Is my landlord legally allowed to retain money owed to me by the person subleasing my room as collateral for another tenant?

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Is my landlord legally allowed to retain money owed to me by the person subleasing my room as collateral for another tenant?

I signed a lease with 3 other tenants. Two of them decided they wanted out of the lease and didn’t pay their rent, utilities, etc. In the lease I signed, all tenants are jointly responsible for each other so I understand my landlord may keep my security deposit because they haven’t paid. But how is the landlord allowed to keep money from my sublease? I have paid my landlord the full amount of rent/utilities for the entire lease. My subleaser paid part of her rent to him instead of me and he is now retaining $400 as collateral for the money he never received from the other 2 tenants.

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, if there is a valid sublease as you seem to have, unless there is a written agreement signed by the tenant who is subleasing out the unit to a third person, the owner of the unit (main landlord) is not entitled to money that the sub-tenant owes the sub-landlord (you) based upon the facts that you have written.

What the owner of the unit is doing is not allowed under the laws of all states in this country absent a written agreement to the contrary.


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