What to do if I’m having problems with someone who I had take over my lease?

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What to do if I’m having problems with someone who I had take over my lease?

I moved out of my apartment. The new tenant (my roommate’s friend) paid for last month of but has still not paid for the security deposit, which was due when he moved in. It is now the first and he claims that there are issues in the apartment, such as the washing machine, which are not covered by the landlord; that is why he doen’t want to pay. My landlord says that he doesn’t have a contract with the new tenant and I have to deal with him and my old roommate. What can I do in this situation? Can I take someone to small claims court?

Asked on October 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your lease has expired by now and you did not renew it, the landlord may not hold you liable for any rent and must return your security deposit, less any amounts lawfully withheld for any rent which was not paid during your tenancy or any damages done to the premises during your tenancy. Any issues the landlord now has with the new tenant are for him and the new tenant to resolve, though the landlord may again continue to hold you liable for any unpaid rent or damages during your tenancy.

If your lease has not expired and the new tenant has not taken over that lease (such as by taking assignment of it, or executing a new lease which specifically replaces it), then the landlord may hold you liable for any rent or other payments due. You in turn could hold the new tenant liable, pursuant to any agreements (including oral or verbal agreements) for anything he agreed to pay but has not.


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