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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I have a few questions regarding legal standing as tenant,

Customer Question

I have a few questions regarding legal standing as tenant, who never received the security deposit bank details disclosure from my landlord though she claims she sent it, I do not believe she opened an account for it. Brief backstory, I signed a year lease (June 7, 2014 to June 7 2015) on a condo . However we had a verbal agreement ( my mistake) that my landlord was not planning to sell for the next four years. However she informed me she wants to sell at the end of my lease. It was going to be very inconvenient to move at that time so I informed her and moved two months early, she informed me she that if she found a buyer she would not hold me accountable for rent till the end of the lease. She told me April 4 she found a buyer and signed a contract and would probably close April 30 or May 7. I Essentially implying I will not owe the last month's rent (May 7 to June 7). I moved out April 11 but I did pay for April ( which covers April 7 to May 7), she has not exactly been forthcoming with information on the status of the sale at this point now claiming it can take 90 days to close. So my main issue now is, i researched a bit into the security deposit law and need to know if
1. The law implies a seperate account that should either have my name or my name and hers on it for the security deposit be opened at the start of the lease?
2. Since this bank information was not received can I apply it to rent for last month if I am still deemed liable even though she found a buyer.
3. I have requested the bank information she says she will be sending it but it might take some time. This makes me believe the account may just have been opened recently and legally should I be able to for instance call the bank and verify when the account was opened. I asked her and she was saying I would not be able to do that because its her account?
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will do what I can to help...Can you tell me what state this is in?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
New Jersey
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Ok, within 30 days of receiving the deposit and every time the landlord pays the tenant interest, the landlord must disclose the name and address of the financial institution where the deposit is being held, the type of account, current rate of interest, and the amount of the deposit. The landlord has to pay interest on accounts unless they have 10 or less rental units. (New Jersey Statutes Annotated §§ 46:8-19).If the landlord failed to give you written notice within 30 days of you giving them the security deposit, then they owe you 7% interest yearly and you can notify them in writing that you want to apply the security deposit and any accrued interest towards the rent. The landlord can not ask for any further security deposit. You have to give the landlord 30 days notice before the deposit and interest is applied to the rent for them to provide documentation that they did actually comply with the law on depositing the money. (New Jersey Statutes Annotated §§ 46:8-19).As for any further obligation for rent, if the landlord has taken the property off the rental market, then they can't hold you liable for further rent because they have a duty to mitigate their damages in the event of a breach by trying to re-rent the property...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the response, my follow up questions are
1. Since she is not re-renting instead is selling at what point am I not liable for rent. As of now she had signed a contract with a buyer April 4 but has not closed and I suspect is just dragging out the process.
2. In regards ***** ***** the security deposit account I was told she should have given a form or asked for my social security to be able to open that account all of which she didn't but I am not sure if that is true?
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
I would opine that if you have vacated and surrendered possession, and she did not take any efforts to re-rent the property, then your legal liability would have ceased at that time. A landlord in NJ has a duty to mitigate their damages in the event of a breach by attempting to re-rent the property as soon as possible. If she has failed to do so, then she would be considered to have acted in bad faith and that would release you from any further obligation..As for the security deposit, the landlord puts it in an account in their own name in a designated landlord/tenant account and then pays the interest over to the tenant in cash each year or subtracts it from the rent. Since this is an escrow/custodial account, it can be opened without you signing anything...thanksBarrister

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