(Standard you-are-not-my-lawyer-this-is-not-legal-advice disclaimers acknowledged)
Three friends and I are moving into an apartment in a few days in the state of New Jersey; the lease began in June and we’ve been subletting, which was arranged by my friends as I was out of the country. The person in my bedroom, it turns out, liked to smoke cigarettes in there, and I’m quite upset about moving into a tiny bedroom that smells of smoke, especially if the smell has burrowed its way into the mattress I provided. I’ve just emailed the tenant, who is moving out this weekend, asking him to air out and clean the room. If, when I move in, it still reeks, can I withhold part of his security deposit to pay for cleaning? Unfortunately smoking was not discussed with the subletter, and I have not seen the letting agreement, but RentLaw.com indicates that smoke damage may not be part of expected “normal wear and tear.”
Also, RentLaw indicates that in my state the security deposit must be returned “within 30 days” but that this does not apply to “Seasonal Rentals (under 125 days) not applicable.” What is the case for seasonal rentals, then?
Lastly, what’s the best way to get smoke stench out of a room and/or a mattress?