Q: Can landlord change first month rent, security deposit, AND last TWO months rent?
Edit: with confirmation that this is illegal, what’s my next step? I already signed and paid, should I reach out to the landlord and try and get my money back or contact an attorney?
I was told I needed to pay the following at the lease signing:
1.5 months security deposit, 1 month rent, Realtor fees
Upon arriving at the meeting to sign, the landlord presented me with an addendum stating that if I agreed to pay the fees due, as well as pay the last TWO months of rent up front, then we would move forward. I told her I would need time to get the funds but despite my hesitation I signed it. She was adamant about this document NOT being included in the lease, that it was separate. however my real estate agent included it anyway because I signed it. So lease was signed, checks were given. (Pending the additional) I was speaking with a friend who said what she did was illegal. That they can’t ask for more then 1.5 months security deposit, regardless of how it’s labeled. Is this true?
A: What your landlord is asking you to do is illegal in New Jersey. He's only allowed to ask for a month and a half security. Asking for the 2 months rent at the end of the lease on top of a month and a half security is not permitted. Could you ask your landlord to put that request in writing. Say you needed in order to borrow it from a friend. See what he says. Normally I would tell you to just avoid this landlord completely because he will no doubt give you trouble at the end of the tenancy.
A: A landlord can only charge 1.5 month's rent as a security deposit plus the first month's rent. The security deposit must be placed in an escrow account at a bank. Be sure to also get a Smoke Detector Certification issued by the municipality that there are a working smoke detector, a co2, and fire extinguisher present in the unit.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.