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Old 09-24-2011, 10:19 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,040 times
Reputation: 10
Default Apt - No Kitchen/Sink/ Door

Hi-

I am currently renting out the bottom floor of a bi-level house. There is no kitchen or no kitchen sink. There is also no door from my downstairs area to the upstairs area.. there is just a little sheet thing for privacy, thats it, meaning the upstairs people who own the house have access to come down whenever they want (and they do come down!). There aren't separate utility bills and I don't have a separate mailbox. I moved from Maine, and was under the impression that this was a legal apartment, but it doesn't appear so at all. I know I should have done more research before renting the place. The people that are renting it to me presented me with a very legal and official looking lease and kept mentioning legal terms and made it seem like it was a legal apartment, but i just cant imagine that this is?? I have to do my dishes in the bathroom sink and feel like I have no privacy. On top of that, I feel like if anything of theres was missing from their upstairs, I would get blamed (because I have access due to there being no door, even though I never go up there), just like techincally they could come to my apartment at any time when I'm not home and steal my stuff.

I found another place and I want to move out ASAP. I'm not looking to get anyone in trouble or sue or whatever, but I did sign a lease, and I don't know how to get out of it. I'm thinking that if this is an illegal apartment as it appears, that I should be able to get out of it? All I want to do is leave the apartment, get my security deposit back (so I can put it down for my new place), and not get in trouble for breaking the lease. Someone advised me to call the housing board to inquire and I already did, but they told me they would not answer any of my questions unless I provided the address. And they also said that once I provided the address that if it is an illegal apartment they are going to come over there and I guess the people that are renting it out would be in some sort of trouble. They are very nice people, and I don't want to get anyone in troble, but do I have any other options?
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:31 PM
 
6,321 posts, read 4,847,879 times
Reputation: 5288
You don't have an apartment, you're renting rooms. You'd have to ask a lawyer if the arrangement is legal, though my guess is that if the lease describes an apartment, it's not.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:49 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,040 times
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The lease refers to it as an "apartment" and its not really like a house share situation because I don't have access to the kitchen. When I was offered the place, they called it an apartment also, so I guess I was expecting a little more. I'm a young college student, I can't afford to hire a lawyer, and honestly, my whole thing is that I'm trying to get out of this lease and just get my security deposit and move on, that's it. I did call a a lawyer, and they said the best way of trying to handle this without having to hire them, would be to call the housing division like I mentioned. The housing division won't provide any info without me giving up the address and then by doing that it opens up a big can of worms by getting the people who are renting it to me in trouble if its illegal. I'm just trying to see if theres anyway of leaving, getting my deposit back, without getting anyone in trouble..
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
1,612 posts, read 2,162,156 times
Reputation: 1782
I wonder if it's a 'legal' apartment registered with the town and state ? You should check that out, they can get into HUGE trouble if it's not registered- HUGE fines !

I know someone who recently was slammed for renting out a small studio and it wasn't registered with the town. He was renting it to a girl who was going to a nearby college, she wanted out of the place and wanted her deposit back immediately, no notice- when he said no because he couldn't rent it fast enough, she reported him to the town. She got her deposit back plus some. And he was hit with a lot of fines, and attorney threats.

(I posted this before reading comments - sorry if it's been repeated).
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:09 AM
 
3,310 posts, read 5,090,053 times
Reputation: 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImCurlybelle View Post
I wonder if it's a 'legal' apartment registered with the town and state ? You should check that out, they can get into HUGE trouble if it's not registered- HUGE fines !

I know someone who recently was slammed for renting out a small studio and it wasn't registered with the town. He was renting it to a girl who was going to a nearby college, she wanted out of the place and wanted her deposit back immediately, no notice- when he said no because he couldn't rent it fast enough, she reported him to the town. She got her deposit back plus some. And he was hit with a lot of fines, and attorney threats.

(I posted this before reading comments - sorry if it's been repeated).
If you saw the apartment, and agreed upon a price to live there, Causing the landlord big trouble like that is not right.

Yea you technically could, and it would be "legally correct" but it is still a scuzzy thing to do.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:28 AM
 
4,892 posts, read 11,825,656 times
Reputation: 3610
i would ask the people you are renting from to give you your deposit back and annul the lease because you want to move. if they say no, then tell them you will be calling the housing authority and taking them to court for renting out what you believed was going to be an apartment and really is not.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:35 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,040 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by findinghope View Post
i would ask the people you are renting from to give you your deposit back and annul the lease because you want to move. if they say no, then tell them you will be calling the housing authority and taking them to court for renting out what you believed was going to be an apartment and really is not.

This is what i was thinking of doing. I just want to move out and not get anyone in trouble.

But as far as the message above - yes I saw the place ahead of time, but I was told I was going to be having much more privacy than I would - not having people just constantly come into my residence at late hours of the night and come over when I am not home. That was not part of the agreement and it has been continuing to happen. There have also been little household "chores" that they are making me do outside the houes that I never agreed on before coming here, and they told me if I didn't do them I'd be charged an extra $100 a week..
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:55 AM
 
5,263 posts, read 4,686,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewRes223 View Post
There have also been little household "chores" that they are making me do outside the houes that I never agreed on before coming here, and they told me if I didn't do them I'd be charged an extra $100 a week..

Under the principles of Contract Law, the only terms that you agreed to are within the four corners of the paper that you signed. Whether that paper constitutes a legal lease is unclear, but it at least constitutes a contract. If they persist in pressuring you to do household chores that are not specified in that contract, then they are just money-grubbing scumbags who do not deserve any consideration on your part.

I suggest that you inform them that you will not pay any more money than is specified in your contract, that you will not be performing their household chores, and that they can take you to court over this issue if they wish. The nature of this questionable "apartment" is such that they most likely would not be willing to go anywhere near a courtroom, lest their probable illegal occupancy be exposed. And, even if they are willing to go to court, their demand for work/extra fees is clearly unsupportable. They would lose in a heartbeat.

Last edited by Retriever; 09-25-2011 at 09:20 AM..
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:59 AM
 
435 posts, read 498,377 times
Reputation: 190
Look, I don't know how much money you have invested in the deposit, but it seems to me as though you need to get out of there....and fast. You truly need to hide any sort of important papers or whatever, please invest in a security box at a local bank. Once you know your stuff is protected, and once you have a new place to go to.....run, don't walk to the nearest exit. And as far as reporting these people. Screw them. They totally are taking advantage of you and god only knows what they can do to you while you are there.

Seriously, if you can, contact your parents for some money. If they are reasonable, they will help you out. I know I'd get my kids out of there no matter what.

Good luck and I hope things work out.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:05 AM
 
4 posts, read 10,040 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzsaz View Post
Look, I don't know how much money you have invested in the deposit, but it seems to me as though you need to get out of there....and fast. You truly need to hide any sort of important papers or whatever, please invest in a security box at a local bank. Once you know your stuff is protected, and once you have a new place to go to.....run, don't walk to the nearest exit. And as far as reporting these people. Screw them. They totally are taking advantage of you and god only knows what they can do to you while you are there.

Seriously, if you can, contact your parents for some money. If they are reasonable, they will help you out. I know I'd get my kids out of there no matter what.

Good luck and I hope things work out.
Thanks. I don't really care about reporting it either, I just want to leave without getting in trouble myself. Ideally, I would like my security deposit back because it was a month and a half's rent. However, if that can't happen, I am fine walking away now. I still signed a lease, though. If I were to just tell them, "I'm moving out, I don't care about getting my deposit back", I don't want them to try to take me to court or tell me that I can't move out because I signed a lease. I thought that if it was an illegal apartment (which it appears to be), then the lease would be invalid and I can just walk away.
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