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Signed a lease, put down deposit, can't move in yet...

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Signed a lease, put down deposit, can't move in yet...

Postby brooklyn86 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:29 pm

I signed a lease for a new apartment which starts March 1st. Part of the verbal agreement was that the apartment would be painted/cleaned up/etc and move-in-ready for around February 21st. The previous tenants' lease ended January 31st. I got a call last week from the management company that the tenants are still there and have no idea when they are moving out (their next place isn't ready yet).

There is no promise that I will be able to move into this apartment by March 1st. I have already paid the deposit of 1 month security, 1 month rent, and 1 month broker's fee. There is someone expecting to move into my current place March 1st. The management company has told me that it's very hard to evict someone and it could take months.

What is legally owed to me by the management company? If I am not in this apartment by March 1st, I am essentially homeless, unless I stay in my current place and screw over the person behind me. Withholding rent doesn't seem like enough, and if it goes on long enough, I'm going to have to start looking for a new place and demand my deposit back.
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Re: Signed a lease, put down deposit, can't move in yet...

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:53 pm

First, I would say look at the small print of your leases (both of them). In new leases there are often provisions regarding the unit not being available, often attributable to Acts of God, i.e., fire, weather and so on.

Less common is where an existing tenant fails to leave, but it does happen. At a minimum the new LL should pay to put you up in a hotel, food, moving expenses if you need to put your stuff into storage, cost of storage itself.

While I would expect the new LL to balk at this, you do have a lease promising the unit on March 1. We can't say if the situation with the old tenants was caused bny anything the LL did, but I tend to think it might not matter that much.

I would first sound out the LL before getting legal about it. See what he's willing to do. See if he's taking meaningful action to get the old tenants to leave and try to find out what the situation really is.

It is true it can take some time to evict a tenant. But of course, at this site, we see that - and the tenant's rights - as a benefit. This is one of those situations where the interests of two tenants are at odds with eachother.

The other thing to do is see if your current LL can accommodate you in some way. Do they have an empty unit you can stay in pending the availability of the new unit?
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Re: Signed a lease, put down deposit, can't move in yet...

Postby 10ants » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:12 pm

The new Blumberg lease basically absolves the LL of responsibility in this case -- the language is 'If for any reason, the Apartment is not ready for the Tenant to move in on the Start Date, the Landlord is not responsible to the tenant for damages or expenses, and this lease will remain in effect".

This is a pretty obnoxious clause, but this does happen surprisingly often.
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Re: Signed a lease, put down deposit, can't move in yet...

Postby TenantNet » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:48 am

I'm not certain this would be enforcable or not. An attorney can probably give you a better idea. There are often provisions in leases that LL's put in that are unenforcable.

I would be on the lookout for any evidence or indication that the situation arose through LL neglect. Did the LL do anything, or fail to do something that led to this situation happening? Have you spoken to the tenant who are still in your new place? Maybe they have a different story to all this.
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