Q: My son is not renewing a lease. The roommate is renewing but refuses to pay my son his rightful half of the deposit.
My son is renting an apartment with one roommate. The lease they both signed includes a $995 deposit which they each paid half $477.50. The lease ends May 31, 2023. My son is going to move out May 31. His roommate has decided to stay in the apartment and resign the lease with my sons name deleted June 1, 2023. The apartment complex has told my son that he has to get his half of the deposit back from his roommate who is staying and signing a new lease. His roommate has said he is not going to pay until he finishes his next lease in one or two years. Then when he gets the deposit back he will give half to my son.That is not fair at all. How does my son get his rightful half of the deposit? Thank you.
Sorry to hear about your son's situation. Consulting an attorney on this may not be worth the money unless your son wants to prove a point or he can find a low flat rate for the legal work.
Your son should consider the following:
(1) Review the lease and document: Carefully review the lease agreement to understand the terms and conditions related to the deposit. Document any relevant evidence, such as move-in and move-out inspection reports, photographs, and communication with the landlord regarding the deposit.
(2) Request from landlord a partial refund to your son: The departing roommate is usually entitled to receive their portion of the shared deposit back from the landlord. The remaining roommate who is staying may need to provide a replacement deposit or sign a new lease agreement with the landlord, which is not your son's problem.
(3) Ask the landlord to adjust the deposit internally: The landlord may choose to keep the full shared deposit intact and adjust the amount allocated to each individual roommate. The portion previously assigned to the departing roommate may be refunded, while the remaining roommate continues with their renewed lease.
(4) If you need legal help, find an Illinois attorney who can write a demand letter to the landlord and/or the roommate.
(5) Consider the Attorney General's office: File a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General's office. They handle disputes related to consumer fraud. https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/File-A-Complaint/
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