Subletting dispute: what are my options?
February 24, 2013 12:16 PM Subscribe
I recently subleased a place in NYC for three months. I put down a $2000 deposit and paid $3200 for the first month. I’ve been there for two weeks. The lease specified that I’d pay for each remaining month on the first of the month. I've been told "you’ve lost your fucking money, get out". What next?
posted by suncoursing to Work & Money (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The roommate, who’s subletting the spare room to me, hadn’t expressed any concerns about the arrangement until today, when she screamed at me for half an hour about all the things I do that annoy her. She told me that if I can’t live by her rules I should get out. That’s fine with me, so I said that if she wanted to pro-rate the rent I’ve paid and return the rest of my money, I could be out whenever she wanted. Her response was “no, you’ve lost your fucking money, get out”. Later, she said that if I wanted to stay, she wanted the rest of my rent up front, so it’s not clear to me if she really wants me out or not. In any case, it seems like a bad idea to give more money to someone who has already expressed a desire to take my money and leave me without a place to stay.
Both legally and practically, what are my options? I can afford to eat a $3600 loss ($5200 - the $1600 in rent) and find another place, but, as a matter of principle, I’d rather not. In case it matters, I’m certainly not wealthy, but I’ve earned enough as an engineer that I can handle a surprise $3600 expense without it being a disaster.
This happened less than an hour ago, so I’m planning on seeing what she has to say when she’s calmed down. But, if that doesn’t work out, I’d like to know what a reasonable course of action might be. I’ve never had a landlord or subletter dispute, so I’m really familiar with the law, and if that law even matters practically (e.g., even if I’m legally allowed to stay, staying in a place where the other person is trying to make your life miserable seems like an unpleasant experience).