Tenant Security Deposit Lawyer Trenton
The relationships between Landlord and Tenant has always been a delicate blend of business and personal. While, on its face, it is a strictly business relationship, the exposure, and often times, disputes between the two sides tends to create tension which affects each party on a personal level. That being said, in the eyes of the law, the Landlord-Tenant relationship is a contractual relationship governed by rules.
One of the most common issues tenants face is the return of their Security Deposit. In New Jersey, the law is very clear about what a landlord needs to do with a tenant’s deposit. First, the deposit must be placed in an interest-bearing account. Once the landlord does this, they must provide the tenant proof of the deposited funds. If they don’t put the funds in an interest-bearing account, the tenant has the right to request, in writing only, that their security deposit be applied to their rent.
While this is certainly a common issue, that is not the largest issue that tenants face when it comes to their Security Deposits. Often at times the landlord feels a sense of entitlement, and treats the security deposit like it is their monetary property. This is not the case. The security deposit belongs to the tenant, and is due to the tenant after they leave a rental unit – minus any damages or unpaid rents. Even then, there are steps a landlord must follow, and if they fail to do so, the tenant has the right and opportunity to sue.
Trenton Security Deposit Lawyer
New Jersey is governed by the Security Deposit Law under N.J.S.A 49:8-19 through 26. The Law provides requirements for both the Landlord and Tenant with respect to security deposits, as well as rights to remedy the landlord’s failure to adhere to the law.
Under the Law, a landlord must provide the Tenant with Their Full Deposit, or else an itemized list identifying any deductions to the security deposit and any amount remaining after those deductions, within thirty (30) days from when the date when the tenant vacates.
If the Landlord fails to provide this list and the remainder of the deposit within the prescribed 30-day time frame, then the law permits the tenant to sue for double damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
While the tenant can sue for double damages, it is important to note that the court will only award double the net amount due to the tenant. For example, the Landlord Withholds a Tenant’s Deposit of $1,500.00, claiming excessive damages, but did not send anything to the tenant within 30 days as required. In this example, if the court finds that the tenant was entitled to, say, $800.00 of their $1,500.00 deposit back (after appropriate damages or unpaid rent is deducted), the tenant will be awarded $1,600.00 – two times the $800.00 due, and the court can award that the landlord reimburses the tenant for attorneys’ fees. This is there to protect overreaching landlords from fraudulently withholding the tenant’s deposit.
Lawyer for Security Deposit Trenton Free Consultation
Landlords want you to give up filing your claim. After all, bringing a lawsuit costs a tenant both time and money that they may not have ready to spend. Let us help you teach them a lesson. If you are owed part or all of your security deposit by your landlord, The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. can help. Call our Trenton office at 609-257-4976 today to schedule a free consultation.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.