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Can I take my landlord to court?

Jamaica, NY |

I recently rented an apt 3 weeks ago and I was told to give them a check for $500.00 but it would not be cashed because it was a move in insurance deposit just in case anything was damaged etc, And our building has house rules they said we can only move in M-F from 9-5 which was fine but because it was raining alot and we had issues getting things out of the old building because the elevator broke, So after bad weather we got everything in about 9 pm. 2 weeks later they cashed our $500 check because of damages and nothing was damaged they said because we moved in late they have to penalize us and there was nothing in the agreement that states if we moved in after 5 we would be charged $500 now they reduced it to $100 but I want everything back because its not right what can be done?

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Attorney answers 2


Dear Jamaica Tenant:

I understand your frustration, but this penalty will not support a right to end the lease and move out.

You did express your dissatisfaction to management and they did refund $100.

Taking the landlord to Small Claims Court is an available remedy, but if the court takes the landlord's position that you were fined for continuing the moving in process after 5PM, then you may also become liable for the landlord's attorney fees.

You could try for a better compromise, and suing is your right. But there is risk if you lose.

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.

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens


OK. I see. The penalty was reduced to $100. That is a "win." Going to court may risk paying the landlord's attorney fees.


You may have to start a small claims action to seek the return of your money.

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