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Less than 30 day roommate, no payment received

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Less than 30 day roommate, no payment received

Postby NYCRenter6789 » Thu May 31, 2018 2:04 am

Hello,
I allowed a friend's friend to move in as my roommate 25 days ago. This person has not payed any rent after multiple requests. They did give me a check for a security deposit, which I held for 10 days and then deposited it into a personal account different from the account I use to pay my apartment rent and other expenses. I have not used the funds.

Can I remove their belongings from my apartment and not allow them entrance, by calling the police or changing the locks since they have not been there for 30 days, they have not paid any rent and we have no written agreement/signed roommate agreements?

The check memo written by them clearly states security deposit. In court, would/could this be considered rent payment and give them tenant rights?

Is it legal to remove their things and change the locks if they have given no payment and have not stayed more than 30 days?

Thank you
Last edited by NYCRenter6789 on Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Less than 30 day roommate, no payment received

Postby TenantNet » Thu May 31, 2018 2:23 am

What you're suggesting is a lockout, which might be illegal. See our thread at viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5367

If you engage in a lockout, and it turns out to be illegal, you might open yourself up to civil claims and even criminal charges.

Also see http://www.tenant.net/Rights/illevict/illevict.html
and http://tenant.net/Rights/CTRC/ctrcf003.html

At first glance, it appears you might be OK if the person has been there less than 30 days and there is no lease or agreement. But consider that a security deposit might be construed as an oral lease or agreement.

After 30 days you become the landlord and would have to commence a case in housing court.

I would get a legal consultation on this ASAP.

BTW, I would also consider the ramifications of having the person being put on on the street. And no matter what, you don't put the person's possessions on the street.
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Re: Less than 30 day roommate, no payment received

Postby NYCRenter6789 » Thu May 31, 2018 3:21 am

Thank you for your help.
Would text/email communications constitute a lease or agreement in court? No signatures or clearly agreed upon terms exist in the communications.

Do you have any recommendations for a legal consultation I can call and speak with someone?
Last edited by NYCRenter6789 on Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Less than 30 day roommate, no payment received

Postby TenantNet » Thu May 31, 2018 3:35 am

I don't think email/text would constitute legal notice unless both parties agreed to that. As to evidence of some sort of agreement, perhaps. But I can't tell you what constitutes an oral agreement, and if it would be seen as binding in this context.

As for recommendations, a number of tenant attorneys advertise on this site. Some also do low(er) cost consultations. However understand that some might see you as operating as a landlord and might not be willing to take on such a case. It would probably depend on all the aspects of the story -- which we have not seen.

BTW, if this is an AirBNB situation (which is not the same as regular roommate arrangements), you need to be especially careful as you could lose your apartment. Our recommendation - if it is AIrBNB - is to stop any and all apartment sharing activity.
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