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Re: He won't return my security deposit
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Fair enough. To be honest that apartment is probably in slightly better condition than when i moved in, because i installed blinds and there weren't any when i moved in. I was only there for a year and even spent 3 hours cleaning before i moved out so he couldn't even find anything at all to claim as damage.

Anyways, what's to be expected from a L.Lord who only takes cash or money orders, and sneaks into my apartment when i'm not home. Ugh...this is just going to an annoying, uneccessary demand for what is mine.

Posted on: 2009/3/20 16:56
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Re: He won't return my security deposit
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you probably have a case.....although I had a tenant who swore when he left the unit it was in same condition as when he moved in. lets just say it was a brand new apartment, new everything when he moved out everything was old looking. the tub especially was stained for ever. It was evident he didnt clean once in 2 years. I kept his deposit....ill see him in court. I also am threatening to sue for damages beyond wear and tear.

He showed complete lack of respect for the apartment

Posted on: 2009/3/19 18:35
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He won't return my security deposit
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The apartment was exactly the same as when i moved out ( i was only there for a year). Now my previous landlord has completely ignored my calls and letters.

What's the next step? Small claims court? Where do i even begin with that?

Posted on: 2009/3/19 3:55
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Re: Security Deposit
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I had a bully of a landlord pull this stunt on me in Los Angeles, with a significanly larger deposit at stake.

I was so eager just to get him out of my life that I let it go.

he has made a habit of - and a fortune by - doing this to tenants, most of whom are busy professionals who just "let it go."

if I had it to do over, I'd totally take his creepy ass to court.

so on behalf of every wronged tenant, please don't let your jerk of a landlady get away with this.

let us know how it goes!

Posted on: 2008/7/23 22:10
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Re: Security Deposit
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Quote:

jehu wrote:
He never bothered to notify me that the deposit was/where banked as required by NJ law. Figured I wasn't going to have him use my security deposit to fix the mess the construcition of upstairs made... Needless to say he wasn't happy with that.


You can use the security for ANY month's rent, not just the last month, if the landlord fails to inform you where the deposit is after, I believe, 30 days.

Posted on: 2008/7/23 21:58
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Re: Security Deposit
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At times I wonder if landlords actually know their own rights and what they are supposed to do and not supposed to do.

Few years ago my landlord decided that he was going to renovate the apartment above me. No big deal, I figured most of the work would be done during the day and maybe a few weekends... Wrong; demoliton on the apartment started day after Christmas and proceded for about a month or two. In the mean time I had gapping holes in the roof, shattered fixtures, and cracks in the walls caused by the construction....I Notified the landlord what was going on and he was indifferent.... then I mentioned to him that he doesn't have permits to be doing this type of work (he had no permits at all) and only then did he tell the contractors to be more consiterate. So after a few months of construction he got a nice apartment and one irate tenant....

By the end of my lease I notified him (via certified letter) that I will be moving out and I will be using my security deposit as my last 1.5 months of rent. He never bothered to notify me that the deposit was/where banked as required by NJ law. Figured I wasn't going to have him use my security deposit to fix the mess the construcition of upstairs made... Needless to say he wasn't happy with that.

Posted on: 2008/7/23 19:24
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Re: Security Deposit
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I would post the address of the apartment you vacated along with the landlords name. Future renters smart enough to search Google will likely get to this thread and avoid the same problems you have faced.

Posted on: 2008/7/23 15:25
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Re: Security Deposit
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I have to wonder if you had my old landlady... who also took about a third of my security deposit because she said the apartment was dirty. It wasn't hundreds of dollars dirty, let me tell you. It was only old brownstone dingy but had been scrubbed to an inch of its life.

We sent her a certified letter with a request for the remainder, the laws around it, and mention of going to small claims. A couple of weeks later, I got the letter returned to me. She refused to answer the door to sign for it.

This landlord also told me when I could have visitors, that my sister could not come to stay over my apartment, my then boyfriend, now husband, could not come over anymore because once his shoes left mud on her doormat, and constantly re-sorted our garbage in to different bags for reasons I cannot comprehend.

Posted on: 2008/7/23 15:16
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Re: Security Deposit
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Quote:

Brand14 wrote:
Thanks for all the responses. I have moved a few times in my life and I always got my security deposit with interest. The reason I moved out of this apartment was that the landlord had "rules' from everything like how the door should be closed to the amount of garbage we can take out. The cleaning fees is due to the fact that we did not take out the stove and refrigerator and clean behind the appliances. (Can you believe it?) Also, I left one strand of hair in the bathtub.


This is a good site for this situation: http://www.rentlaw.com/dep/njreturndeposit.htm

Posted on: 2008/7/23 1:52
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Re: Security Deposit
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Thanks for all the responses. I have moved a few times in my life and I always got my security deposit with interest. The reason I moved out of this apartment was that the landlord had "rules' from everything like how the door should be closed to the amount of garbage we can take out. The cleaning fees is due to the fact that we did not take out the stove and refrigerator and clean behind the appliances. (Can you believe it?) Also, I left one strand of hair in the bathtub.

Posted on: 2008/7/23 1:27
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Re: Security Deposit
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All tenants should visit this site and refer to it if they have any issues. While there are some issues that are not covered and some statements that are technically incorrect, it is a great starting point to make sure that you are protecting yourself.

http://www.lsnjlaw.org/english/placeilive/irentmyhome/

Posted on: 2008/7/22 18:45
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Re: Security Deposit
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"if you don't ask you don't get it."

while i have not lived here for 25 years, i have lived here for almost 10. and i think it depends on how experienced the landlord is and how savvy the renter is.

some people are responsible and some people are not. we just bought a place but the last place we rented from (just left one month ago) was a nightmare. the landlord definitely would have taken advantage of anyone who didn't know his/her rights.

he tried to put our deposit into a checking account in his name. he then claimed he didn't know how to create an escrow account in our name. this took about 2 months. we then asked him if he was not able to create an escrow account in our names, to at least create a interest-bearing savings account. eventually, he grudgingly agreed but don't think for a second that it didn't affect our tenant/owner relationship. he made things excrutiatingly different than it should have been. we also never received any interest payments or notifications. i doubt we will receive it when we receive our deposit.

i think if you are renting from a single entity (i.e. some schmo who bought a place and decided to rent it out) you are better off being versed in renters' rights.

and also, since i've just read up on this, the landlord has 30 days to provide the deposit, otherwise, you are allowed to ask for double the amount owed to you + time wasted + court costs.

Posted on: 2008/7/22 17:48
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Re: Security Deposit
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Quote:

jerseymom wrote:
[...] And by the way, your security deposit is supposed to be kept in a bank account that bears interest, which you're supposed to receive when you get your security back. Virtually no one does that though in Jersey City that I know of.
[...].


I've lived in downtown JC for over 25 yrs. and always made sure that my landlords kept my deposit in an interest-bearing bank account, that I received annual statements attesting to that fact direct from the bank, and in my case I've asked that I receive a check for the annual interest. All have been done accordingly.

If you don't ask you don't get.

Quote:
Tenants' Rights in New Jersey Chapter Index
D: Chapter 3: Security Deposits


Interest on your security deposit

The Rent Security Deposit Act requires landlords who rent 10 or more apartments to place tenants? security deposits in either an insured money market fund or a federally insured bank account. The account must pay a rate of interest set at least quarterly and equal to the average rate of interest paid by the bank on money market accounts.

These higher interest accounts must be in New Jersey-based institutions. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-19(a).

The law requires landlords who rent fewer than 10 apartments to place security deposits in bank accounts that pay at least the regular rate of interest. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-19(b).

Whichever type of account your security deposit is in, all of the interest earned on it is yours. The law no longer allows the landlord to keep any amount to cover his or her administrative expenses. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-19(a).

The law now requires that the interest earned on the deposit must either be paid to you in cash every year or subtracted from the amount of rent you owe on the renewal or the anniversary of the lease. This must be done either when your lease is to be renewed or on January 31 each year. (The landlord must give you a written notice that he or she will be paying you on January 31 of each year instead of the date your lease is renewed.) Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-19(c).


Posted on: 2008/7/21 21:43
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Re: Security Deposit
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Try "Help Me Howard" on channel 11. I like watching him on the News at Ten.

Help Me Howard

There is also "7 on Your Side" on channel 7.

7 on Your Side

Posted on: 2008/7/21 18:30
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Re: Security Deposit
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Quote:

Minnie wrote:
Quote:

uhmno wrote:

I wouldn't bother with an attorney but I would file the papers with small claims court based on principle.



I'm not one to back down from a good fight... so I have to agree with the above statement. I say go for it! And good luck.

Yes go fer it. As one reply stated you may have a collection issue on your hands but it is more of a judgement so that landlord cannot ever get a loan with said judgement hanging over it's ugly head.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 18:12
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Re: Security Deposit
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uhmno wrote:

I wouldn't bother with an attorney but I would file the papers with small claims court based on principle.



I'm not one to back down from a good fight... so I have to agree with the above statement. I say go for it! And good luck.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 17:50
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Re: Security Deposit
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I would take the landlord to small claims court - if you have the time and can take off work without a hassle.

Keep in mind, the landlord can choose not to show up and then you'll be left with a collections issue on your hands, if a judgment is made in your favor.

You will probably be asked to mediate prior to the actual court hearing. You and the landlord sit in a room with a court officer and try to work out a settlement agreement prior to the judge hearing the case. It's the court's way of saving time.

The landlord cannot do this to you. It's a blatant rip-off. And by the way, your security deposit is supposed to be kept in a bank account that bears interest, which you're supposed to receive when you get your security back. Virtually no one does that though in Jersey City that I know of.

If you have a friend that's an attorney, try to get a letter written to her attention outlining your reasons why you should get your full security back (she's in violation of the law, etc).

You can do the same on your own, too. Send it certified mail, return receipt signature required, so you have proof to present to the court that you tried to work this out prior to suing. State the facts, tell her what you want (maybe tell her you'll settle for $250, instead of $350).

Keep the letter business-like, civil and succinct but state the facts. Make sure you add a dramatic CC: like The Attorney General and Arnold Diaz, Channel 2 Shame on You; Daily News Consumer Reporter - stuff like that. You don't really send it to them - but CC's do get people's attention, especially small-minded landlords who try to rip off good citizens.

Sorry for your plight. That's just plain wrong.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 15:33
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Re: Security Deposit
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Treble damages
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Treble damages, in law, is a term that indicates that a statute permits a court to triple the amount of the actual/compensatory damages to be awarded to a prevailing plaintiff, generally in order to punish the losing party for willful conduct. Treble damages are a multiple of, and not an addition to, actual damages. Thus, where a person received an award of $100 for an injury, a court applying treble damages would raise the award to $300.[1] The ability to award treble damages is a typical feature in legislation that recognizes the potentially willful nature of the prohibited acts. For example, such damages may be awarded by a court in the United States for willful violation of the antitrust laws, for willful patent infringement, for trademark counterfeiting, and under the RICO statute.[2] The idea behind the creation of such damages, also called exemplary damages, is that they will encourage citizens to sue for violations that are harmful to society in general.

The United States Supreme Court determined in Commissioner v. Glenshaw Glass Co. that, unlike merely compensatory damages, which are exempt from federal income tax, such taxes must be paid on the excess amount (the amount that exceeds the actual damages) of treble damages. Furthermore, some foreign governments will assist U.S. citizens in collecting damages, but not treble damage awards, which are considered penal.
And I would get an itemized receipt for everything incurred.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 14:19
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Re: Security Deposit
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A landlord cannot deduct for normal wear and tear. Depending on how long you have lived there, repainting and cleaning of the carpets is likely normal wear and tear and a cost landlords should anticipate incurring when renting out property. The same is true for the filter.

If the landlord does not return your deposit within a period of time (I believe 30 days) with a detailed itemization of deductions or if he/she improperly deducts money, you are entitled to damages (the wrongfully withheld portion and I believe that it is either doubled or tripled) and attorneys' fees. While it is a small case, you can probably find some attorney that would be willing to take it on with the hopes of getting their fees if you win. Or someone who is willing to write a letter and see if the landlord offers to give back even a portion.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 13:53
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Re: Security Deposit
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I wouldn't bother with an attorney but I would file the papers with small claims court based on principle. And I would scan a copy and send everything to the landlord and maybe you'll just scare him/her in to giving you the $ back. It is only $325 but it depends on your character and if you hate feeling taken advantage of then file the claim.

That all being said, I've never filed a claim in small claims court, and every time I've had to go to court (a few traffic tickets) I've had to miss work - so if that's a big issue then you'll need to let it go.

oh and while at Rutgers I actually did have to go to court with a landlord and I found the judge (in New Brunswick, not speaking for Jersey City) very much on the tenant's side. The judge announced before court started that if it was a tenant/landlord dispute that the laws were written in the tenant's favor.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 13:45
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Re: Security Deposit
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Cleaning and painting? I know you're supposed to leave an apartment clean but isn't it the law that an apartment must be painted every time a new lease with a new tenant is signed? That's the responsibility of the landlord, not the previous tenant. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but I really don't think the tenant is responsible for paint.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 13:00
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Re: Security Deposit
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Quote:

Brand14 wrote:
We recently moved out of our apartment in the JC area and the Witchy landlord took out $325 of my security deposit
for cleaning and painting expenses as well as a $50 charge for replacing the water filter in the refrigerator. Now I know this is not "legal" but the landlord will not give me the money. I have gone to see an attorney and he indicated that the landlord was wrong in taking this money from my deposit. However, he suggested that this is a small amount of money and that it isn't worth my time to pursue it via Samll Claims Court. Is he right?

I think I should because it is more the "principle" and ethics as opposed to the $. Any advice?


If you didn't photograph the apt with before and after photos to document your side that the apt suffered no damage that wasn't already there, then you will suffer the burden of proof in small claims court. Also, even if you win you will have to pay a marshal to enforce the collection.

You got good legal advice but if you want to pursue it go to lsnj.org and read the section on security deposits under the Tenant's Handbook.

Posted on: 2008/7/21 5:43
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Security Deposit
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We recently moved out of our apartment in the JC area and the Witchy landlord took out $325 of my security deposit
for cleaning and painting expenses as well as a $50 charge for replacing the water filter in the refrigerator. Now I know this is not "legal" but the landlord will not give me the money. I have gone to see an attorney and he indicated that the landlord was wrong in taking this money from my deposit. However, he suggested that this is a small amount of money and that it isn't worth my time to pursue it via Samll Claims Court. Is he right?

I think I should because it is more the "principle" and ethics as opposed to the $. Any advice?

Posted on: 2008/7/21 2:26
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