MY TENANT DAMAGED THE APARTMENT. DO I HAVE TO RETURN THE SECURITY DEPOSIT?
The general rule is that the security deposit must be returned to the tenant, unless the rental unit has some serious damage beyond regular wear and tear of which the security deposit will be deducted to cover said damage.
Within 30 days after the termination of the tenant’s lease or licensee’s agreement, the owner or lessee shall return by personal delivery, registered or certified mail the sum so deposited plus the tenant’s portion of the interest or earnings accumulated thereon, less any charges expended in accordance with the terms of a contract, lease, or agreement, to the tenant or licensee, or, in the case of a lease terminated pursuant to P.L.1971, c.318 (C.46:8-9.1), the executor or administrator of the estate of the tenant or licensee or the surviving spouse of the tenant or licensee so terminating the lease. The interest or earnings and any such deductions shall be itemized and the tenant, licensee, executor, administrator or surviving spouse notified thereof by personal delivery, registered or certified mail. Notwithstanding the provisions of this or any other section of law to the contrary, no deductions shall be made from a security deposit of a tenant who remains in possession of the rental premises.