On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Special Civil Part, Hudson County, Docket No. SC-1815-09.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted: January 3, 2011 -- Decided: Before Judges Grall and C.L. Miniman.
Defendant Emanuel Shamam appeals from a final judgment of the Special Civil Part ordering the return of a portion of a security deposit and doubling the amount pursuant to the Security Deposit Act (the SDA), N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 to -26. We affirm.
Defendant contends that the judge's fact-findings were not supported by the evidence and urges that we reverse the judgment. We disagree.
The evidence at trial established that plaintiff and defendant entered into a series of leases, the last of which covered the period from May 1, 2008, to April 30, 2009. Thereafter, plaintiff held over on a month-to-month tenancy. She testified that she vacated the premises on July 1, 2009. Plaintiff gave defendant thirty days notice that she would be moving on July 1, 2009. She paid the rent for the month of June. Her security deposit was $1425. The security deposit was not returned.
On July 27, 2009, plaintiff received a letter from defendant by certified mail respecting the security deposit. In that letter, he advised that he performed a walk-through on July 12, 2009, and found the following conditions:
1. Holes and broken-spackle for 5 rooms, spackle and painting $175 labor & material each room = $875[.]
2. Kitchen floor torn and damaged $475[.]
3. Paragraph 33 of lease states that a new key and locks for front and back doors $150[.]
4. Clean and clear entire unit debris $150[.]
Total owed to landlord = $139[.]50 Credit to tenant = $1510[.]50 Total due to Landlord = $65[.]
Defendant arrived at $1510.50 for the security deposit by computing interest at two percent for one year in the amount of $85.50, which, added to the security deposit of ...