Landlord Tenant Issues Involving Security Deposit, Late Fees and other

Asked over 1 year ago - Clifton, NJ

I've lived in a two family, owner-occupied home for several years ago. We never had notice of the location of our security, nor have we received yearly interest statements or payments. We gave landlord written notice under the Rent Security Deposit Act that we were using our security and permitted interest to our rent. He says he looked into it and we're not entitled to apply the interest because it's owner-occupied. He's refusing to accept the security deposit as rent and has now given us a notice to quit for failure to pay rent. Please clarify. We have been paying cash but haven't received a receipt in over a year. He wants late fees for last year. First year was a lease; month to month since then. Is landlord entitled to late fees if demand is not in writing? Are they statutory?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven Todd Keppler

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . You should consult with an attorney about these issues, as owner-occupied premises do have special considerations under New Jersey Law. That being said, I'm unaware of any section of the Rent Security Deposit Act which permits an owner-occupier to either not deposit the security deposit in a properly-chartered bank, or excuses the her from providing tenants with written notice of where the money is deposited.

    As far as late charges or other arrears go, your LL's going to have to prove the losses and you may be able to argue he waived late fees by ratification if there's been sufficient time.

    Good luck

    The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client... more
  2. Robert L Gutman

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . I agree with Mr. Keppler. Your LL was supposed to deposit the funds and you were entitled to interest on your money. Further, your LL was required to apply your deposit to the outstanding rent. As for the late fees, the LL will be required to prove that same are called for in the lease and that you infect paid the rent late. Good luck.

    The previous information is solely for informational purposes only. If you have further questions, please contact... more
  3. Matthew R Schutz

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . I agree with the other two counsel. While the LL may be exempt from some provisions of the anti eviction act, he needs to comply with the rent security act. You are entitled to have the security applied to the rent. He has waived his right to late fees by accepting the rent.

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