable for the *full* remaining balance of the lease term--e.g. if there are 4 months remaining on your lease, he could hold  you liable for  4 months of rent. (Note: that while landlords have the ability to use security deposits for unpaid rent, they are not required to do so; and if the deposit will not cover the entirety of unpaid rent, they can sue for the balance anyway.)

Also, while a *material* breach of contract may sometime excuse or justify the other party's nonperformance or termination of the contract (or lease), it is not likely that a failure to provide a receipt would rise to the requisite level of materiality.


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