Profile picture for ozdi

Using security deposit as last month rent

We are forced to move because our upstairs neighbors are very noisy, we do not want to move. We have been complaining to the landlord over a year to ask the neighbor to carpet her apartment which is in the coop bylaws. Nothing happened. We have complained to the management; nothing happened. We have no choice, but to move. In addition, the upstairs neighbor moved in a boyfriend (who is not on the lease) and his five year old. There are 5 people upstairs (2 adults 3 kids) and no carpeting and; no consequences. They also leave their kids unsupervised regularly, who like to tear the place apart…In addition, on one occasion when the kids were left unattended we called the police and the boyfriend threatened to beat up my husband, this was prior to him moving in.

My landlord has a history of not giving back the security deposit, we heard of 3 tenants, who did not get their deposits back. We are going month-to-month now and when we rented the apartment as is from the previous tenant without any renovation "as is" and we paid for painting the place. We want use the security deposit for our last month rent since we know we will never see that money again.
  • November 23 2013 - Brooklyn
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for JessicaAggson
Not a good idea I understand your frustration but you will only hurt yourself later when trying to rent another home or apartment. The deposit is exactly that, a deposit to ensure the home/ apartment is kept in the same condition it was when you first moved in. You don't want any negative marks on your credit down the road when you decide you want to actually purchase a home instead of renting.
  • January 04
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The purpose of a security deposit is to ensure that the landlord has funds available from the tenant in case there is any damage to the apartment when the tenant vacates. The security deposit is not intended as payment of the last month's rent. If the landlord was to accept the security deposit as payment for the last month he would lose a valuable tool to ensure the apartment is returned in its original condition.
  • January 04
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Profile picture for steveh100
In general, you are not supposed to use the security deposit as the last months rent. It will be in your lease. If it doesn't say it in the lease, it is implied. That is not the proper thing to do. You don't want a landlord to give you a poor recommendation if you go looking for another apartment and the new landlord aasks for a previous landlord referral. That is quite common in New York. So depends on where you live and the situation, I would not recommend using your deposit as rent. Things can always be setteled in court if you fee the situation calls for it.
  • November 23 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'm sorry you are finding that you have to move.    Here's a link to NY state tenant rights.   The section on rent security deposits starts on page 9. 

I recommend that trying to skip rent for the last month is not a good idea.  Attempting to use your security deposit as your last month's rent is a great way to discover yourself evicted rapidly. An eviction on your record will cause you endless problems in the future when you try to rent.   Tenants do not have the right to make a decision on using the security deposit for the last month's rent.

For the best chance of getting your security deposit back, document the condition of your apartment when empty and spotlessly clean.  Use photos and use the same checklist you used when you moved in.  The landlord should also have a copy of the move in check list.      If the landlord does not meet the laws for documenting charges and returning the deposit, take him to small claims court.

At the end of the link provided, you'll find a number of phone numbers to provide appropriate advice from the experts in your state.





  • November 23 2013
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