When can tenant use security deposit as rent?

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When can tenant use security deposit as rent?

I understand that in my state, if the landlord does not follow the rules regarding security deposits, the tenant may use the security as rent. My landlord the 1st 2 years didn’t tell me where the security was deposited or if it was, nor did I receive interest payments on the deposit. This past year he did notify me, and I did receive a bank statement. However I noticed money taken out and put back in. Can I use this as grounds to use my security as rent? He’s been difficult and I am very worried he will try to keep my security deposit. The house is old and was run down when I moved in.

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states in this country, a security deposit is to be used soley as security for any damages caused by the tenant and not for rent UNLESS the written lease agreement states otherwise. As such, I suggest that you carefully read your lease as to what reference there is with respect to how your security deposit can be used for any purpose other than damage repair.

After you read your presumed written lease, you may wish to consult with a landlord tenant attorney further about your matter.


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