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Re: Amount of Security Deposit

Posted by Nick on April 06, 1999 at 21:54:10:

In Reply to: Re: Amount of Security Deposit posted by Will on April 06, 1999 at 14:27:07:

: First find out if the apartment is legally deregulated. This can be done via DHCR see the main site for detail. In regulated apartments the security deposit is limited to one months rent. If your landlord has not de-regulated the apartment properly you might be entitle to get the overcharge back.

: If the apartment is indeed deregulated then if you don't have the review agreement in writing you may be out of luck...I would still contact the State attorney general to see if the landlord has broken the general law.

: Will

: : I have been a tenant of a building on the upper east side for the past
: : one year, paying a rental amount which exceeds $2,000 a month. I signed
: : a lease agreement, and put down a security deposit of 3 months instead
: : of 1 month (the "standard" amount, which applies to other tenants of the
: : building), because I "didn't have a credit history in the USA," seeing
: : as I had just moved to New York from England. The agent of the landlord
: : who showed me my apartment informed me that I would get a review in
: : 6 months (after I've built up a credit history in the USA), afterwhich
: : 2 months' security deposit would probably be returned to me. It has now
: : been one year since I signed the lease, and the landlord informed me
: : today that they do not have such a review policy, and that any security
: : deposit that I have placed with the landlord will remain "deposited" until
: : I vacate the apartment (as opposed to just renewing my lease).

: : Questions: Can I get my 2 months' security deposit back? And HOW?

Even if the apartment is not rent regulated, you may have a case. The landlord's agent may have committed civil fraud in inducing you to sign the lease. I recently moved out a building whose tenants are suing the landord for eliminating services. Several of us rented non-regulated apartments in reliance upon the representations of the landlord's agents (his employees) that we would have these services. The tenant association's lawyer told us we might well have a fraud case if we could prove the representations. Did you take any contemporaneous notes of this statement? Were there any witnesses? If so, you might well have a civil fraud case. And if you don't, remember this when it comes time to move out. Sounds like you might have a landlord who'll try to keep your security deposit, ESPECIALLY if he thinks you'll be moving back to the UK and won't be around to challenge him in court. You might want to just skip paying you last 3 (no, let's make that 4) months rent. By the time he can do anything in court, you'll be back in merry old England. International judgements are extremely hard to enforce.

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