Is this legal to deny security deposit?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is this legal to deny security deposit?

I signed a 1 year lease that expired over 4 months ago. The landlord did not have me sign another one. Approximately 6 weeks ago I gave my landlord notice that I was moving on the first of this month. Onj the first, we did a walk-through and he stated, “Everything looks good. I will send you your deposit in the mail”. However, today I received a letter stating that he was not returning the security deposit because he was unable to rent the apartment until next month so he lost a month’s rent. Is this legal? Where do I go from here?

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When there is no in-force lease--either because no lease was ever signed, or because a lease expired and was not renewed--the tenancy is a month-to-month tenancy. With a month-to-month tenancy, the tenant only needs to provide (as the term implies) one month's notice of his or her intention to terminate the tenancy. If you provided 6 weeks notice, that should be more than adequate. Therefore, from what you right, it would seem that a tenant your position should get his or her security deposit back. If the landlord won't return it, you could sue for its return. You could sue in small claims court, acting as your own lawyer, to keep costs low, though you may wish to consult with an attorney about this first, before deciding what to do (many lawyers will provide a free initial consultation): in some cases, you can recover lawyer  fees and/or extra compensation if a landlord wrongfully withholds a security deposit. Good luck.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption