Ask a landlord-tenant lawyer and get answers ASAP
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.
Did the person voluntarily move out along with his belongings and return the key?
Did the police arrest him or cite him for anything?
Ok, if he has completely vacated due to causing a disturbance, then he is in breach of the lease contract and you would have the legal right to hold him liable for up to one more month's rent as a month to month tenant because he didn't give proper notice and his tenancy was terminated.
So no, you don't' have to give him any security deposit back and can use it towards cleaning, damages, and the next month's rent unless you rent it sooner than one month. Just make sure you mail him an itemized letter stating any deductions from the deposit within 30 days of him moving out so you comply with NJ law. If you don't know a forwarding address, just send it certified and regular mail to the property address in case he has forwarding and so you have proof of mailing.
If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.
New Jersey's security deposit laws are found here: New Jersey Statutes Annotated §§ 46:8-19, 44:8-21, 44:8-26.
And sure he can dispute it and file suit if he wants to. Then he will have to prove that he didn't violate the lease terms, that he didn't move out voluntarily, and that you didn't send the letter within 30 days after he moved out.
So I wouldn't worry too much about someone who inhales cleaners filing suit to try to pursue something like this where all the evidence is clearly against him.