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A., Other/Just Looking in New York, NY

I live with 2 roomates. We all have deposited our share of seperate deposit checks when we moved in. My

Asked by A., New York, NY Sat Nov 24, 2007

roommates are on the lease but i am not. I am moving out earlier, my roommates do not feel I should get my deposit back. The management office of our building accepted my cashier check in my name knowing that i was'nt on the lease. How can I get my check back if my roommates are trying to rip me off? Any legal advice?

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Only an attorney can provide you with legal advice. Advise from an attorney is most likely going to cost more than your portion of the deposit. You are not on the lease; therefore, you have no rights under the lease. Apartments do not release deposits until the lease has ended and a inspection of the property has taken place unless otherwise agreed by the apartments. Lets set aside the legalities for a second and talk about doing the right thing.

Are you moving out earlier than you were suppose to? Were you suppose to pay your portion through the end of the lease? Are you fulfilling your obligation to your friends? Do you have a written agreement with your friends? Even so, if their lease contract does not allow sub-leases than your written agreement with them is probably not valid because an illegal contract is not enforceable. Check with an attorney.

If it was always known and agreed to that you would move out early and stop paying then plea with your friends to do the right thing and pay you back your portion of the deposit when the deposit is returned to them. If they do not do the right thing then you do have the option of suing in small claims court which does not require an attorneys and attorneys are usually not used for small claims. This is the cheap and best route to go for small amounts of money if you feel the need to sue. You would just want to have your file with all the facts and sequence of events. It sounds like the amount is so mimimal that it would not be worth the time and aggrevation to sue.

If you are leaving the apartment early and not paying your portion which was not your agreement then you are leaving them high and dry. I do not mean to be rude but I would say in that case they would then deserve your portion of the deposit to help cover their financial loss.

In the future, be part of the lease so that you have rights under the lease.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2007
I am an attorney. If your roommates have refused your request, my advice is to hire a lawyer to write a letter demanding the deposit on threat of legal action. If that fails, sue in Small Claims Court after you move out. Take photos that show no damage to the apt.

Here are the court locations and phone numbers

Some issues which will determine your success or failure:

Was there any agreement with your other roommates that obligated you to stay in the apt for a specific length of time? If there was no agreement, you are free to go, provided you gave them 30 days notice (do it in writing) and you did not damage the unit.
Also, it is wise to put your request for the deposit to your roommates in writing, mail it certified return receipt requested.
You might also try to get the deposit back from the landlord explaining your situation. It is unlikely the landlord will return your portion of the security deposit, but you lose nothing by asking.
Good luck A.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2007
The best legal advice will come from an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2007
Do you have anything in writing from the two folks that are on the lease? Any writen agreement between the three of you? If not, I think it's going to be tough.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
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