How long does a landlord have to inspect the property after you move out?

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2011

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How long does a landlord have to inspect the property after you move out?

I was supposed to move out of my old house into a new one, but we got like 29 inches of snow and it made it tough to move. I called the landlord and asked if 1 or 2 days longer was OKand they said yes, but they would charge me by the day. I was out and had someone clean the house by the 31st. I called the landlord to tell them I was out but they made excuses as to why they couldn’t come inspect the house right away. They told me that they had 30 days to give me my security back. I knew that, but it’s been over a week and they still haven’t inspected it. How long do they have to inspect it?

Asked on January 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

There is no law requiring inspection. For example, if the landlord simply returns all your security deposit to you within the required time, he never has to inspect; or if he takes out an amount of money to cover either unpaid rent or repairs, where you do not dispute the amount. A landlord's inspection only becomes an issue if there is a dispute between the tenant and the landlord about how much should have been withheld from the return of the deposit. Since landlord's cannot arbitrarily decide what to keep back, the amount they hold must be related to amounts the tenant owes, such as for damages. That in turn would require and inspection, probably quotes for repairs, photographs would be helpful, etc.

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