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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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