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Old 06-27-2007, 01:11 PM
 
4 posts, read 27,440 times
Reputation: 11

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I just discovered that I signed a one year lease in a Morris County, NJ basement apt that is not registered in the township. According to the person I spoke to on the phone from the zoning dept., the landlord has been in litigation with the township for two years bc she claims she bought the house with the apt and counted on it; however she told me she renovated the apt herself. She never said the apt. was illegal or that it was in litigation when I rented it 9 months ago. In the lease I signed, I am entitled to sublet the aptartment. Recently, I had to move out and found someone to sublet for 3 months. The landlord insisted the subletter sign a new contract with her, but didn't release me. Now, when the subletter leaves, I am still obligated for the 1 month and 1 week of rent before my lease is up. The landlord has my security deposit of one and one half month rent. She said I must pay rent and may not use the security deposit (if she or I can't find another person to rent the apt. - now that I know the truth, I will not find anyone else) for the last month's rent or she will sue me. What are my legal rights?

By mistake my online banking sent her a rent check for June. The subletter moved in mid-May. I had the bank stop the check, but didn't say anything to the landlord until she mentioned it to me. She says I owe her $10 for the bank fee plus $15 each for the two bounced checks. What is my legal right?
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:20 PM
 
Location: 32082/07716/10028
1,346 posts, read 1,570,883 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin1950 View Post
I just discovered that I signed a one year lease in a Morris County, NJ basement apt that is not registered in the township. According to the person I spoke to on the phone from the zoning dept., the landlord has been in litigation with the township for two years bc she claims she bought the house with the apt and counted on it; however she told me she renovated the apt herself. She never said the apt. was illegal or that it was in litigation when I rented it 9 months ago. In the lease I signed, I am entitled to sublet the aptartment. Recently, I had to move out and found someone to sublet for 3 months. The landlord insisted the subletter sign a new contract with her, but didn't release me. Now, when the subletter leaves, I am still obligated for the 1 month and 1 week of rent before my lease is up. The landlord has my security deposit of one and one half month rent. She said I must pay rent and may not use the security deposit (if she or I can't find another person to rent the apt. - now that I know the truth, I will not find anyone else) for the last month's rent or she will sue me. What are my legal rights?

By mistake my online banking sent her a rent check for June. The subletter moved in mid-May. I had the bank stop the check, but didn't say anything to the landlord until she mentioned it to me. She says I owe her $10 for the bank fee plus $15 each for the two bounced checks. What is my legal right?
+

the internet is not the place to seek legal advice.
That said if it was me I'd walk and let them chase me down for any money they think I owe them. It will cost them more to collect the money than the money you owe, if they owe you money, forget it, you'll never see it.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,925 posts, read 24,048,548 times
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I think maybe you need to consult an attorney!!

What does the town say, if she hasn't been cleared to rent this space out she's in violation so how could she possibly sue.

This is a hot topic in Morristown right now due to "stacking" and illegal apts.

If you can't afford a lawyer i would persue it with the town to see where she stands legally and get it in writing. If she is notwithin her rights I wouldn't pay and I would sue her in small claims to return my security if she does not return within the 30 days she has....btw I think you can sue for 2x the security amount if she does not return to you
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,925 posts, read 24,048,548 times
Reputation: 10734
Quote:
Originally Posted by kort677 View Post
+

the internet is not the place to seek legal advice.
That said if it was me I'd walk and let them chase me down for any money they think I owe them. It will cost them more to collect the money than the money you owe, if they owe you money, forget it, you'll never see it.
NJ has very strict laws regarding the return of security deposit refunds.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:25 PM
 
562 posts, read 2,373,521 times
Reputation: 142
well.. she'll keep the month from the security and just claim the 1/2 month security back.. if she is having issues with the city already i highly doubt she'll want to deal with any other legal issues.. any damage to the apt?? landlords hate to go to court for small amounts..
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:38 PM
 
4 posts, read 27,440 times
Reputation: 11
I didn't want to spend more money on a lawyer. I'll probably have to lose the security deposit. I'm going to try to sublet the apt for the last month (Sept) to anyone! It's within my right.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Lived Large in Parsippany NJ - Lived Larger in Livingston, NJ -- Now Living Huge in Bethlehem PA
460 posts, read 1,961,019 times
Reputation: 447
Default Strange

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin1950 View Post
I just discovered that I signed a one year lease in a Morris County, NJ basement apt that is not registered in the township. According to the person I spoke to on the phone from the zoning dept., the landlord has been in litigation with the township for two years bc she claims she bought the house with the apt and counted on it; however she told me she renovated the apt herself. She never said the apt. was illegal or that it was in litigation when I rented it 9 months ago. In the lease I signed, I am entitled to sublet the aptartment. Recently, I had to move out and found someone to sublet for 3 months. The landlord insisted the subletter sign a new contract with her, but didn't release me. Now, when the subletter leaves, I am still obligated for the 1 month and 1 week of rent before my lease is up. The landlord has my security deposit of one and one half month rent. She said I must pay rent and may not use the security deposit (if she or I can't find another person to rent the apt. - now that I know the truth, I will not find anyone else) for the last month's rent or she will sue me. What are my legal rights?

By mistake my online banking sent her a rent check for June. The subletter moved in mid-May. I had the bank stop the check, but didn't say anything to the landlord until she mentioned it to me. She says I owe her $10 for the bank fee plus $15 each for the two bounced checks. What is my legal right?
======

Well first of all did you NOT know it was a basement apartment before you signed the lease. I am assuming you went and took a look before signing the lease and maybe because you've found a better place you just want to leave without being penalized.

All the information you are seeking should be in your lease terms - you should have read it all over before signing the lease. Breaking the lease might get you penalized and your lease contract should pretty much specify what steps to take if you wanted to sublet the property.

Good luck on this one..!!!!
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,925 posts, read 24,048,548 times
Reputation: 10734
Well first of all did you NOT know it was a basement apartment before you signed the lease. I am assuming you went and took a look before signing the lease and maybe because you've found a better place you just want to leave without being penalized

There are many legal basement apts BUT in Morris county many of these so called apts are not legal per township codes, doesn't stop people from renting them with out disclosing they are not legal in the first place.
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:09 PM
 
1,363 posts, read 5,341,204 times
Reputation: 848
If she could not legally rent out the apartment, wouldn't that make the lease void? Not a valid contract if it's for something illegal??
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,925 posts, read 24,048,548 times
Reputation: 10734
Quote:
Originally Posted by regarese View Post
If she could not legally rent out the apartment, wouldn't that make the lease void? Not a valid contract if it's for something illegal??

Thats my train of thought as well
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