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I'm trying to figure out what to do about a rental

I'm trying to figure...

I'm trying to figure out what to do about a rental situation. Is this actually free?

Lawyer's Assistant: JustAnswer requires a modest payment. You'll see the amount on the next page. It's way less expensive than face-to-face would cost. And you're covered by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Okay, so This is a complicated one. Elie, Lyra, and I all rented an apartment starting August of 2016. Hold on while I turn dinner over.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

New Jersey. Okay, so in August 2016, Lyra, Elie, and I all moved in to a place in Newark. The deposit was $1750. Elie paid half of it, and Lyra and I paid our half together. In August 2017, Lyra left. She's a trust fund baby, so she said I could keep whatever she left behind and that I should take the full half of the deposit she and I paid together once I moved out. Okay, so We had to replace Lyra. Elie and I brought a new person in, Kwadaire. The landlady gave us a lease to review, and the lease stated that everything in the apartment was in perfect working order. We refused to sign it because there was a mouse infestation she knew about for 6 months and didn't fix, the windows don't lock, the stove was broken, etc. etc. She said she'd fix those things and then once she fixed them all, she'd write up a new lease. That was in September. It is now March, and she still has not fixed everything. Meanwhile Kwadaire and I have been at odds with each other. Elie is leaving in May, and I decided I didn't want to stay with Kwadaire as this place is terrible and I'm not on any lease.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No, but the broken stuff isn't the problem. She fixed the mouse issue, still hasn't fixed the windows, so there's no lease. I am sick of it and want out. I found a new apartment, but the guy at the new place said he needs me by April 1. I gave notice a few days ago. I'm not on a lease; there's no contract binding me to this place. However

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Terri says she expects me to pay April's rent because she cannot find a new tenant yet. There's also talk about them stiffing my security deposit. I want to know what my rights are as I am not currently on a lease. Also This is a two-family home with full apartments on the first and second floor, just two of them, in case that changes anything. I think I may already be a member.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I'm very confused as some sources would suggest that by giving less than 30 days notice, I forefit the deposit, meaning that unless I pay April's rent, I don't get anything back. At the same time, I don't see how she can make me pay for a month I won't be living here OR withhold my deposit when the lease expired in August.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Oh, and Terri is the landlady!
Answered in 14 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 42,114
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

.

If you wanted to terminate the tenancy, since you are month to month now, you have to give a full 30 days written notice before you can terminate. So if you didn't give written notice on March 1 or before that you would be leaving March 31, then the landlord can hold you liable for a prorated amount of April rent. See NJSA 46:8-9.4

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So you don't forfeit the deposit, but they can charge you for the extra days in April that add to the March days to equal 30 days in total.

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If they improperly retain your deposit, then you can sue them for twice the amount improperly withheld in small claims court plus attorney fees. See NJ Statutes 46:8-19

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 42,114
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
Verified
Barrister and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you for your response! If she finds someone to replace me prior to April 1, do I still have to pay the rent for April? It sounds like Kwadaire has someone coming to see the place.Also, how soon is she required to give me the deposit?Things are a little more complicated here as she had never rented to roommates prior to us and always rented to families. Given that, she has said she wants to hold on to the initial deposit from Elie and me until every last person who ever joins the party moves out.For some reason, now it seems like she's only giving deposits back when the next person gives theirs to her and yadda blah. Kwadaire is claiming she's charging him for my deposit, which makes no sense.Additionally, can I ask her to take April's rent out of my deposit?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Lastly, if someone else moves in by April 1, do I lose part of the deposit for not giving the proper 30 days?

You are very welcome.

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If she finds someone to replace me prior to April 1, do I still have to pay the rent for April?

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Nope, she can't double dip and charge you rent once she has a new tenant..

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Also, how soon is she required to give me the deposit?
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30 days after you vacate and return keys.

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Given that, she has said she wants to hold on to the initial deposit from Elie and me until every last person who ever joins the party moves out.

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Legally that is correct if you are just switching roommates but not entering into an entirely new lease.. It would be up to you to get your deposit from whoever is moving in unless the landlord collects a deposit from them as well..

.

Additionally, can I ask her to take April's rent out of my deposit?

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Not without her permission.

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Lastly, if someone else moves in by April 1, do I lose part of the deposit for not giving the proper 30 days?

.

No, you never "forfeit" or "lose" your deposit. It can only be used for actual damages, late fees, cleaning and delinquent rent..

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Technically Kwadaire is switching roommates, but we're currently not on a lease (and Kwadaire has never been on the lease). Given that, she'd be writing a new lease with Kwadaire and the additional people. Given that, shouldn't she be responsible for returning Elie and my security deposit?

Given that, she'd be writing a new lease with Kwadaire and the additional people. Given that, shouldn't she be responsible for returning Elie and my security deposit?

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Correct.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Also, it sounds like she can't legally make me pay the full rent for April since I gave notice on Friday, right? Is there a law that says that that I can point to?

Also, it sounds like she can't legally make me pay the full rent for April since I gave notice on Friday, right?

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Correct.

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Is there a law that says that that I can point to?

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The law in NJ doesn't specifically state one way or the other. The law just says:

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""The tenancy, if a tenancy from month to month, has been terminated by the giving of 1 month's notice to quit, which notice shall be deemed to be sufficient;""

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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