Am I entitled to my security deposit?

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Am I entitled to my security deposit?

I rented a house with 3 other guys. The original lease we signed was up the end of May 09. I moved out earlier in March. Another guy is now staying there in my place. The landlord will not give my my deposit until everyone moves out, and they are planning on staying there. Am I legally entitled to my deposit if I left the house in good condition? Is there a way to get my landlord to give me me my deposit. I dont want to get stuck paying for damages caused by someone else when I am not in a lease there anymore.

Asked on June 20, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

from what I understand from your question it seems the lease is for 4 people and you moved out with another person replacing you. Now in general when an event like this occurs the landlords position has not changed, he is still leasing the property to four people and although one may have changed he is not going to swap security deposits.

In situations like this the best avenue for you to pursue is to have the person who replaced you pay you directly for the portion of the security deposit you are owed back and than he will be entitled to the amount returned by the landlord.

I also would be sure your name was removed from the lease. If it was not you may want to contact a local attorney to draft a contract between you and the new tenant stating any damage incurred after March 2009 will be his liability not yours. This will protect you from possible future damage.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The new tenant assumed your lease or sublet your portion for 3 months before the end of the written lease, correct?  The change in tenancy was ok with the landlord, correct?  If the new tenant signed a new lease and they were required to give a security to the landlord thenyou are entitled to yours back.  Even if they are now month to month tenants and the landlord accepted that lease term without a formal lease, your lease ended and you are entitled to the money back.  Hopefully either you did a walk through with the landlord when you left or took pictures.   Small claims court is your best bet.


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