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Old 03-05-2011, 12:26 PM
 
57 posts, read 118,979 times
Reputation: 28
Default Use deposit as last month's rent

I had rented a house in New Jersey on a 6 months lease. My lease has expired by the end of Feb. I'm on a month to month now as I didn't renew my lease. I gave a notice to vacate my house 30 days in advance. I have paid 1.5 times the rent as a security deposit. The landlord is a shady guy and I don't trust that he would return my deposit back. Can I use my security deposit as my last month's rent?
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:39 PM
 
3,764 posts, read 4,439,270 times
Reputation: 1809
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygeek View Post
I had rented a house in New Jersey on a 6 months lease. My lease has expired by the end of Feb. I'm on a month to month now as I didn't renew my lease. I gave a notice to vacate my house 30 days in advance. I have paid 1.5 times the rent as a security deposit. The landlord is a shady guy and I don't trust that he would return my deposit back. Can I use my security deposit as my last month's rent?
What you are suggesting is not criminal, however the landlord can evict you. Whether he will do that or not depends on what it costs to do it and if he can collect it from you. Whether or not that is ethical is up to you. In my depends on how good your information on your suspicion that he will unfairly withhold your deposit.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:11 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
21,632 posts, read 25,212,126 times
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Google New Jersey Landlord Tenant laws and see what is says about the security deposit. In most jurisdictions a security deposit cannot be used as a last month's rent. Your landlord is required to return your security within a proscribed time upon quit and, if he is withholding any of it for damages, etc. he has to provide proof of such damages and receipts. Take detailed photographs of the place before you move out which you can use as proof in Small Claims Court if he withholds without cause any of the deposit.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:23 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,580 posts, read 19,955,756 times
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This obviously defeats the purpose of a security deposit from the LL's perspective. Now there is nothing to cover damages.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,676 posts, read 5,951,635 times
Reputation: 2248
What's in your lease? Ours clearly states that security deposit cannot be used for last month's rent. It is a DEPOSIT against loss or damage, insufficient cleaning at moveout etc.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: The not so Wild West
894 posts, read 1,556,213 times
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No you don't have to pay you last months rent.

And if you were my tenant you would have an eviction started on the 1st, and an eviction filed on the 5th, and a judgment against you for the rent, plus court costs, and I will garnish your wages, seize your bank accounts, cars, anything I can until I'm paid.

So, I recommend you pay your rent on time. Leave the unit as nice or nice than you found it, and document that (you did take photos with the LL when you moved in right?) and ask the LL to give you a walk through 2 weeks early so you can correct any deficiencies and get all your deposit back.

Remember in many states that don't require deposits kept in an escrow account, the LL has already spent your SD, and is broke, so they will try to ding you for the money or hold it at least until they get a new tenant.

So, you pay the rent. You document the condition upon move out. In 6 months you couldn't do too much damage unless you had an elephant for a pet and kicked in the walls out of spite. You demand your deposit if the LL doesn't return it, and sue in SC court if he doesn't.

Be aware even if you think a place is clean, oftentimes the LL's standards are higher so you can probably expect some charges for cleaning or carpet cleaning, etc.

I have had wonderful tenants think they cleaned the place and left a mess that took 3 days to finish. Grime in the corners, under the stove top, gunk in the corners of the refrigerator, etc. After you have spent 2 hours on your knees cleaning the tenants grime out of the oven you will understand why we charge a $50 fee for it.

To reduce that I give my tenants a cleaning check list, a list of cleaning costs, and provide a walk-through. After that it is up to them. Either they clean or I clean and charge them (a lot).
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:40 PM
 
15,457 posts, read 20,242,535 times
Reputation: 6505
Even if it is not in your lease, every State has almost the same Law which is very clear. Security Deposit cannot be used as rent! If you do you risk to have your credit score damaged...
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:44 PM
 
15,457 posts, read 20,242,535 times
Reputation: 6505
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamies View Post
No you don't have to pay you last months rent.

And if you were my tenant you would have an eviction started on the 1st, and an eviction filed on the 5th, and a judgment against you for the rent, plus court costs, and I will garnish your wages, seize your bank accounts, cars, anything I can until I'm paid.

So, I recommend you pay your rent on time. Leave the unit as nice or nice than you found it, and document that (you did take photos with the LL when you moved in right?) and ask the LL to give you a walk through 2 weeks early so you can correct any deficiencies and get all your deposit back.

Remember in many states that don't require deposits kept in an escrow account, the LL has already spent your SD, and is broke, so they will try to ding you for the money or hold it at least until they get a new tenant.

So, you pay the rent. You document the condition upon move out. In 6 months you couldn't do too much damage unless you had an elephant for a pet and kicked in the walls out of spite. You demand your deposit if the LL doesn't return it, and sue in SC court if he doesn't.

Be aware even if you think a place is clean, oftentimes the LL's standards are higher so you can probably expect some charges for cleaning or carpet cleaning, etc.

I have had wonderful tenants think they cleaned the place and left a mess that took 3 days to finish. Grime in the corners, under the stove top, gunk in the corners of the refrigerator, etc. After you have spent 2 hours on your knees cleaning the tenants grime out of the oven you will understand why we charge a $50 fee for it.

To reduce that I give my tenants a cleaning check list, a list of cleaning costs, and provide a walk-through. After that it is up to them. Either they clean or I clean and charge them (a lot).
We sent them a letter clearly stating what needs to be cleaned and in our contracts we have a minimum cleaning fee IF they don't let it clean as on move in...

We do a move out inspection a few weeks earlier so we have an idea what the property looks like and we tell them what they need to do to get their security deposit back. Some tenants refuse the inspection by over and over stating they don't have time...these are the tenants who never get their money back since they mostly let us haul of the trash and what they don't need, etc...

We love to give the security deposit back since that means less work for us to do. It is not that we are getting rich of secuirty deposits...
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,676 posts, read 5,951,635 times
Reputation: 2248
What states don't require that deposits be in a Trust account? That's just nuts!!
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:49 PM
 
8,496 posts, read 9,654,517 times
Reputation: 4228
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygeek View Post
i had rented a house in new jersey on a 6 months lease. My lease has expired by the end of feb. I'm on a month to month now as i didn't renew my lease. I gave a notice to vacate my house 30 days in advance. I have paid 1.5 times the rent as a security deposit. The landlord is a shady guy and i don't trust that he would return my deposit back. Can i use my security deposit as my last month's rent?
no.....
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