Can I move if I owe back rent?

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Can I move if I owe back rent?

I am moving within 20 days and have not informed the landlord yet. I still owe $1200 back rent and my security deposit won’t cover it. Can the landlord keep me from moving or force me to leave immediately? I’ve lived there for 17 years and the landlord just bought the building a year ago. He refused to renew my lease in because I owed rent but he still increased the monthly rent. Can he sue if I move out?

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The landlord could evict you for the back rent you owe. If you move out without the requisite notice, you remain liable for rent until the place is re-rented. 

If you don't pay the back rent, the landlord can sue you to recover it.  The security deposit is a cleaning deposit and is not used to cover back rent.


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