Question by sabby: Does my ex-landlord have a legal right to keep my rent?
I moved into an apartment in Aug. 08. At the time I moved in, I saw there were train tracks about 30 yards away and was specifically told that the train only goes by 4 times a day and NEVER between 10 PM and 7 AM. The area seemed OK so I moved in with the impression that it would be a good and quiet neighborhood for a female student living alone like me.

I soon found out that this was a blatant lie. The train went by about 40 times a day (at least 15 times in the middle of the night, jolting me from my sleep as it honked), shaking my apartment and being so loud that I had to stop what I was doing for about a minute or so as it passed. Next, I found that there were numerous safety issues in the apartment. The management would leave the front doors open all night every night. One time, as I was walking to my car in the morning, I saw a homeless man in the dumpster (inside the gates) looking for recyclables. Finally, my downstairs neighbor began to harass me by leaving suggestive notes on my car and knocking on my door several times a week to leave candy, cards, or to talk. I brought all of this to the attention of the management and nothing was done.

The last straw was last month when my neighbor knocked on my door. I opened and my dog pounced on him. He acted as though he was hurt and when I went to get him ice, he came inside the apartment and grabbed me by the wrists and pushed me against the wall trying to kiss and fondle me. My dogs started barking loudly and I was screaming so he let me go and left. I called the police and made a report but did not press charges because I believe he is gang affiliated and feared retaliation. The very next day, I informed the management office that I was moving out. They were afraid of a lawsuit so they willingly agreed to let me out of my lease without a 30 day notice.

I gave them the keys on Nov. 18, but I had already paid a full month’s rent for Nov. I was informed that 12 days worth of rent would be returned to me within 21 days. Today I called and the manager told me that not only were they taking all of my security deposit ($ 900) but were keeping the $ 467.20 for the rent for the remainder of Nov. When I asked why she said, “I’d like to remind you we did you a favor by not charging you a lease break fee.” She just kept making threats to charge me a lease break fee and lying about the fact that she told me she would return 12 days worth of my rent.

I think I have a legal right to my money that they never earned. They are already falsely keeping all my security deposit (there was not nearly $ 900 worth of damage to the apt. in the 3.5 mos. I lived there.) Do they also have a legal right to take my entire month’s rent for Nov.? Can I sue for this in small claims?

Best answer:

Answer by firewomen
Yes you can and make sure you have documentation of all you said.

What do you think? Answer below!

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2 Responses to Does my ex-landlord have a legal right to keep my rent?

  1. Hey there says:

    If you have documentation that you two had reached that agreement, then you can. Otherwise, the only thing you have is your word against theirs, and they have a lease.

  2. taximomuv3 says:

    If you got it in writing that they were releasing you and giving back your deposit then yes, you can sue them. If it was all verbal, then I would just chalk it up as a cheap way to get out of a bad situation. It sounds like you were living in a hell hole, so that’s a small price to pay in my opinion. They COULD be charging you rent until they find another tenant, and if that place is as bad as you say it is, then it could potentially cost you a lot more money than $ 1367. Just let it go before they back out of their agreement & hold you to the lease.