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Ask Curbed: Can I Skip the Final Month's Rent?

We reach into the Ask Curbed mailbag for this question, which has to do with fear of losing one's security deposit upon moving and whether to take matters into one's own hands:

I live in an apartment, where the rent is $1,800 per month, and the Landlord is holding a $1,800 per month Security Deposit. My lease expires on June 30, 2007, and I am not renewing, as I am moving to Hoboken. There is no damage to the apartment, but I am worried that the landlord will make up something, so that he can attempt to keep my Security Deposit. I plan on not paying June's rent, and telling the landlord to just keep the Security Deposit as June's rent. While this might technically violate my lease, I cannot see any downside. I cannot imagine that he would file a non-payment action, as he will not receive his money any quicker, as it will take over a month for him to receive a judgment, so what is he accomplishing, besides incurring legal fees? Further, I have a new place, for July 1, 2007, so I do not have to fear that I can get evicted. Is there any downside to me not paying the last month's rent?

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