Legal question, Need Help!!! - Posted by David

Posted by Redline on March 16, 2001 at 20:03:36:

All sounds good Bud, except here in NJ a landlord CANNOT under any circumstances withold a security deposit in lieu of rent. Security deposits are just that, to cover damages and repairs. The security deposit would have to be returned, and the lost rent be fought for in court.

Of course I know you don’t live in NJ :wink:


Legal question, Need Help!!! - Posted by David

Posted by David on March 15, 2001 at 12:18:19:

Back in November, a tenant stopped paying rent. He stayed in the place the day before we were to go to court, Dec. 14, and I was left trying to find another tenant 2 weeks before Christmas. I did not get another tenant in until Feb 1. Question: Can I take the guy to court to get back rent for November to January, or just from the time he was in the place and did not pay, Nov 1 to Dec 14. The guy was under lease until June 2002. Any help would be appreciated

Re: Legal question, Need Help!!! - Posted by JasonWDTX

Posted by JasonWDTX on March 18, 2001 at 01:39:17:

In reality, its hard to get rent for time that the tenant has not occupied the property in a residential lease. If your lease did not include any reletting type fee then you should modify your lease. If it does include a reletting fee then you may have a chance to recover that fee and unpaid rent for the time the tenant was there, but not for all the amount of time left on the lease or the time to re-rent. Call the JP and ask. Unless you are in a big city, the JP might tell you what you can do. Its worth a call. I learned a lot from a small town JP who pulled out the code and read it to me and explained it to me to answer my questions.

Re: Legal question, Need Help!!! - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on March 16, 2001 at 11:36:22:

I have a clause in my leases that one month is due for early termination of the lease(reletting fee.) You ask for that at the time of filing in addition to rent overdue.

All parties agree that termination of this Agreement prior to termination date will constitute breach of the tenancy and all Security Deposits and one full month’s rent shall be forfeited in favor of Landlord as liquidated damages, at Landlord’s option, following termination.

Re: Legal question, Need Help!!! - Posted by Rick Vesole

Posted by Rick Vesole on March 15, 2001 at 23:07:07:

Not just rent, but advertising, utilities that the tenant should have paid, and any other reasonable fees or expenses incurred in re-renting the property - such as showing fees or commissions if you paid someelse to rent it. All you have to do is do your best to rerent the property - this is called mitigating your damages. Good luck.

Re: Legal question, Need Help!!! - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on March 15, 2001 at 22:59:42:

Of course, you should obtain specific legal advice from an attorney who is experienced in landlord-tenant law in your jurisdiction, but in general, I believe if you can show a good-faith effort to re-rent the property after it was vacated by the deadbeat, you’d have a good argument in favor of being owed rent up to Feb. 1.

Brian (NY)