The new rent reforms have created some confusion over whether your landlord can keep your security deposit if you break a lease. A rule change says landlords must now “mitigate damages” for a tenant who wants to leave an apartment before the lease ends. That means they must do what they can to re-rent the unit and can’t keep it empty while they go after a departing tenant for lost rent.
Ellen Davidson, a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society in New York, thinks this means your security deposit is safe if you provide access to the unit and the landlord incurs no lost money because of damage or unpaid bills. She says the new law incentivizes landlords to find a new tenant.
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