apartment/lease/deposit blah

apartment/lease/deposit blah

Hi, I have a question, or well I'm hoping to get some sort of advice on a situation I'm currently in. I hope this is OK to post here. I will try to make this a long story short - I moved into an apartment with two people (one being a friend of many years - the other a friend of his) in Sept of 06 - they signed the lease - I didn't. And my friend paid the entire security deposit. So, six months later the girl decides she can't afford it anymore & a new friend of mine moves into her room. Now, come Sept of this year my friend decides he wants to move out & the new friend & I want to stay - so we get a replacement for him & all is well. Except, my old friend wants his security deposit back. So, i call the landlord (who mind you - I have never met) & I tell the guy who collects our rent about this situation of me having lived there the entire time, but not on the lease. And that there are two new tenants & we want a whole new lease & we will give our own deposit & have my friend get his deposit back (based on the apartment's current appearance) from them. I know this may sound a little weird but due to history of sketchiness with this old friend when it comes to money - none of us felt comfortable just handing him $800. So, it's now november. I have never seen or signed a lease to prove any of us live there. And after many calls & talks with the landlord & the rent collector guy - the most he's ever done is come to collect the three of our names & gave false promises to have us sign the lease. And now my friend has spoken with the landlord who has told him to get the deposit from us and is angry with me because i won't give it to him. Am i doing this the right way by not giving him the money? Shouldn't there be a more legal way of doing this? We wanted the landlord to start over as if we were three new tenants with a new security deposit & new lease. What options do i have? the landlord is super sketchy & super rude when i call him. the guy who collects rent - while being very nice - is clueless. Do i just let this ride out & have my friend be angry with me & let him deal with it until the landlord comes directly to me with a lease? I feel like this is going to go on until NEXT september when the "lease" is up & we want to move out. Not sure if it matters, but I'm in Providence, RI. Thank you in advance for any advice!
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