One strange day, I notice my paycheck is a little smaller than normal. Check the pay stub: Garnishment. Perplexed, I go to the payroll department. They give me the number of a law firm that is responsible for the garnishing of my wages. After many exhausting phones calls and dead ends, I finally reach a lawyer who says that because I didn’t show up in court when summoned by the “landlord”, the judge ruled that the owner of my previous apartment building could garnish my wages to collect unpaid rent. The previous land lord was under the impression that I was still living in the apartment that I vacated at lease end two years prior.
Curbed NY is kicking off their “rental week” with a series of renter horror stories. They’ve started with this story about a tenant who was sued by a former landlord for not paying rent after vacating his apartment. He only discovered this after he noticed his wages were being garnished. My one big question is: If the tenant didn’t sign a lease renewal, how did the landlord sue him successfully? Also, this is a good reminder that you should send your landlord a written, dated notification by certified mail telling him or her that you are not renewing your lease and are vacating the apartment when you decide to move.