Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Minnesota

Two years ago, a bunch of friends and I decided to rent together in Minneapolis. We picked a house owned by two landlords. Under the lease agreement, the Landlords rented out to someone who was defined on lease as LESSOR (not as Landlord) who rented to the rest of us- I would be defined as SUB-LESSOR on the lease. So we have LANDLORDS, LESSOR and SUB-LESSOR (me). Months after signing, I moved out of the home before the defined end of the lease, but gave proper notice and did not damage the home (I have photo evidence to prove this.) It was very by the book. The other renters and Lessor agreed to just cover my rent instead of letting me find a new roommate for them. Everything was smooth and the move-out was mutual. I had left the home because the other tenants and Lessor were very messy and I didn't want any part of it.

However, the lease has now officially ended, and the LESSOR has told me he will retain my security deposits because I dipped out of the lease early and I 'forfeit' them. I still have the old lease agreement, and it does NOT say this is true. It states that the LANDLORDS would retain deposits if there was damage to the home, or if I had defaulted- which I did not. It does not state that the LESSOR gets to keep my deposits because I left early or for any other reason, and again, does NOT define the Lessor as "Landlord" in any way. The lease does not say any deposits (even the pet one) are non-refundable. I contacted the Landlords who have already made the deductions from the deposits and given the remaining balance to the Lessor, who is responsible for dispersing them to us. I am worried he will not give me my money back! I really just want the $200 pet deposit, I could care less about the security deposit. I understand that one may have been needed to fix up the place and etc, but I do think I am entitled the full $200 pet deposit back since my dog was only there for a couple months and DID NOT damage the home in any way. What are my options, here?

Asked on 5/28/15, 11:33 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Tricia Dwyer Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC

To assist and advise you, I would want to review the lease for myself. I would take consideration of the security deposit altho' you state that that does not matter to you. Hypothetically you could pay a private attorney for a consultation and formal legal advice as to this particular matter. I suggest you stay quite congnizant of the cost to benefit ratio.

Tricia Dwyer Esq.

Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC

ph 612-296-9666

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Answered on 5/28/15, 11:51 am

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