Durham, NC asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Ohio

Q: The lease effective on May 26 2018, I never move in yet, can I sue landlord to get money back from a small claim court ?

I informed landlord on March 29 2018 that I cannot move in to her house and need to terminate the agreement and asking for reasonable amount of money back from the entire money I paid her in advance on March 12 2018 in a total of 4470.96 usd splitting into 1400 usd for security deposit, 1400 usd for June 2018, 1400 usd for May 2019 and 270.96 usd for 6 days in May from 26 to 31. I never see landlord rerent or advertise the house since March 29, 2018. She refused to let me find sub-lease and told me she will file eviction on me starting from July 2018 if I dont continue to pay her the rent. Last time she said if I want to terminate the lease I can only get 1400 security deposit back and If i agree I need to sign on a paper that her agent is going to write it out. Should I sue her in a small claim court to get all money back? How likely is my chance to be judged in a favor and will the result of the small claim court terminate my lease with her? ( using small claim court for money only)

1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: If you and landlord both signed the lease, then it would be a valid contract. Even if you don't move in, you would have the legal obligation to pay rent, unless there is an early termination provision. If not, then you would not be entitled to any return of money from landlord, unless landlord breached the lease and refused to allow you to move in. You could sue in small claims court if you have some legal basis for termination. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local attorney who can review the lease and all the facts, and advise you if you have a valid claims.

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