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A total Nightmare of Problems in a single apartment.

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A total Nightmare of Problems in a single apartment.

Postby TenantwithProblems » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:10 pm

I've been living in an apartment since Feb 2008 in Brooklyn. I signed the lease with two other people, who since have moved out. The lease has never been renewed and my new roommates have never been added. I have sent the landlord emails informing him of the roommate changes but he's never been very responsive. We requested a lease renewal but it was from 2003 and not up to date with any of our information, moneywise. A few months ago we received a notice from the landlord stating that we owe $10,000 in rent that was previously unpaid. (from when my original roommates lived in the apartment) I was running behind and have paid it off, however we are still receiving notices that their is $5,000 in money unaccounted for.

My current roommates (who are not on the lease) are completely paid, as am I, and one of my original roommates. However it has come to my attention that one of my previous roommates had paid several months in cash, that he did not get receipts for. I also am not sure if the landlord took into account the fact that two roommates moved out and used their last months rent (that was paid up front) for their last months in the apartment.

My main problem is that I broke down the entire rent situation by person (now being five people) to show who had paid, with print outs of all of our previous checks as proof. Yet the landlord responded with a statement of $5,000 not responding to me as of what he wasn't accepting from each individual. I can only assume it's the cash payments. I just received a notice stating that I need to pay or they might send a notice of eviction, or set up a payment plan. But I don't owe any of the money, and they are too unorganized to respond to me on who didn't pay. May I also add, the cash payments missed by the previous roommate, do not add up to the $5,000 for it is MUCH MUCH less then that amount. So they are currently billing three people for $5000 who don't owe them any of that money, and arent on a lease...


My questions being:

A) Are the two current people I live with responsible in any way if they have never paid a security deposit, are not on the lease, and are up to date on all rent.

B) Am I responsible for any of the payments, if I signed the lease with two other people two years ago, who have since moved out, and the lease has never been renewed?

C) Can they evict us if we aren't on a lease and don't owe them money? Can they evict only me? Can my roomates be evicted or can they stay?

D) What is the easiest way to handle this situation? We would like to stay in the apartment because we love it, but this situation is making it a nightmare.

Thanks
Tenant With Problems
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:34 pm

Search the forum for "joint and several" which is a term commonly found in leases. That mean if there were several people on a lease and all but one moved, the landlord can come after any of the people on the lease for the entire amount. Of course they will come after the person still readily accessible. Statutes of limitations allow owners to seek any rent going back for six years.

For new people not on the lease, you are responsible for their share to be paid to the LL. It's not the LL's burden to treat each individual as if they all have different accounts ... unless the lease is set up that way, or unless it's being rented like a rooming house.
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