Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Oklahoma

My roommate continues lease with new his new roomate, but my half of deposit is

My roommate continues lease with his new roomate, but my half of deposit is not refunded back to me. Landlord, says the new roomate owes me the money. Deposit is automatically given back to the tenants at the completion of the lease, when the apartment is vacated. There is no specification saying how the deposit should be handled if one roommate stays and one goes. Amount in question is $200.00. However, the landlord is the one who has my money and not the new roommate. Who legally owes me the money, the landlord of the tenats, and how can I prove that, that particular party owes me the money?

Asked on 7/17/01, 11:55 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jimmy D. Turner Jimmy D. Turner , Attorney at Law

Re: My roommate continues lease with new his new roomate, but my half of deposit

Your sublessee is getting the benefit of your deposit, but I assume that you did not take up this matter with him at the time that you let him take your place under the lease, which you and your former roommate had made with the landlord. Therefore, I doubt that your sublessee has agreed to reimburse you for the deposit.

As between you and the landlord, he is obligated to return your deposit at the end of the lease, after proper written demand from you, subject to deduction for unpaid rent or possibly for unrepaired damages to the premises. Your having substituted another person for yourself will not of itself cause the lease to end any sooner than was originally agreed.

The fair thing might be for your replacement tenant to reimburse you for the deposit against your assigning your rights to the refund to him. That would keep you from being at risk for his unpaid rent, his failure to keep the premises clean, and any damage that he might do to the premises. But I doubt that he is contractually obligated to reimburse you.

He would be silly to reimburse you without your giving him a formal assignment of the deposit being held by the landlord.

Your powers of persuasion may be critical to your success. (Sounds like advice from a fortune cookie, eh?)

Good luck.

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Answered on 7/20/01, 11:32 am

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