Security: My 2 roommates paid it, they are now asking me to pay them part of after 9 months in a 12 month lease.

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Security: My 2 roommates paid it, they are now asking me to pay them part of after 9 months in a 12 month lease.

I signed a 1 year lease for a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 other roommates. Part of the agreement my roommates and I made prior to signing the lease was that they would pay the security deposit in full. We are now 9 months into the lease and it looks like the landlord will not return the security based on his previous neglect. To make a long story short, my landlord is now in court today for housing code violations at our apartment. Since my roommates are worried they won’t receive their security, they are now asking that I pay them part of the security. Can they sue me or do anything else?

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I don't think they can sue you and win, but more importantly, I don't think they have to worry too much. New Jersey has a very strong law protecting security deposits, and if it isn't returned within 30 days after you move out, with an itemized statement of any deductions, you can sue for double damages plus attorneys' fees.  So you should be able to find a lawyer who will take the case with a small retainer for costs, or less, and one place to look for an attorney, along with the bar association's Lawyer Referral Service (which you'll find in the telephone book), is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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