If my roommate is the sole leaseholder, can they refuse to return my deposit?

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If my roommate is the sole leaseholder, can they refuse to return my deposit?

My roommate is threatening to keep my deposit because I gave him a 2 week move out notice instead of a month. I’ve agreed to help find a new roommate but if I don’t find someone he’s keeping my money. He claims we had a verbal agreement when I moved in 2 years ago that a month’s notice was necessary. However, while I know a month is customary, I recall no such agreement. What are my rights as someone not on the lease?

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the roommate is holding back your security deposit because you did not give a 30 day move out notice, such is legally impermissible under the laws of all states in this country. A security deposit is to cover damages to a rental and not improper notice to terminate which is a rent issue.

What you have is an oral month-to-month lease. if your roommate does not return your security agreement within 21 to 45 days after move out under the laws of your state, your recourse would be small claims court.


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