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Can my landlord/sublessor sue me?

New York, NY |

She's the leaseholder of a 4 bedroom apartment and subleases two rooms. We never had a written agreement, so when it came time for me to want to move out, she began saying things that were never mentioned before.

I gave her a 30 day notice via text on the 15th and told her I would be moving out the next month, on the 15th. Later she tells me that I needed to give her notice on the 1st (when rent is due) and not just any "random" day, and says she has to deduct a "cleaning fee" from my security deposit because I don't clean after THEIR messes. I want to move out 2 weeks earlier than I told her. We have no documentation whatsoever. Would she be able to take any legal action against me?

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Attorney answers 2


Notice is due on the 1st. And text messages are generally not written notice


Dear New York City Tenant:

A roommate is not required to provide advance notice to the landlord (prime tenant) when intending to move out, unless there advance notice is required by a written agreement. In any case, if your text message were considered the same as a written notice it is insufficient. A one month notice ends the arrangement on the last day prior to the next rent due date.

In my opinion, your prime tenant is a lawbreaker. The roommate law allows only one roommate, not two, and the person in the "room" is a roommate and not a subtenant. Your prime tenant exceeded by one person the maximum allowed roommates if she is the only tenant named on the lease with the landlord.

So she cannot hold you up. if she sues you (highly unlikely she wants her illegal profiteering scheme exposed to her landlord) you have defenses. But since she cannot claim any legitimate entitlement to damages, her threat of lawsuit is hot air.

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.