Security Deposit FAQs
Dec. 16, 2022
In New Jersey, the laws governing security deposits are found in the New Jersey Security Deposit Act (N.J.S.A. 46:8-19). This act sets out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants with respect to security deposits in the state.
What is the maximum amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a landlord can charge a maximum of one and one-half months' rent for a security deposit.
When must a landlord return the security deposit to the tenant in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant within 30 days of the tenant moving out of the rental unit.
Can a landlord keep any or all of the security deposit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a landlord can only keep part or all of the security deposit if there is damage to the rental unit beyond normal wear and tear, or if the tenant owes the landlord money for rent or other expenses. The landlord must provide the tenant with a written itemized list of any deductions taken from the security deposit, along with any remaining balance.
Does a landlord have to place the security deposit in a separate bank account in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a landlord must place the security deposit in a separate, interest-bearing bank account. The landlord must also provide the tenant with written notice of the bank where the security deposit is being held, as well as the account number.
Can a tenant request an inspection of the rental unit before moving out in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a tenant has the right to request an inspection of the rental unit before moving out. The landlord must allow the tenant to be present at the inspection and must provide the tenant with a written list of any damages or deficiencies discovered during the inspection.
Can a tenant dispute the deductions taken from the security deposit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a tenant has the right to dispute any deductions taken from the security deposit. The tenant can do this by sending the landlord a written request for an itemized list of the deductions, along with any supporting documentation. If the landlord does not respond or the tenant is not satisfied with the response, the tenant can file a complaint with the Superior Court.
Under New Jersey law, a tenant may be entitled to recover double the amount of their security deposit if the landlord fails to return the deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out of the rental unit. This is in addition to any interest that may be owed on the security deposit, plus reasonable attorney’s fees.
It is important for both landlords and tenants to be familiar with the provisions of the Security Deposit Act to ensure that their rights and obligations are respected. If a landlord or tenant has any concerns about the security deposit, they should seek legal advice.