If I am in a sublet and paid first and last month’s rent as a deposit, do I need to pay my last month rent if I have given the appropriate notice?

I moved into a room as a sublet on a month to month basis and paid two months rent upfront. The leaseholder asked for a check for first months rent, as well as last as a security deposit. This is only captured in email as we have no formal agreement. I am now moving out and gave him over 2 and a half months notice when i would be leaving. When i said that we would apply my last month’s payment to the last month he is now claiming i need to pay him my final month again and that he will pay me back when a new tenant moves in like a security deposit. Do I owe him the last month rent again?

Asked on August 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You say that the last month's rent was paid "as a security deposit." In that case, your landlord (the leaseholder) is right: you have to pay the last month's rent, then you will receive your security back, assuming there are no valid deductions for any previously unpaid rent or any damage you did to the unit.

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