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MOVING OUT - inspections, rent

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MOVING OUT - inspections, rent

Postby Freya » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:08 am

Hi,
I have a Lease that expires on the 31st of Oct, I have paid rent to this date.
Due to personal reasons I have to go back to Australia for 6 months and I need to vacate early, I have a friend that will help clean out my apartment and will need until the end of September to do so.

I'd really appreciate it if someone could please confirm the following:

1. My Lease says I can't sublet, however if I find a new Tenant to start a new Lease prior to the expiration of my Tenancy (ie before Oct 31st) does the Landlord need to pay me the rent I paid during that time? In Australia a Landlord can not receive two rents for a property, so if I had all my possessions out of the apartment by (eg) the 1st of October, and a new Tenant moved in on the 2nd, the Landlord would have to pay me rent (calculated on a daily rate) from the 2nd - 31st of October - is this the same in New York?

2. I do not want any strangers / perspective Tenants inspecting my apartment while my valuable possessions are still there. In Australia a Landlord can only show an apartment to a perspective Tenant 2 weeks before the end of the Lease / vacate date unless the Tenant permits the Landlord to do so in writing- is this the same in New York?

3. Assuming the Landlord is satisfied with the condition of the apartment, will I receive my deposit within 2 weeks?

4. If the Landlord has an issue with the apartment, will I have a chance to rectify the issue at my own expense before the Landlord deducts money from my deposit?

5. If they take my deposit without my permission, what are my legal options?

Thanks!!
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Re: MOVING OUT - inspections, rent

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:17 am

You apparently are not rent regulated, so your lease normally controls, with a few exceptions.

Your lease goes until Oct. 31 and you've paid all rent until the end of the lease.

What can happen in Australia has no bearing here.

You have a right to sublet under certain conditions. See here (it's a bit dated, but essentially accurate).

But getting a tenant to sublet (and getting LL's permissions) starting 10/1 for one month doesn't make a lot of sense.

You can do an informal sublet where the new tenant pays you for October and hope the LL doesn't make a fuss for your not getting his permission (in some cases the LL doesn't even know about it). But some LL's will make a fuss even going so far as filing a court case, preventing physical entry, and so on. The ability to do this depends on the building and the LL.

And there's no guarantee the sublet will be given a new lease by the LL.

You can "assign" the lease (also needing the LL's OK) where the LL agrees to end the lease early and allowing the new person to start with a new lease in his/her name. That makes sense. In such a case, the LL should refund the extra month you paid, but that depends on negotiations between you and the LL.

LL's can show the unit (and you should have a walk-through at the end in order to facilitate your getting your deposit back). Access requests need to to be in advance and written. See the access rules here. If the LL has keys, I would change the lock so they can't just walk in. But have a person there to protect your possessions during LL access for showing the unit. You can have a lot of control how it's done, but you do have to give reasonable access. The key is reasonable, and that means reasonable on both sides.

Two week deposit? Not likely. Do a walkthrough at the end. Take many photos. Have a person there.
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Re: MOVING OUT - inspections, rent

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:14 am

It's going to be extremely difficult, logistically, to get a subletter in for just one month. Landlord can readily delay approval for a few weeks (can't "unreasonably deny" permission, but that's a wide lane), and likely would, since it's a hassle to get someone who's just going to be there for a month.

Your better bet (and this isn't easy, either), is to see if the apartment can be rerented as of October 1st, to a new tenant, on a full year lease. LL might actually prefer a 10/1 lease start to an 11/1 lease start, FYI.

All this said, NYC law is pretty specific on this, and pretty unusual: the LL doesn't have any obligation to mitigate. He/she's 100% free to just let the apartment sit until 11/1, without having to make any effort to rerent it. If he DOES rerent it before 11/1, though, he's obliged to refund your rent (i.e. he can't double-dip), although, if for some reason (highly unlikely, but could happen), he re-rents it for less than you're paying, he's only obliged to refund a portion of your rent (i.e. you're paying $1000, he re-rents for $900, he's only obliged to return $900).

Bottom line, your best plan is to tell the landlord that you'll be fully moved out by the end of September, be very reasonable when it comes to letting the LL show the apartment (otherwise he's got zero incentive to rerent it early), have your friend make sure the place is fully cleaned out and cleaned up by Sept 30, and have your friend walk through the apartment with the LL (again, take lots of pictures), have the LL sign off on the apartment, and have your friend hand over the keys to the LL. That way, a rerental by 10/1 is at least theoretically possible.

Honestly, expected outcome is that you end up paying the October rent. Sorry, but that's the truth.
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Re: MOVING OUT - inspections, rent

Postby lappert » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:37 am

Or ... all-in-all an easier solution assuming the LL doesn't watch too closely, is to have someone informally sublet/house-sit for one month without the LL's approval or knowledge.

This has risk, but is by far easier and has a better outcome for the tenant. LL can't really do anything legal in the one month. The risk is the LL or the staff can make it difficult for the sublet, to move out and to get the deposit back. I know some tenants make a gift to the super to look the other way. It really depends on the building, the staff and how it works. I'm not saying it's legal, but I see it all the time.

You can ask the LL for a one-month abatement for moving out early. If he's unwilling, you can then shut-up and sneak your person in. If the LL asks questions, you can say the person is getting your mail, feeding the cat and watering your plants, i.e., housesitting. In some cases it can even work while the LL is showing the place as well.
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Re: MOVING OUT - inspections, rent

Postby Freya » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:07 am

I had a lease that expired on the 31st of October, I was not in New York at the time and I had to organize movers from overseas and was only able to vacate the property on the 3rd of November.
As I was not in New York I asked the Landlords to delay inspections until all of my possessions were moved out of the property as I had a lot of valuables and I didn't want them to be stolen or damaged during inspections.
At this stage the Landlords are yet to find a new Tenant; as far as I am concerned this is the Landlords fault and I should not be held accountable for any rent lost after I have vacated the property. Although they could not access the property prior to me moving out, there was nothing stopping them from advertising the property while my possessions were still in it and they could very easily of made a list of interested parties and showed them the property as soon as I vacated. It has been over a week since I vacated and that is more than enough time for a new tenant to have seen the property and move in.
Please advise me of my rights, and what legal options are available to me to ensure I am repaid my deposit.
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Re: MOVING OUT - inspections, rent

Postby TenantNet » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:29 am

Whether the LL wants to find a new tenant or not is of no concern to you. Your lease expired and you moved out. The only question is any liability you might have for being three days late. You said you asked the LL to delay inspection for three days, but does that mean you did not return possession to the LL for those three days? Also, what was the LL's response to your request?

Put aside that Nov. 1 and 2 were on the weekend and nothing could have been done until the 3rd anyway.

It is not the LL's fault that no new tenant has moved in. It's only November 16th. It would be rare for an apartment to turn around so quickly. Maybe the LL wants to paint or otherwise renovate. It takes time for brokers to show the unit. These days LLs often do background checks on prospective tenants, taking some time. It's not unusual for an apartment to remain empty for several months. But why should it be of concern to you?

I think you're being a little over-worried about this.

As for your deposit, if the LL decides to withhold paying it back to you, it will likely be for bogus reasons. Happens all the time and that is why I have heard many tenants over the years just do not pay the last month's rent, thereby getting their deposit back. For real damages beyond normal wear and tear, the LL can make a list and come after you. It can depend on the behavior of the LL. If they are known for playing games while you are in occupancy, you can bet they will play games with your deposit. And they would do so even if you weren't three days late in returning possession.

If they fail to return the deposit, you can do what every other tenant has done, either go to the Attorney General's office and file a complaint, or go to Small Claims Court.

And if they make a fuss, consider offering to pay for those three days at a prorated rate. It was your request to delay, after all.
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