Landlord evading returning my deposit
1. I moved into a flat on 1st January 2020, after signing a lease of 11 months. So the lease expires on 30th November 2020.
2. On 6th September 2020 (after I had paid my month's rent), the landlord called and asked me to move to another flat in the same building. I checked the other flat out and it was not to my liking, so I refused to move to the other flat and decided to move out altogether (the living conditions provided by that landlord in that building were quite poor and he hadn't provided a lot of amenities initially promised.
3. My contract had a clause stating I needed to provide 2 months' notice before vacating
4. On 14th September I called the landlord and told him I will vacate on 30th September, since I did not feel comfortable being forced into moving to another flat. The landlord did not dispute the notice period, although he offered my a 2bhk in the building but that was out of my budget so I declined. I also dropped him a WhatsApp message about the same, after the call (no email)
5. On 30th September I vacated the flat, duly cleaned, and handed over the key
6. While it is unacceptable, the landlord said he cannot return my deposit (Rs 40,000) for a month since it's the time of Covid and a lot of tenants have vacated flats in the building (he owns the whole building).
7. I followed up with him a few times but didn't press too much until a month was over, but even after one month's time, he is not returning my money stating he has no money to return and all his flats are vacant. When I speak firmly, he starts shouting at me about not giving him 2 months' notice.
8. During one such calls he let slip that he has no money since he has invested it in different places. (I have recordings of this and some more calls)
Is there anything I can do now?