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noodlebop

Complicated lease takeover

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Hello,

 

When we were still in an apartment lease, my husband and I found a house for rent that we couldn't pass up. Accordingly, we tried to find someone to take over our lease. When we asked our landlord about it, she said that the apartments did not do lease takeovers, but that what we could do is add our new person as a "roommate" and then move out. This is what we did. The person we found was a nice lady and we gave her a free month's rent. She really loved the place and renewed the lease. The problem is, the deposit on the lease is our money. I understand that deposits generally stay with the lease, not the individuals, and our landlord suggested that we could contact our person directly and offer a few fixes. One, she could pay us the $975 we put down as a deposit, then she could keep whatever she gets back when she decides to vacate (which may be YEARS). Two, she could pay the landlord a deposit directly, then the landlord would release our original funds to us. Three, we wait potentially years to get our $975 back, and that's only if the apartment is still in good condition. She has a great dane and an 8 year old, and though I love kids and dogs, they have a way of ruining things... I'm now realizing that we should have worked this out when she "took over," but we didn't, so here we are.

 

So, we reached out to her. First it was a simple text letting her know about the issue and asking to meet up to chat about it. Nothing threatening, all friendly. A week passed, and she didn't reply, so I tried one more time. This time I said something to the effect of, "Please don't be afraid to talk to us! I know it's scary to be asked about this out of the blue, but we'd love to sit down and work something out." No reply. So we waited three or four days, and my husband tried calling. No answer. He left a message saying we hope she got our messages and that we need to talk about the issue. He also asked that she call back by the end of the week, otherwise we might be sending a letter. That was two days ago, and no reply, though we have until Friday... So last night, just in the case she wasn't receiving our calls and texts, I messaged her on facebook saying we'd tried to get a hold of her and asking if she'd received our calls and texts. No answer, but lots of posts around the time we messaged. We're not friends on facebook, but she's tech savvy enough to see a chat request and accept it. We've also chatted through there before. 

 

What do we do? I realize that this is partly our fault for not working it out before she moved in, and that we're likely jointly and severally liable for all the costs and damages.. but she's being pretty shitty in not answering us at all. Our landlord said that as soon as she gets money from our new "roommate" she can let us out of the lease, but it doesn't appear that's going to be addressed any time soon. Some family suggested sending a more official demand letter to her (yes, I realize we likely don't have legal standing, it's more of a bluff). Do you think this would work? Honestly I know it's shitty to be asked for this out of the blue, but she was probably thinking something about it because the lease is renewing July 1st. Something about a deposit surely crossed her mind. How do we solve this without too big of a blowout? I really don't want to get dirty with it and would prefer to solve this peacefully. Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, noodlebop said:

The problem is that the lease didn't terminate, it was renewed. Since the lease was renewed and not re-drafted or anything, we are still on it.

And there is your problem.  You should have taken steps to end you and your husband on the lease before it renewed.  Now the important part.  How long is the term on the auto renewal?  Don't guess, read the lease. 

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20 minutes ago, noodlebop said:

@PayrollHRGuy I didn't know we had to. The term is one year, 60 days notice needed otherwise they will assume you are renewing.

 

You do now.  What you need to know and what I asked is how long did it renew for?  1 year, month to month? READ THE LEASE.

 

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Sorry I missed that.  Your best and really only play is to beg the LL to release you now.  If nice lady bails you are on the hook for the remaining portion of the lease.

 

You might need to buy to yourself out of it.  How much is your deposit?

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@PayrollHRGuy I think the problem in that is that if LL gives us our deposit, there is no deposit associated with the lease at all. We paid $975 originally as our security deposit, and they don't actually allow buyouts. I guess we're not afraid that she's going to bail and stop making payments because she seems to truly love the place. It's more that we're upset that our money was used to renew the lease in a way, and we're afraid of having our names attached to an apartment we haven't lived in for six months. LL said that our only other option is to wait until "nice lady" vacates, which could be a very long time, and LL will make sure the deposit refund goes to us, not her. That will not happen if her dog or kid or herself destroys the place, though. LL said we still have access to the unit, so I don't want to be a bully, but we might stop by to confront her directly. She can't ask us to leave because we are tenants of the unit too. I really don't want to cause any problems. It's not what we're legally entitled to because we messed up, but it's the nice thing to do.

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basically you will have to serve her a notice to vacate. Since the place is still in your name and you put her in there you and possible the management will have to both fill out the thirty day notice to her. She is not on the lease. So it's simple either she forks up the money or she leaves and the next tenant you get in there will pay you your deposit. I would not have let it go on this long once you realized your mistake you should have gone straight over and gave her a three day pay or quit on the deposit. Regardless of whether it was in writing or not it goes without saying that it's a rare case where you don't pay a deposit. 

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