Tenant Entitled to Return of Deposit
LVT Number: 17974
Former tenant sued landlord in small claims court for return of his security deposit. Landlord didn't appear for trial, and the court ruled for tenant. Landlord appealed, claiming that she was sick on the day of trial. She also said that tenant may not be entitled to the refund because he was one of four tenants in the apartment and landlord had agreed to return the security deposit to tenant's estranged wife. The appeals court ruled against landlord. Landlord sent a letter to court clerk by overnight delivery stating that she was sick, but made no further effort to contact the court or to provide medical proof of her illness. Landlord also had the responsibility to know which tenant paid the security deposit and to return the funds to the right person. Landlord submitted no proof that tenant wasn't entitled to the security deposit refund.
Cruz v. Diamond: NYLJ, 2/28/05, p. 44, col. 6 (App. T. 2 Dept.; McCabe, PJ, Covello, Tanebaum, JJ)