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HELP! Tenant Does Not Want To Pay Last Month

In May 2007 my wife and I subleased our apartment in New York due to the fact that our jobs were relocating to California.  The lease was from May 07 to 11/30/2007 and the rent is for 2100 per month. At the time the tenant put down a security deposit of $1000.   He sent us an email today saying that he did not want to pay the last months rent but wanted us to instead use the security deposit because he needed the rent money to put down as a deposit on another apartment.  I don't think that this would be a good idea for us because if the management company charges us for any damages to the apartment we would be left footing the bill for these charges.  I'm not sure how to approach the tenant in this instance. This is the first time I've ever been in this situation.   Any help in terms of what to say to this individual or steps to take to insure that I am protected would be appreciated.   Thanks!

Well I guess first, you must make sure that your sub-Lease is permitted under your original Lease. If it is then I would explain to your sub-tenant that the security deposit is not to be used as the lasts months rent. I would do this in writing. If tenant still does not pay, I would explore a small claims suit for any damamges charged to you plus any rent owed. If you are not permitted to sublease according to the terms of your Lease, then I would contact an attorney.
A small claims or magistrate court would be the way to handle this, and you would be able to represent yourself without too many difficulties. make certain you have documented all yoru actions.
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