Q & A No. 8
Room Mates; Another Question
Q: I moved into a house with three other roommates two years ago. We each paid one roommate $500 for the security deposit, and he, in turn, paid the landlord $2000. Now I am moving out and I want my security deposit back, but our landlord says he doesn't have to return it until my roommates move out. Is that correct?
Yes. According to Rent Board Regulation 706, a landlord is not required to refund any portion of a security deposit until he has recovered possession of the unit, i.e., until the unit is vacant. Because there is no telling when the unit will be vacant, especially if roommates are replaced as each one moves out, you should ask for your share of the security deposit from the remaining tenants or from your replacement, if there is one.For general information on renting to roommates, and structuring the lease agreements, the member should (1) read the section on "replacing roommates" in the rent board's Guide to Rent Control (on line), (2) take a look at Landlord/Tenant Law 101 Room Mates on this website.