TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden which would ensure that assisted living facility residents receive a refund of their security deposits if they move from a facility was unanimously approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.
“A security deposit needs to be treated as just that – a deposit, to be returned when a resident is moving from an assisted living facility,” said Senator Madden, D-Gloucester and Camden. “Residents in assisted living in New Jersey pay enough for monthly rental and service charges, in addition to the already-high costs of living in the Garden State. When moving from a facility, they should have the ability to recoup their security deposit and any interest that their deposit may have collected.”
The bill, S-2202, would provide that a resident in an assisted living facility be refunded their deposit plus interest earned when they vacate the facility, as long as the resident provides 30 days notice that they intend to vacate the facility. The bill would allow for the facility to deduct an amount, not to exceed one percent of the invested security deposit each year, for the cost of servicing and processing an account containing the deposit. The bill also stipulates the facility must be licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services for the security deposit rules to apply.
“Particularly at a time when our national economy is in a state of uncertainty, and retirement funds are being depleted by the crisis on Wall Street, we need to make sure that hard-hit New Jerseyans receive every cent to which they’re entitled,” said Senator Madden. “Security deposits, by their definition, are not meant to be absorbed by the facility, but as a safeguard to cover any repairs or maintenance that a living unit might need. When a resident follows the rules, the assisted living facility must comply with refunding residents their security deposit.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.