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E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:52 am
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Default E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

My role in New York will cease to exist in the next few months and my E2 visa will be cancelled as my employer wants me to move to another country but it will mean breaking the lease on my apartment and I'm REALLY concerned about losing my 2 months deposit as that's a significant amount of money that I can't afford to lose. My HR colleague (not based in the USA) seems to think that if they write an official letter to my landlord/building management company then they will surely understand the legal situation and return my deposit in full. However, I feel that it might be unlikely to find this understanding in New York! Has anyone had any experience with this type of situation and/or knows how best to approach it?
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 1:16 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Your landlord will likely not give a hoot why you're breaking your lease and will withhold your deposit. But given that the cause of your move out of the US is being driven by your employer, surely you could recharge the loss to your employer?

Last edited by cjdrum; Oct 23rd 2017 at 1:44 am. Reason: clarification
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 1:31 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

A lease is a contract. End of story.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 2:00 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Only exceptions I've ever seen is for military being deployed overseas (or moved someplace else on official orders).
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 2:28 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Originally Posted by cjdrum View Post
Your landlord will likely not give a hoot why you're breaking your lease and will withhold your deposit.
And could conceivably come after the OP for any remaining months rent beyond what the deposit covers. Of course, given the OP is moving abroad, that is unlikely. Additionally, many states require landlords to make good faith efforts to re-rent places on which the lease has been broken before holding deposit money.

Originally Posted by cjdrum View Post
But given that the cause of your move out of the US is being driven by your employer, surely you could recharge the loss to your employer?
You would hope that would be the case.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 2:37 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
.... many states require landlords to make good faith efforts to re-rent places on which the lease has been broken before holding deposit money. ....
I believe that is generally true, but trying to hold a landlord to abide by the rules, especially when you are overseas, may be an impossible battle, or at least one that is not cost effective to fight.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 2:49 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Originally Posted by julie78 View Post
My role in New York will cease to exist in the next few months and my E2 visa will be cancelled as my employer wants me to move to another country but it will mean breaking the lease on my apartment and I'm REALLY concerned about losing my 2 months deposit as that's a significant amount of money that I can't afford to lose. My HR colleague (not based in the USA) seems to think that if they write an official letter to my landlord/building management company then they will surely understand the legal situation and return my deposit in full. However, I feel that it might be unlikely to find this understanding in New York! Has anyone had any experience with this type of situation and/or knows how best to approach it?
It’s worth a try, depending on the current market. When I left my NYC apartment in mid lease, management were ecstatic because they could re-let for a much higher rent, and I got my deposit back. YMMV.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 3:17 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
..... When I left my NYC apartment in mid lease, management were ecstatic ....
Was that recently?
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 3:18 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Could you try to delay the job move until the end, or closer to the end of the lease. If your employer can't or won't do that, you could try and get the deposit money from them.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 6:38 am
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

The answer will be specific to New York state (and perhaps city) law. I know that in California, if a new leasee is located, the deposit with appropriate adjustments and interest will be returned.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
.... I know that in California, if a new leasee is located, the deposit with appropriate adjustments and interest will should be returned.
FIFY.

When it comes to relatively modest amounts of money in a rent-deposit situation, getting (back) what you are legally entitled to without a fight is far from certain, and fighting from outside the country, or even from another state, would mean engaging counsel and risking throwing good money after bad. What you may end up with is statement of bogus, trumped-up charges and deductions to support why most if not all of your deposit was forfeited.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Send the letter, ask HR for confirmation that anything you do not get back will be reimbursed by the company.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

I lived just outside of NYC in lower Westchester County so we shared the same laws re: apartment leases (other than if you were renting in a private home).

The management can go after you for the full amount of the outstanding lease, minus the two month deposit you initially placed when signing the lease. Leases can only be in the increments of 1 or 2 years. 3 year leases were done away with years ago. So if you still have 18 months on the present lease, they can demand you pay 16 months' rent.

However, in the NYC area or even in the surrounding 'burbs of Manhattan, rental apartments are in high demand as so many have converted to co-ops and condos. So re-renting your apartment should be easy for the management company and at a higher rental cost.

Read your lease and see if you have the right to sublet your apartment for the remaining time on your lease? If so, perhaps there is someone in your office or a friend of one of them who can take over your lease.

Frankly, talking to the management company, armed with the letter from HR stating your visa termination, can probably release you from owing the rent for the remaining months, but it is rare that they will give you back your deposit. I realize that apartments in Manhattan can go for $2500 a month and upwards depending on size and location. So getting back $5000 or more when you are moving internationally can be a big help in financing the move or paying for little things your company will not be picking up on your relocation.

Normally what people do in the case of vacating their apartments (I did this last year) is live out the two months of the deposit on the apartment. I left in June 2016 and didn't pay rent for the month of June using my security deposit as that months' rent. I only had one month's deposit on the apartment. I also knew that I would be moving before my lease was up and had a clause placed in my lease stating that I could vacate the apartment before the expiration of the lease without being held responsible for the remaining months on the lease.

Good luck with your future plans and with the management company as to a resolution in your favor.

Last edited by Rete; Oct 23rd 2017 at 3:02 pm.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
It’s worth a try, depending on the current market. When I left my NYC apartment in mid lease, management were ecstatic because they could re-let for a much higher rent, and I got my deposit back. YMMV.
Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Was that recently?
It doesn't have to be recent to still be valid. NYC and lower Westchester share the same laws in regards to apartment rentals and those laws have not changed appreciatively in decades. The only major change is the decontrolling and destabilizing of apartments once they become vacant. This means that if the tenant of a stabilized apartment or a rent controlled moves out, the apartment can now be rented at a fair market value. The subsequent increases still must fall within the guidelines of the housing board. There are several types of apartments for rent in both areas, i.e. rent controlled (pre-war units), rent stabilized, co-op rentals, condo rentals, private homeowner rentals, all of which are handled differently in terms of renting and rental prices.

If a tenant vacates an apartment, the rent is automatically increased at minimum the percentage of rent increases allowed for a 2 year lease under the housing board. The landlord does not have to wait for the current lease time to be fulfilled in order to increase the rent. It increases with the new tenant regardless of the number of months remaining on the previous tenant's lease.

So if the housing board voted in a 5% increase on a one year lease and an 8% increase on a two year lease and you signed a two year lease at 8% increase but vacated the apartment after only 6 months, the landlord can increase the rent again for a new incoming tenant. So they are happy to see you go because it is money in their pocket.

Last edited by Rete; Oct 23rd 2017 at 4:11 pm.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: E2 visa being cancelled - breaking apartment lease

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
It doesn't have to be recent to still be valid. NYC and lower Westchester share the same laws ....
But people's behaviour changes over time. I think people are more greedy and mercenary than they were several decades ago.

Also per your earlier post, a land lord cannot just claim the remaining amount due under lease - as S Folinsky posted, the landlord has to use "best endeavors" to find a replacement tenant and can (should) only deduct actual out of pocket losses/ rent "void periods".
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