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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33708
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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I rent 2 rooms in my house. I do not have written leases -

Customer Question

I rent 2 rooms in my house. I do not have written leases - only verbally because I do not report the income. I am 61 on SS Disability. I had a tenant for 1 month and 3 weeks. I had to call the police two nights in a row. He was sniffing Dust and Lint cleaners (aerosols) and falling around upstairs and smashing into walls and furniture. He actually went into one of closets thinking it was a bathroom. This was at all hours of the day and night. The police said I could get a restraining order. I called his sister instead and said I want him out immediately. He left but now he wants his security deposit back. We had a verbal agreement of 30 days notice and I lost a month's rent and now I am scared in my own home. Do I have to return his security deposit?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.

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.

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Did the person voluntarily move out along with his belongings and return the key?

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Did the police arrest him or cite him for anything?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He left because I told him to, otherwise I was going the next afternoon to get a restraining order which the police had advised me to do
No key - I have a combination lock. His Sister came and he came a couple days later to pick up all of the rest of his personal belongings. I was told by his sister to not change the combination until he had cleared all of the stuff out. I did not change it until everything was removed from his room.The police did not arrest. The first night I called them and emergency squad. They took me to the hospital and released him within a half hour. I called because he was foaming at the mouth. The second time I called him was because of the slamming and crashing upstairs and him not responding to the door when I knocked.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.

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.

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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.

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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.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do you have a stature I can put in my itemized letter? Also can he dispute it and how?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.

New Jersey's security deposit laws are found here: New Jersey Statutes Annotated §§ 46:8-19, 44:8-21, 44:8-26.

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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.

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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.

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thanks

Barrister

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