Subject: Landlord/Tenant - State: NJ
It's my understanding that under New Jersey State law a landlord is required to put a security deposit
that he has received from a tenant (me) in a bank account and provide written notice to the tenant within 30 days of the name and address of the bank in which the money was deposited. The lease I signed itself has a section that says that the landlord must and will do this, and it even goes further stating that the landlord will include the account number. My landlord didn't do this, however. The lease does state that the security deposit will be placed in Bank of America, but it does not give an account number or the address of a bank. From what I've researched, it seems that if I send him a letter requesting this information now and he failed to provide it, then I can direct him to use the security deposit to pay my last month's rent (which I owe). I'm pretty sure my landlord did not put the security deposit in a bank account, but if I send him a letter requesting the name, address, and account number of the bank in which the money is deposited, I'm sure he will figure out what I'm up to, deposit cash into some account, and claim it is the security deposit I gave him. My question is, therefore, does it matter whether my landlord deposited the money immediately after I gave it to him, or can he deposit it now (3 years after the lease was signed) and still meet his legal obligation?
If I send this letter requesting this info. does that at least buy me an extra thirty days to pay the rent, as I wait for a reply?
Secondly, as I said already, I have not yet paid this month's rent, which is also my last. (I moved earlier this month after giving my landlord 45-day notice of my desire to terminate the lease.) Yesterday, my landlord sent me a "Notice to Pay Late Rent
" in which he says that I have 3 days to pay the outstanding rent, and if don't, according to the notice, I must remove my belongings from the apartment
and will be responsible for attorney fees and costs, should he decide to proceed with legal action to recover the rent, along with any costs he may incur from removing my possessions from the apartment. I've read the lease several times, and I see nothing that says that I must remove my property from the premises within 3 days after I receive notice that the rent is late. I've always intended to pay him the rent as soon as I came up with the money, but I've also been operating under the assumption that I have until July 1st to remove everything from the apartment. My question: Is he able to set a three-day limit for me to pay rent? Can he direct me to vacate the apartment after the three-day period, even thought that's before the end of the month? The way I see it, if I rush to remove my property before the 27th, I'll owe a full month's rent for an apartment I was only allowed to occupy for less than a month.