Can a landlord deduct from the security deposit for a broken oven in the stove?

Asked 11 months ago - Paterson, NJ

I have been trying to get him to fix it, since I need my oven. He says I have to fix it otherwise he will deduct from security deposit. Who is right? Can I force him to fix it? What if I threaten to report his basement apartment?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Layni S Rothbort

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . It depends on what your lease says regarding maintenance of appliances. If your lease requires you to pay for repairs, then you must do so; if the lease is silent and the landlord supplied the appliances, then it is most likely his responsibility to pay for repairs. You must put the landlord on notice in writing if the fact that the oven needs repairing and if he fails to do so within a reasonable period of time, you can arrange for the repairs to be made, pay for them and deduct the amount you pay from your rental payment (send a letter with your payment explaining the deduction and include a copy of the receipt). Just be sure to hold onto the receipt in case the landlord tries to sue you for non-payment.

  2. Michael D Mirne

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

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    Answered . Some of the other answers are unfortunately misleading. Once you vacate the dwelling, New Jersey law allows the landlord to deduct for unpaid rents as well as physical damages that the tenant caused to the rented premises. (This is different than the law in some neighboring states) It is also best to request a "walkthrough" inspection when you vacate so you and the landlord can agree on what damages have or have not occurred. Within 30 days of the time you vacate, the landlord must return all your security, less any allowable deductions. In the event of any improper withholding you can sue for double the wrongfully withheld portion.

  3. Peter Joseph Lamont

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Under NJ law he cannot deduct from the security. He can sue you for the damages. I suggest you speak with an attorney to protect your rights.

    If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer". Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Peter... more

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