9:19 AM 03/08/2012
My not-so-gentlemanly (Brooklyn) landlord never put the security deposit in an escrow account and now the lease is up and I am moving out. Knowing his history, I'm certain he will not return my deposit. Can I withhold last month's rent until he puts the deposit in an escrow account? Can he take me to housing court for this? Is there any law requiring him to put the deposit in an escrow account? Any advice on how to recover the deposit? I have taken very good care of his property and nothing is broken.
I believe he is required to put it in a separate account that earns interest (although they don't earn in the age of ZIRP). However, doing this does not give you control over the account so it's not an escrow account in that sense. Why are you so convinced he's not going to return your deposit? If he doesn't, take complete photos of the apartment and the appliances when you leave and sue his ass. I wouldn't advise withholding the last month's rent.
9:24 AM 03/08/2012 | 0 Votes
suing is costly and time-consuming, esp. to a renter. I would not likely take that route and the landlord could get away with just withholding the deposit. I don't know the law here, but I assume you take as much of a risk in withholding the last month's rent as he does by not putting it in an escrow account. i would advise having a facee-to-face meeting with the guy and telling him you expect the deposit in its entirety, and asking him point blank, what you need to do to make sure that you get it. Reiterate at the meeting what you've done to take care of the property and how nothing has ben broken. Before and after pics would help. Be vigilant about this. Ask him to review the apartment on your last day with you (he will not want to do this) and tell you what needs to be done if he finds somethign wrong. Correct it and have him review the correction(s). This is what we did with a landlord in the last rental we were in and we got our entire rental back. We were also extremly good about cleaning EVERYTHING and making it smell nice and clean too.
10:39 AM 03/08/2012 | 0 Votes
i could be wrong, but I think the regulations re: putting security deposits in escrow depends on the number of units being rented.
12:55 PM 03/08/2012 | -1 Votes
NYC RENT GUIDELINES BOARD
Should I be getting interest on my security deposit?
If the building has six or more units the landlord must pay interest, if any, on your security deposit. The owner may keep one percent of the deposit amount each year as an administrative fee. If the building has fewer than six units and the owner deposits the security in a bank, the interest also belongs to the tenant, less one percent for administration.
For more information see the security deposit section of the NY State Attorney General's Landlord/Tenant Guide on our site.
2:31 PM 03/08/2012 | 1 Votes
Escrow? That's where the seller's attorney puts the deposit on a house you're buying, not where the landlord puts your security deposit for a rental. Either way, where he puts your deposit has no bearing on whether or not he's going to pay it back.
You're not supposed to but if you want, you can tell him to use your last month's rent as security. If you move out, and there is no damage, you're square, though he may not give you a nice reference. If you owe him money, he'll take you to housing court. Any appearance in housing court, even if not your fault, can go on your record -- and it can also not go on your record if, say, you settle before you go in front of the judge. You'll probably want a lawyer to represent you. Alternatively, you can pay your last month's rent, and give him 30 days to return your security deposit. If he doesn't, you can sue him in small claims court.
1:42 AM 03/09/2012 | 1 Votes
Seward has good advice.
1:42 AM 03/09/2012 | 1 Votes
Your lease should state how long the landlord has to return the deposit. In my experience it's been 60 days. If you live in a building with less than 6 units there is no requirement for putting the deposit in escrow.
8:25 PM 05/15/2012 | 0 Votes