Mother gave 30 days notice to move out. Moved out on April 2nd. Returned keys on April 5th. Apartment was left clean, no damages. Landlord and landlords husband has been contacted numerous times this past week to schedule a day to return the deposit but they have been ignoring the calls. We have left them a few voicemails and no reply. Mom lived there for 12 years, no interest form was signed at the beginning of the lease. I thought of sending the landlord a certified "refund request letter" and proceed with a lawsuit if indeed no response.
Some additional information may be necessary to be certain of the actions you can take, but in general a landlord is supposed to return the security deposit within 30 days of you leaving the premises. According to the New Jersey Rent Security Deposit Act, a landlord is required to return your security deposit within 30 days after you move out. If the landlord fails to provide the security deposit, he or she is required to give a complete list of damages that the security deposit money is being applied to. Failure to provide the security deposit or a certified mailing detailing what the security deposit was applied to entitles you to sue to landlord for return of the security deposit. When you file for suit, be sure to file for double the amount of the security deposit as New Jersey law allows a successful tenant to recover double the amount of the original deposit. Also include your full costs for the suit such as filing fees.
Make sure to file in the appropriate division as well. Small Claims Court has a monetary limit of $5,000.00 for return of security deposit matters. If your total cost is above $5,000.00 then you might want to consider filing in the Special Civil Part, which has a maximum damages amount of $15,000.00.
No Legal Advice Intended: This answer is meant purely for general guidance and informational purposes only. These informational answers and comments are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.
The landlord has 30 days to either send you the deposit or a letter stating itemizing any deductions from the deposit. But while you state that you gave 30 days notice, that does not mean that you lawfully terminated the tenancy and are entitled to the full security deposit. Even if you sue, the landlord is only liable for amounts that are unlawfully withheld. More information is required. You should schedule a consultation with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney.
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