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Sublet threatens to sue

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Sublet threatens to sue

Postby kittenkitten » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:06 am

This is my situation. Around March 15th my roommate, who is a sublet (allowed by the landlord of the apartment), gave me rent, as normal. Around March 20th she notified me that she will be moving out of the apartment on April 15. However, prior to moving in, she gave me her last month's rent and a security deposit. Since she decided to move out on April 15, she wanted her last month's rent back. I said that was not going to happen and she is going to have the bedroom until May 15th, since that month is already paid for. She decided to still move out on April 15 and apparently was expecting to have her security deposit back today as well (April 15). To which I said that she will get her deposit back within 3 weeks to 45 days AFTER she vacates the premises and gives up her key. To that she said that she will sue me. We re-negotiated and she agreed that we will give her the security deposit back on May 15th, when she gives up the key to the apartment.

So can she still sue me? And would she win if she does? Her arguments sound absurd to me, but does she have any basis?
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Re: Sublet threatens to sue

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:59 pm

What do you mean by "landlord of the apartment?" Is that the owner of the building, or owner of a co-op apartment?

Why is this person a sublet? Is she renting from a prime tenant?

What is your position in all this? If you are roommates, then why aren't you a sublet? Are you acting as an agent of the landlord when the "sublet" gives you rent and deposit? Are you renting from the prime tenant? Or are you the prime tenant?

For either of you, is there a lease or agreement?
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Re: Sublet threatens to sue

Postby kittenkitten » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:32 pm

I am the prime tenant. I have a lease with my landlord, who owns this building. My lease with my landlord allows me to sublet one of the bedrooms in the apartment. So I sublet that bedroom to my, now, former roommate (she has not given up the keys yet though). The sublet has no official connection to my landlord... so, technically, I am her landlord. I have a roommate agreement with her, but not a lease, however. Oh and the apartment is in Queens, NY.
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Re: Sublet threatens to sue

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:34 pm

If you are the prime tenant, then don't be cryptic like your first post. The "roommate" is just that, a roommate. She is not a sublet, unless you have gone somewhere else and she has the unit to herself. A sublet is when you go away and rent the place out to someone else for a defined period until you return. A roommate is when you rent out a room and both still reside there.

As for your question, of course she can sue you. Can she win is a different question.

You should not be acting as a mean-ass landlord and try to get along. She gave you 30 days notice on March 15. Why are you trying to squeeze another month out of her until mid-May? You should give her the extra month back and the deposit, assuming there are no real damages (not nit-pick either).
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Re: Sublet threatens to sue

Postby kittenkitten » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:52 pm

1. She did not give me a month notice. She gave me her rent on March 15, not the notice. She gave me the notice about a week later.
2. There is actually a decent amount of damage done to two walls of her bedroom. She spilled something pink/orange on the wall in 4 different spots and didn't bother to clean it up. It ended up getting covered with mold, dust and dirt. The mold and whatever she spilled penetrated the paint and is impossible to get out (I tried to scrub it with bleach to no avail). The bedroom will have to be repainted to get that stuff out. This is part of the reason i did not want to give her the deposit back right away.

FYI, I did not ask your opinion on what I should do in this situation. I asked whether her suing me would be successful and if I am in the wrong, legally speaking. As far as being a mean-ass landlord and whether I should try to get along with her is really up to me.
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Re: Sublet threatens to sue

Postby TenantNet » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:27 am

You asked us if she could sue you, which of course she can. Anyone can sue anyone.

You seem to be nit-picking. A month-to-month tenant - which this seems to be - is not required to give ANY notice in NYC. Look for the discussion in the Forum's reference section.

We can't comment on the damage without seeing it, or knowing if it is really mold. But that doesn't matter here. In many instances panting is regular maintenance and is not considered damages.

As we said, you're acting as a landlord, and this is TenantNet. So you're in the wrong place.
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