Security Deposit return issue I used to reside in an apartment building, at the…

Security Deposit return issue
I used to reside in an apartment building, at the time my lease was to be renewed for another year I went on a month to month lease since I would be moving out before the end of the year. We called to advise the office that we would be moving out by 12/15/08 at which time they stated I would not get my deposit back. After several failed attempts to contact them (I have fax proof) to try and find out how much I needed to send them as my final rent payment, I finally received a letter today stating that I now owed them money, however they have my security deposit amount wrong and are charging me for an attorney fee of which I had no idea of. I need to find out if I should pursue taking them to court for all of my security deposit, I can only assume they never put my full security deposit in the bank or they would have the correct security deposit amount and also since I do not know why they are charging me for an attorney fee, a late fee and a court fee since I never went to court or received any notice. I need some advice on how to proceed and if I am entitle for them to show me proof with a bank statement that they had my full amount of security deposit in the bank and what would happen if they did not. Thank you

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  1. Re: Security Deposit return issue
    Disclaimer: By reading this answer you acknowledge that this answer is posted for informational purposes only and does not form an attorney-client relationship with the posting attorney.
    ANSWER: First of all, depending upon whether you gave the notice thirty days and according to the terms of the lease, you may not be entitled to return of the deposit for at least the time period that you should have given notice. I mean, if your lease ran from the first of the month to the first of the next month and you gave notice on 12/15 that you were leaving, you perhaps should have given the notice that you were leaving on 12/1 and leave by 1/1. Also, if you called them rather than giving them notice in writing if the lease required it, that may not be considered valid notice. They may be entitled to keep the deposit for rents from 1/1 to 2/1 since for valid notice you should’ve given them notice on 12/1 for leaving by 1/1. Since 12/1 passed without you giving notice, your notice would be effective as of 1/1 for leaving by 2/1/. Regardless, the landlord just cannot state and keep your security deposit without complying with the law as it relates to your type of tenancy. They have to send you notice in writing within 30 days of the termination of the tenancy, include a breakdown of the security deposit they were holding, the amounts they are holding back and a breakdown of the reasons for holding back the security deposit item by item. In addition, you are required to notice for a court proceeding. In a landlord-tenant eviction action, a court officer serves the summons. You should call the court and advise them that you were not served or ask for the proof of service. Also, depending upon the type of tenancy, the landlord is required to give you written notice every year of where your deposit is, how much is there and give you any interest earned on it or credit it to your rent on a yearly basis. These are just basic answers based upon what you stated. You can sue and sometimes get double what was due back to you for the security deposit. You should either contact the court for a pro se landlord tenant package related to landlord-tenant actions or contact an attorney for assistance. You may contact me for a low cost consultation if you like. Good luck.

    Tina Amodeo
    Law Office of Tina Nielsen Amodeo, LLC
    1170 Delsea Drive, Ste. SF-5
    Westville, NJ 08093

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