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Watson v. Jaffe

Decided: November 10, 1972.

DERYL WATSON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NATHAN JAFFE, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Collester, Leonard and Halpern.

Per Curiam

The narrow issue on this appeal is whether the Security Deposit Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 et seq. , deprives a tenant of its benefits if he has been evicted for nonpayment of rent. The trial court held it did, and made no findings with respect to the issues requiring determination.

We find nothing in the statutes adopted by the Legislature (L. 1971, c. 233, effective June 21, 1971), of which N.J.S.A. 46:8-21.1 is a part, to justify the trial court's conclusion. These enactments were in pari materia , and, on well-settled principles of interpretation, are to be considered as a homogeneous and consistent whole, giving effect to all their provisions. So construed, we are satisfied they were adopted to protect tenants from overreaching landlords who require rent security deposits from tenants and then divert such deposits to their personal use. The fact that plaintiff was evicted for nonpayment of rent is no reason to deprive him of whatever benefits he may be entitled to under the law.

Reversed and remanded for a new trial. We do not ...


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