Table of Contents:
- Minnesota Landlord Tenant Rights
- State of North Carolina Landlord/Tenant Laws
- New Jersey Landlord & Tenant Rights
Minnesota law does not limit the amount of the security deposit. In the case of a periodic tenancy--a tenancy in which no final date of departure is set--the landlord may increase the security deposit at any time by providing the tenant with written notice equal to one rental period plus one day (typically one month and one day). The amount of the security deposit that exceeds any amounts retained by the landlord to cover damage or unpaid rent must be returned to the tenant with a four percent annual interest rate added.
Tenants must pay the rent specified in the lease for the full term of the lease. If the tenant breaks the lease and moves out, he must pay rent for the entire remaining term of the lease. Two exceptions exist. In the case of a periodic tenancy, the tenant is only liable to pay rent for the last period--typically one month. If the landlord finds a new tenant to rent the premises before the end of the old tenant's lease, the old tenant need not pay rent for the period after the new tenant moves in--unless the new tenant is paying lower rent, in which case the old tenant is liable for the difference.
Minnesota landlords are required to keep their premises in a reasonably good state of repair, even if the lease specifies otherwise. The landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant is responsible for certain repairs, but only if the tenant is given something in return, such as a rent reduction. If the landlord fails to make necessary repairs, the tenant has a variety of means to seek redress. He may file a file a complaint with the local housing inspector, pay the rent to a court-administered escrow account and seek a court order forcing the landlord to make repairs, withhold the rent, sue the landlord in state district court, sue for rent abatement in conciliation court or use the landlord's failure to make repairs as a defense against eviction or lawsuit for unpaid rent.
If the lease does not specify an advance notice period for ending the tenancy, both landlords and tenants are required to give written notice at least one full rental period before moving out. In the case of a tenant who pays rent monthly, the rental period is one month. If no notice is given, the tenancy is automatically extended for one rental period. If a definite end date is set forth in the lease, however, the provisions of the lease must be followed. However, tenants who move out between Nov. 15 and April 15 must notify the landlord at least three days in advance, in order to give the landlord a chance to take steps to prevent the pipes from freezing. Failure to provide such notice is a misdemeanor under Minnesota law.
The landlord may evict a periodic tenant at any time, for no reason, as long as proper advance notice is given. The only exceptions are in cases of retaliation against the tenant for exercising his legal rights, or discrimination in violation of federal and state law. If the lease sets a definite departure date, its terms must be followed and the landlord will need reasonable grounds to evict the tenant. In order to evict, a landlord must file an Unlawful Detainer action in state district court. If the landlord wins, state officials must carry out the eviction of a tenant who refuses to leave--in order to prevent breaches of the peace, the landlord may not forcibly evict the tenant himself.
There are several responsibilities and laws the landlord must abide by in the state of North Carolina. First, the landlord must obey the housing code, which informs the landlord of what utilities must be provided and how the premises must be cleaned and maintained. Second, the landlord must make necessary repairs to ensure the habitability of the unit rented. Third, the landlord must ensure the utilities such as gas, water, heating and electrical are working properly. Fourth, the landlord is responsible for fixing any provided appliances such as a stove or refrigerator. Fifth, the landlord is to keep all the public hallways, stairwells and other areas available to the renters clean and safe. Finally, the landlord will provide and install smoke detectors in each unit and common area.
North Carolina landlord and tenant law lists the obligations and responsibilities of tenants when renting a residential unit such as the following: keeping the leased unit safe and sanitary to the best of the tenant's ability; giving the landlord reasonable notice of any needed repairs; and refraining from damaging the leased property.
The landlord may have the right to evict a tenant but there are certain methods North Carolina law prohibits the landlord from using, such as changing the locks of the leased unit, turning off any type of utility like water or electric, or disconnecting a heating unit.
It is against the law in New Jersey to refuse to rent to a tenant who will make payments with public assistance. This includes section 8 vouchers, welfare, and disability assistance.
Rent Security Deposit Act
Security deposits protect the landlord's interests when renting an apartment or home to a tenant. The money held by the landlord may be used to repair damage caused by the tenant or to cover rent that is not paid. New Jersey regulates the amount that a landlord can charge for a security deposit to one and a half times the rent. The deposit cannot be raised to meet a higher rent by more than 10 percent in a year.
The landlord must put the security deposit in an interest bearing account and provide the tenant with the name of the bank, the amount of the deposit, the date, the amount of interest paid and the type of account. The interest on the account must be paid to the tenant on the anniversary of the lease date. The amount can also be deducted from rent owed on the one-year anniversary. The tenant has the right to request the security deposit money be used for rent if the landlord does not comply with these laws.
The landlord returns the security deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out of the property, plus any interest owed at that time. Landlords can deduct any amounts for damage to the property that is not normal wear and tear.
Causes for Eviction
New Jersey eviction for cause law limits landlords to evicting tenants based on 18 causes defined by the law. The causes for eviction include such actions as failure to pay rent, engaging in illegal activity, violating the lease agreement, or disorderly conduct that disturbs the peace of other tenants. The landlord is required to give notice and follow the legal procedure for an eviction in New Jersey.
New Jersey law requires landlords to keep a rental property in safe and habitable condition. This includes the windows, heating system, roof, walls, electrical system and the hot and cold running water. Apartments must be kept free of pests and the building kept secure.
The landlord is responsible for the removal of lead paint on the property in New Jersey. Tenants may use rent money to make repairs under specific conditions such as a condition that affects the health of the tenant. The landlord must be given prior notice of the condition before a tenant can make those repairs and before he can deduct their cost from his rent.
Right to Enter the Apartment
The landlord does not have the right to enter an apartment without giving at least 24 hours notice. This includes workers sent to make repairs in the apartment. In an emergency situation where a landlord must gain access to the apartment, the 24-hour law is waived.
Tenants must give advance notice of one month before the end of a lease when ending a yearly lease agreement. One-month notice is also required for a month-to-month tenancy in New Jersey. Landlords may hold a tenant responsible for remaining rent on a lease if the tenant moves out before it expires.
New Jersey allows tenants to withhold rent under special circumstances, such as the landlord refusing to make repairs on the property. Tenants must give written notice to the landlord of the intent to withhold rent if the repairs are not made. The notice should be sent by certified mail requiring the signature of the landlord.
The money withheld from the landlord should be set aside for payment when the repairs are made.