My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: New Jersey
Tenant is resident of Missouri with address stated on the lease being the address of the rental property in New Jersey. Landlord's address stated on the lease is New York. All correspondence with Landlord was addressed to New York, or by calling a New York number. The claim may be arising from landlord's improper reduction of security deposit refund. This assumption is based on letter received from Landlord 20 days after lease ended stating that landlord is awaiting all damages bills. There was no damages whatsoever caused to any items in the house. It is assumed that since all items in the house were very old, landlord is trying to revive and/or repair some old items at tenant's expense. The lease was a 9 months lease which ended in mid June. Tenant surrendered house on expiration date. Security deposit remains unrefunded.
If understood correctly, web research shows that since the claim involves only a dispute over the security deposit, it does not have to be brought in the landlord/tenant part of the court. The question is: based on the residence of both landlord and tenant being outside New Jersey, can New York be used as venue being the landlord's state of residence? if not, in what court exactly in New Jersey must venue be? The amount of the dispute may be up to $3900. Can an emotional stress action be brought against landlord for knowingly making false claims? if so, where?
Bonus Question: can action be brought against landlord to reduce rent after the fact on the grounds that 1) landlord knew and did not disclose to tenant prior to renting that house had always had ant issues in the living room, kitchen and bathroom? 2) landlord tore down half the patio two months before the end of tenancy under the guise that she needed to repair it, yet never rebuild the torn down section and never secured the edge of the remaining part of the patio?
I appreciate all input.