I think that I was scammed for two months' rent ($4,200) in NYC -- what can I do?
April 9, 2012 8:26 PM Subscribe
So I've found myself in a bit of a sticky situation and need advice. I recently subleased a studio in Manhatttan for a couple of months (April and May) from a guy ("John") whose lease expires at the end of May. He seems like a decent, reliable guy. He said that he's moving back home for a while to start a company (different state), and that he recently quit his job (financial services industry, upon looking him up myself). On move-in day, after helping him pack his car, he gave me the keys and was on his way.
posted by rossen to law & government (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not an hour later, I ran into a person who works with the owners of the building, who was extremely surprised about the whole thing, and who told me that John had not paid rent for the past few months. He told me that he needs payment asap, or that I would be on the street in a few days. That was april 1st. He also said that he does not care that I'm subleasing as long as they get paid.
At that point there was some back and forth with John and on the next day he assured me that he'd overnighted a check for the rent that he owes.
I thought all was good and well until today, when I ran into the same guy close to the owners, who told me that he has still not received a check, and that they would basically have to kick me out soon.
At this point I've obviously lost faith in John and I'd like to know what my options are -- in terms of amicably getting him to hold up his end of the deal; and legal, if it comes to that.
I paid him upfront for the two months via Chase QuickPay (person-to-person payments) directly from my checking account into his checking account. I attached a detailed memo with the payment, noting that it's for rent, the duration, and the address of the property.
There was no paperwork involved since (as I understand it) he had no contractual right to sublease the apartment. I gathered that this is how most subleases are done here, though I'd appreciate input on that matter, as well. I didn't leave a deposit with him -- just two months' rent ($4,200).
What should I do at this point?
many thanks for any pointers at all.