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Security not returned after two months

Discussion in 'Moving In & Out, Movers' started by mpshui, Jun 18, 2011.

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  1. mpshui

    mpshui Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    As per my lease in New Jersey, I provided the company with the appropriate time frame of when I would be vacating the apartment in the complex. On the appointed day, I turned over the keys to the super. As per the law they have 30 days to return all securities/ interest etc.

    It is now over two months and they have failed to do so. My first email to them, I was told that they would check and get back to me, they never did. My second reminder was sent on 6/18/11, in when they now claim that the check signer will be in on 6/24 and sign the check.

    Can I demand double the security without taking them to small claims court? Unfortunately, I moved out of state, so I am unable to do it myself and would like to know if I do not receive the security within one week after 6/24/11, would it be worth hiring an attorney to get the security amt doubled, and they pay all legal fees.

    I have all correspondence regarding this matter to them, including their response.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Why destroy any chances if getting your money back by "demanding" anything?

    Send a gentle reminder and inquire about your funds. Send it by email and US Mail (certified, return receipt) or FedEx. You may need that proof of delivery one day. You might also fax them a copy of your letter, requesting the return of your money. Remind them that you've been patiently waiting for your money for two months!

    Email is useless in most legal matters. Heck, even a fax copy is somewhat more proof than an email.
     
  3. mpshui

    mpshui Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your prompt response, I did follow up my email with a certified letter. However, you failed to answer my question. If I do not receive the security deposit as promised within a week of 6/24/11, would I have a strong case to hire an attorney to file my case in Small Claims court and obtain double the security deposit, plus legal fees? As a reminder, this occurred in New Jersey, and I relocated out of state. This is a large apartment complex, and the company manages numerous complexes. As a matter a fact, I moved out 2.5 month earlier, and they woulnt release me from the lease, I had to pay up until the end of my lease. I am sure they rented my apartment the last two months after I left.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If your landlord is clearly in violation of the law regarding the return of your deposit then yes, you have a decent argument to make.
    Without threatnening, I would send another letter with a copy of the law attached and the relevant section highlighted that makes them clearly aware that you know they are in violation. Your easiest solution will be one that persuades them to pay without having to go to court.
    If you can prove that they re-rented the apartment right away then you may also be able to get the last couple months rent back if you sue.

    You really got hosed by paying your rent while you weren't there. If they promptly filled it with a new tenant then you wouldn't have had to pay anything since there were no damages.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No lawyer would take this matter on a contingency basis.
    If you hire an attorney, you'll need $2-4,000 for the retainer.
    If you prevail, it'll take three-four months.
    You should be prepared to return to NJ, maybe two or three times.
    If an attorney is retained, this matter won't be litigated in small claims, either.

    Do you have a case?
    You have a prima facie case, if things are as you say.
    Will you prevail?
    No one can honestly answer that.

    I didn't fail to answer you, I tried to provide you with your best option.
    No good lawyer would ever guarantee you a win.
    If you find one that does, run!!!


     

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