When I signed the lease on my apartment, I put down first month's rent, last month's rent, and security deposit. Now the building has changed hands, I'm moving out, and my brand-new landlord is telling me I need to pay last month's rent again and she'll refund it later, along with the security deposit. Does she have any right to require me to do this? New York is the state.
This spring, my former landlord decided to sell the building, and will be handing over my lease and all my deposits to the new owner in the next few days. My lease ends at the end of July, and the new owner is forcing me to move out then (she wants to move into my place). I've loved living in this apartment, and I've had a great relationship with the old landlord. Unfortunately, I'll be dealing with the new landlord for the final month of my lease.
When I originally signed the lease, I put down $500 specifically for last month's rent (in addition to the security deposit); now, some years later, my rent has gone up to $635. I was just going to send her a check for $135 to cover the difference. She tells me I have to pay last month's rent again, in full, by the first, and that she'll refund it to me with the security deposit. That sounds crazy to me, and isn't supported by anything that I can find in the lease. I've checked out the NYS Tenant's Right's Guide
and Housing Issues
page, but can't find anything relevant.
Does her claim have any basis in fact? Do I have to cough up the whole $635 now and wait for her to refund the $500 later? Any specific statutes you can cite would be helpful, as would any advice on how to negotiate with her.
Bonus question: based on the way she's treated me so far, I have a feeling the new owner is going to try to keep my security deposit. Is there anything I can do to protect myself?