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Old 06-18-2017, 10:18 PM
 
21 posts, read 5,583 times
Reputation: 15

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Hi, everyone. I have been renting the second floor of the house for 5 years now (Bergen County, NJ). When I moved in, my husband was deployed overseas and came from his deployment when we were already living in the new place for a month. I was a stayed at home mom, so we used my husband's pay stubs. The landlord (woman) needed my husband's signature for the lease, but he wasn't physically present when we moved in. One month later my husband comes back and our relationship goes down the hill, terrible drinking habits and PTSD problems forced me to separate from him (eventually got divorced). She saw his problems and refused to give us a lease, and since then I have been living in her apartment with a month-to-month renting. Here is the problem, I paid the security deposit with my husband's check and she put that money in the bank and put only my husband's name as a tenant. Since my ex-husband lived in this place literally only 3 months out of these 5 years, he obviously isn't tenanted anymore. But she still refused to give me a lease.
Now since my divorce, I pay (always on time) all my rent checks in my name, and never gave any reasons for the landlord to complain. But my landlord always gives me issues, she literally watches my every step (coming in and out of the apartment, I can see her staring from her window), she sends her boyfriend to fix broken things in the house and refuses to call professional plumber, and her boyfriend doesn't even know how to fix a thing!, and I shovel the driveway snow myself!) I have great neighbor, who used to live in my apartment, and apparently, my landlord had big fights and issues with all of her previous tenants (she tried to raise rent for $90, $100, refused to shovel the snow in the driveway that tenant car is parked, and so on).
I am planning to move out at the end of this year and I have a feeling my landlord would give me problems with the security deposit.
Since it's in my ex-husband's name, can she send the check to him instead of me? Can I give her permission to use the deposit as my last rent amount, and just add the remaining balance on top of that? (deposit is way less since she raised rent amount for $50 every year).
I don't want to end up losing money (my ex won't give me the check if he gets it) since I am a single mom and greatly need my deposit back!
Thank you in advance for your feedbacks and advises.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:39 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
8,603 posts, read 14,409,371 times
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Q: If the security Deposit (I'm willing to bet the landlord finds enough damage so there will be nothing left of the deposit), Came from your Ex Husbands income why shouldn't it be returned to him?

It was not your money, You might be able to make an argument that the Deposit was community property but that should have been done during your divorce, not now.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:04 PM
 
21 posts, read 5,583 times
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When we moved in, we were married, that means it was our money. But I am positive she would use his name in the check as an excuse not to give me the money. What comes to the apartment damages, I don't have any damage, it's an old place and everything was already the same way as it is now. I know even if she would find any damage, it shouldn't cost as my security deposit.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:10 PM
 
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I have no advice, but I'm sorry. My husband had PTSD and it was really freaking weird. My kid's still dealing with it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:13 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
8,603 posts, read 14,409,371 times
Reputation: 8898
Do you have written and photo documentation of all the damage that was there when you moved in?

If not its your word against hers, and she wins. (Most leases, even on a month to month require the tenant to document any damage at the beginning of the lease period, otherwise the property is considered in "Perfect" condition)

Did you bring up the deposit during your divorce?

At best you would get 1/2 of it, Not sure how much money your talking about, but you would have to re-open your divorce case to add the deposit to try to get it 1/2 of it back. Doubt it worth it.

Walk (Run) away from this apartment, and forget the deposit.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:20 PM
 
21 posts, read 5,583 times
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It was getting very dangerous, so I had to think about my child's and my safety. Divorce was an extremely stressful process. And now I am kinda stuck with this deposit issue and she is doing everything to keep it. She even gave me the rent increase notice to sign (which I did) and included the paragraph about how she is keeping the deposit in the bank and deposit cannot be used as payment for rent. Apparently, she was a terrible landlord to others and already had a case with tenants using the deposit as a rent. Even if she takes me to court, the fact that she is keeping tenants 5 years with no lease doesn't look good either.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:24 PM
 
21 posts, read 5,583 times
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Flyonpa, I don't have any pictures or video of the apartment's condition when I moved in. I don't think that matters. What matter is the condition of the place when I move out, which I am planning to take a nice video of the whole apartment.
The deposit is couple hundred dollars more than my whole month rent, but my rent isn't cheap so I am not planning to give up on my deposit.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:13 AM
 
7,465 posts, read 6,244,164 times
Reputation: 7059
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolineNJ View Post
It was getting very dangerous, so I had to think about my child's and my safety. Divorce was an extremely stressful process. And now I am kinda stuck with this deposit issue and she is doing everything to keep it. She even gave me the rent increase notice to sign (which I did) and included the paragraph about how she is keeping the deposit in the bank and deposit cannot be used as payment for rent. Apparently, she was a terrible landlord to others and already had a case with tenants using the deposit as a rent. Even if she takes me to court, the fact that she is keeping tenants 5 years with no lease doesn't look good either.
After a year lease is up? It automatically turns in to a month-to-month if another lease when a term limit isn't signed.

This isn't something that "looks bad", this is considered normal.

Read your original lease, if it states that the security deposit can't be used as last month's rent, you can't use it as last month's rent. Even if you ended up MTM.

Your issue with the security deposit & your ex isn't your LL's problem, it's yours. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but LLs aren't divorce lawyers & don't keep track of their tenants divorce decrees.

You'll have to hash it out with your ex. if your LL sends him the full/remainder of your security.

Did you use a lawyer for your divorce? If so, I would call him/her and ask how to proceed.

Best of luck!

(you might want to bring your concerns over to the RE forum...many LLs & property managers there and you never know if one of them *might* have some experience with a situation such as yours: http://www.city-data.com/forum/real-estate/ )
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:37 AM
 
21 posts, read 5,583 times
Reputation: 15
Informed info, I never signed the lease, because my landlord never gave me one. The reason why I brought up my ex so many times cause the security deposit check is in his name, and he paid it while we were still married, which makes it our money. The rest of the 5 years I have been paying rent and living in her apartment, not my ex. So I assume the deposit should be returned to me. But now knowing about my landlord's psycho attitude, and how she treats me, I know I won't see my deposit if I leave and expect her to mail it to me, she simply won't do it. She would find any reason not to do that. I don't have any lease, so that means I don't have any agreement how the renting would end, right? I just want to know if other people out here done that and what happened to them afterward?
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:50 AM
 
21 posts, read 5,583 times
Reputation: 15
Informed info, thank you for the advice about Re forum. I just posted there too.
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