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landlord avoiding me

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landlord owes me money, won't fix lock

I live in Minnesota. Sorry but this is a long story...
I moved into an apartment with a roommate in January 2001. In March 2001, my roommate somehow obtained permission from my landlord/apartment manager to kick me out. Since I had no place to go, I accepted an offer from my landlord to move into a studio apartment across the hall. The rent was too high for me, so we made a deal (unfortunately, verbally) that I would clean the building I live in and the one next door once a week (originally this was supposed to be "just vaccuuming and taking out the garbage", but turned into windows, mopping, sweeping, etc...). In exchange for me cleaning, I could pay $100 less per month. (The month following my cleaning-i.e. for cleaning in April i would get reduced May rent). I did this all throughout the month of April. The last week of the month, he called me a couple times to tell me that I wasn't doing a good enough job (Often I couldn't clean when I was supposed to becasue all the supplies would dissappear into my landlord's apartment. i work full-time and go to school and don't have time to deal with this.) So I told him that I would rather not do the cleaning anymore, and I would start paying the full amount of rent in June. He agreed. Since I had cleaned in April, I wrote my May rent check out for $100 less. He called and told me that he wanted me to write a new check for the full amount and he would give me $100 cash. This was over 3 weeks ago. He does not return my messages. It took him two weeks to return my original check, so he was walking around with 2 of my checks! I can tell he is avoiding me. I told him I want to sublet becasue this is not working out and he agreed. However no one wants to rent my apartment! The rent is way too high, not to mention it is in the basement, with NO LOCK on the window (which I told him about when i signed my lease, and have been reminding him of written and verbally for 2 months.) He keeps telling me he'll give me my money but never does. He's never home when I go over (he lives in the other building) or when i call (i leave messages). AAAh what to do? Do i have the option of terminating my lease without subletting? Thanks!

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