What to do if my landlord agreed to terminate my lease and to use my security deposit as last month rent but I did not get this in writing?

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What to do if my landlord agreed to terminate my lease and to use my security deposit as last month rent but I did not get this in writing?

Now, 18 days later I got a notice stating I owe the months rent plus penalty fees. Am I still obligated to give another 30 days notice? They are now claiming conversation never happened.

Asked on October 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I would write your former landlord a note (keep a copy of it for future use and need) memorializing the conversation you had where your last month's rent would be utilized from your security deposit and as such, you owe no rent per the verbal agreement that you had. Mention the notice given that you were ending your lease in the lender and as such there is no basis for another notice of termination to be given to the landlord.

Simply reconfirm your move out date and thank the landlord for the unit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you would normally be liable for the full term of  your lease, plus any early termination costs or fees which were in it. If the landlord ageed to let you out of the lease early, that agreement is enforceable; however, if there was no written agreement, just an oral or verbal one, then--

1) It may not be enforceable: check your lease, but leases often say that any modifications to them must be in writing; if so, an oral agreement will be ineffectual.

2) Even if you could in theory enforce the oral agreement, it may be very difficult to do so, if the landlord does not "recall" matters the way that you do.

Therefore, there is a good chance that in this case, the landlord can hold you liable for anything you would owe under the lease.


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