Can i sue a landlord for break the premise of an oral agreement?

Asked 11 months ago - Bellevue, WA

I took over someone lease, and when the lease ended, I had a oral agreement with landlord for a half year extension. However, the lease they ask me to sign was one year lease, i thought they would change the end date on the lease, but they did not. Then the landlord was switched. when i moved out, the new landlord said that i signed an one year lease. I told them i had an oral agreement with former landlord. They reviewed my profile and found a note that state the half year extension, and they agreed with this half year extension. However, one and half month after i moved out, they told me i owned them half year rent.
The assistant manager knew this, alone with another employee. But the manager denied. Moreover, they did not give me back my deposit or a letter that state the reason.

Additional information

I gave them 20 day notice before I move out. The employee and assistant manager(both from new landlord) acknowledged this half year extension and agreed this when I gave them 20 day notice. I moved out in the mid of the month and My roommate stay at end of the month. there is no signature of acknowledgement of early termination on the notice of either me or my roommate. I received a letter of move out statement later. (notice them at jun 10th, move out at jun 30th. they mailed the letter at July 30th, i received around Aug 5th). When I called the new landlord, the assistant manager acknowledge this and said that I only need to pay for the cleaning fee, but later the manager denied there is a note and agreement.
up to this point, they did not send me back of my deposit or a latter that state the reason. There is a clause in the lease that deposit automatically forfeited if terminate early. The account receivable department said they give credit of deposit on the account. Can i still sue for the deposit

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . You can always sue to recover your deposit if you have good facts. Here, there is a written agreement, and you cannot contradict a written agreement with evidence of a subsequent oral modification. When you moved out and they concurred that you had a six month extension, not an additional year's lease, that should have been the end of it.

    Landlords always have a duty to mitigate their damages when a tenant leaves. If the tenant leaves early, the MOST a Court is likely to order is ONE additional month's rent, not an additional six months, no matter what the landlord thinks.

    If they failed to account for your deposit, read the deposit statutes carefully and decide if you have a good basis to go after them for TWICE your deposit. Elizabeth Powell

    Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.

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