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Accepted a rental deposit for a room in July for an apartment that I did not yet have a lease for.Have I done anything criminal?

Brooklyn, NY |

I had been living in the apartment for a year as a roommate. Whom I thought was a subtenant was actually a roommate himself so when the marshalls notice came I answered. At the first order to show cause hearing the landlord's attorney intimated they'd sign a lease if I approached with the right price. I found out after the fact that the person I was renting from actually changed the locks and was pocketing rent. I just received a final 'no,' as to the new lease, because they want family to move in. I have to return a deposit that I had taken for a July room. Furthermore, I am an idiot, and I partially spent the money, thinking that I could make it up in a week or two. If it takes me two weeks to return this deposit, am I exposed to any criminal action? I am going to be open and honest.

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Attorney answers 3


Dear Brooklyn Tenant:

Because you may be exposed to a charge of larceny (fraud, deceit), get off the Internet. Find an attorney with whom you may have a private confidential and privileged consultation. Do that as soon as possible. Try to remove your posting.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


I agree with Mr. Smollens' advice with an addition speak with both a landlord tenant lawyer and a criminal defense lawyer ASAP.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


You conceivably broke at least two laws, one civil and one criminal. You should get a consultation from a criminal attorney and a real estate attorney.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.