What right do I have to keeparental deposit if a tenant made it near impossible to show the unit to prospective tenant’s?

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What right do I have to keeparental deposit if a tenant made it near impossible to show the unit to prospective tenant’s?

A tenant informed me that he would be leaving at the end of last month and that he would also leave a key so me rental manager could show the unit before the end of the month. The key was never left and the tenant was impossible to reach from the 20th to the 28th, making it extremely difficult to rent the unit for this month. The unit was not rented because it could not be shown during those critical days before the end of the month.

Asked on September 1, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the tenancy was properly terminated (e.g. the tenant had the right to terminate, or the lease was over), then you may only keep a security deposit to pay for unpaid rent or to repair/replace damage to the premises done by tenant or tenant's family, guests, and pets. You can't keep it because the tenant interefed with a later rental, though you may be able to sue for loss of income due to the tenant's actions.

If the tenant had breached the lease by terminating--e.g. could not lawfully terminate then--then the failure to rent will increase the rent due from the tenant, since he or she will owe until the end of the lease, or until the place is rerented, whichever happens first. Therefore, by making it difficult to rent and delaying rental, the tenant increase what or she is reponsible for. The security deposit could be used for rent owed for breach of lease.


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