Can they keep my deposit and even make me pay more

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RossP 04-25-2017 @ 8:07 PM                          
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Joined: Apr 2017
I've asked in other forums

My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of New York: I paid on 1/1/17 the rent for the month but a week later found a new place in an area nearer my job, so I grab it. I planed on moving in and paid for the new apt. to start on the first of Feb. and on the 12th. of Jan. told my landlord I'm leaving at the end of the month 1/31/17 and would like my last month and deposit returned to me. The landlord told me I had to give them an in writing 30 day notice? I gave them that on the 23th. of Jan. and had to pay the rent on my new place for Feb. as well as live out my last months rent to them? I figured at least I will get the deposit back. But, when I and my girlfriend went to hand in the keys the check wasn't there? I was told by the property manager the landlord has to look at the apt. before I can get the deposit returned? I asked, " How long will that take because I want my money!" Her reply to me was around 45 days. I called on the 45th. day and got no answer, I called the 46th. day and no answer, called on the 47th day no answer so I wrote a letter demanding the return of my money and sent it to the property manager by certified mail. Four days went by and I got a call from them to come and get a letter at the manager's place from the landlord. I thought for sure it would be my money but it wasn't?! I got a letter that said this...



( I have redacted all names from this)



I’ve been informed by my sister, ( ), the Property Manager of ( ), that the tenants of the 3rdfl. told her in mid-January that they would like to have both their last month’s rent and their security deposit returned to them and that the apartment would be empty as of on Feb 1st.

( ) informed you that this could not be done and reminded you that in the lease agreement there is a required 30-day notice of intent that must be made in writing and she will inform the real estate brokers that the apartment would be available as of March 1st. She said she received a letter on 1/23/17. And it simply stated they will be out by Feb.28th.

I’ve been told by the real estate brokers, that they hadn’t been able to show the apartment, not once, at any time throughout the last month of your tenancy even though they did make numerous calls to make appointments to show it they never got a response. This was a breach of the NYS Renters’ Lease Agreement that you, both, had signed and agreed to do.

New York state law requires the return of a security deposit to be made within a reasonable time after tenants leave an undamaged apartment. However, the landlord may withhold part or all of the security deposit due to cover cost of damages, unpaid rent, unpaid utilities or any financial losses due to negligence and breaches of a lease agreement.

If you feel this is incorrect in some way, please feel free to confer with someone who is familiar with New York Housing Law.



This is an itemized list of accrued expenses to make apartment re-rentable and financial compensations for loss of rental income.

1. Broken blinds; with the missing parts repair the window blinds; Repair cost of $234.08

2. Floors; re-sanded and recoated with new polyurethane; $872.48

3. Repainting of the apartment; this includes replacement of two warped window sills and new wallboard in need of replacement surrounding in-wall A/C units’ beneath windows. $2275.00

4. Lost revenue for a month and a half in rent due to both time needed to make necessary repairs and the inability to show apartment through the real estate brokers during last month of tenancy.

The new tenants are now paying $1950.00 a month; so, with a 1.5 months of lost income from rent= $2925.00

Totaling a cost of losses entitled of reimbursements $6307.28



Total security deposit; $1700.00 in security + $22.42 interest over 3 years= $1722.42 minus reimbursement for damages.

This leaves a total balance due of $ 4,584.86

You can make this check payable to ( ) and leave it with the Property Manager, ( ), with your new address so I may send you all the receipts to these bills.


Observations of 3rd. floor apartment made on Feb28th and work done:

Damages to the floors were found to be beyond a normal wear and tear condition; it’s apparent that the renters had not placed any area rugs in the high- traffic areas as was agreed upon in article 4 of the signed Rental Addendum, which was signed by both tenants before their moving in.

As a result the floors that were newly done two weeks prior to the tenants moving in were rubbed raw of its varnish and had to be refinished. This is far beyond the normal wear.

Window shelves and walls surrounding air-conditioners beneath windows were found to have had water damage caused by apparent neglect on the part of the tenants not closing widows during heavy rainfall.

Tenants tried to cover-up the water damages with paint.

Tenants painted both patches on the walls around the A/C and two of the window sills with high-gloss white paint. This seemed an attempt to cover warped wood widow-sills and water damaged wallboard. In addition to this, tenants had placed patches of this same high-gloss white paint over what must of been blemishes they made to other areas of walls throughout the apartment, (the paint used high-gloss white over bone white flat paint that was on the walls freshly painted just prior to tenants moving in three years ago.) This was done to a point the whole apartment needed to have a complete repainting instead of doing a simple one coat touch-up.

This is well beyond the normal cost of a three year tenancy in a house that is only ten years old.



I am sorry for any perceived delay you may find in my getting back to you. If only you had left a forwarding address as is required by New York State Law, I would have been able to get back to you sooner.



I didn't give them my new address but they had my cellphone number?

My question is... Can this be right?
I got one answer saying...
    Yes they can keep "your" money and demand more if you trashed the place. So, is their description of the apartment accurate? Why were they unable to show the apartment if you had already moved?

My response to this...
    I painted things I seen needing covering and made sure not to leave any garbage around? My girlfriend scrubbed down the kitchen and as for floors? they looked fine to me?! I didn't want people in my apt. while I was there I paid rent? It's my place until I move.

    I have been looking at what the landlord made me sign with the lease when I moved-in but I would think it doesn't matter They couldn't make my let strangers come in my apt?

    This is what I signed;
    An addendum to the one year lease for third floor apartment at ()


    1) There will be no pets allow in the house ( at any time.) __________


    2) A monthly rent payment of $1700.00 for apartment ( Must be made by Bank-check payable in the name of the owner ( ); ___________


    3) Rent payment is to be due on the 1st. of each month;
    With an understanding that if for any reason the rent is late there will be an additional late payment fee due of $50.00 Fifty dollars a day. This will applied to the rent for each day late if payment is made beyond the fifth day of the mouth. ___________


    4) Rugs must be placed in all high traffic areas of the apartment ( This will be about 60% of the total floor space. ___________


    5) If any additional persons move into apartment, ( Beyond confides of the lease agreement) tenants will be charged an increase of an Additional ( $200.00) two hundred dollars per month for each add canal person in rent. _________


    6) Inventory of appliances ( The appliances that are the ownerÂ’s property ; A stainless steel stove, a refrigerator, a dishwasher and Three (in wall) air conditioners; ___________


    7) Tenants are reasonable for their own Hot-water,//heat and cooking gas; Also ,Â… for their own electric bill; As well as, any cable, phone and//or internet they deem to have as tenants. ____________


    8) Tenants fully understand that they are responsible to keep the apartment free of any damages; And, they also understand that they are completely Liability to pay for any and all damages done in or to the apartment beyond the normal wear repairs that may be necessary; And, understand that if there are any repairs needed to their apartment they will ask for the repair right away._______________


    9) And, in the unlikelihood of the tenants decide to brake the lease and move out tenants must give, in writing, a one month ( 30 days) Notice of Intent letter prior to vacating and must agree to permit the apartment to be shown to new potential tenants . ____________




    We the undersign, having read, initialized and signed have agreed to the Additional Terms and Conditions written within this addendum to the rental agreement. ( Please, print and sign below)

I still want my money back! I was a good nice and quiet tenant.
I can't see my owing more than the rent I paid or why they say I can't have my deposit back

Can they do that?

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