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Ask Curbed: Is This Fishy or Normal?

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"The place I'm supposed to move into has a converted bedroom. I am supposed to sign the lease next week, but one of the roommates just informed me that last year she and the other two roommates paid $1500 ($500 apiece) to have a wall installed and now I have to pay $500 (basically to pay back one of the roommates who is moving out) and then I'm supposed to charge the next person who replaces me that $500. She said that's a common process in NY but since it sounds a little fishy to me, I wanted to get some feedback." [Ask Curbed Inbox; Ask Curbed Archives]