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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 29059
Experience:  Attorney
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I've been living in 6 room apartment over 33 years. under rent

Customer Question

I've been living in 6 room apartment over 33 years. under rent control. $452.00 per month. Building went into foreclosure. New owners want me to give up half my apartment so as to make two apartments out of it. I understand they can not due this to me. I live in Bayonne, N.J. They flip houses over. Are from Russia.
I'm 74 years old on limited income. Right now I pay my own heat and gas & electric. I'm told they can not touch my apartment and not to sign anything.
If I have to pay you a fee it will be worth it
Thanking you in advance.
Mr. John N. Pugh, Sr.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
New Jersey law prohibits a landlord from removing a tenant from rental property without just cause. N.J. Statutes, Section 2A:18-61.1. Most of the reasons that constitute just cause mean that you, the tenant, did something wrong. The remaining reasons have to do with removing the unit from the rental market or having the landlord move in - which isn't the situation you're in. There's nothing in the statute that allows a landlord to evict a tenant in order to improve or change the property.
As a first step, call the Bayonne rent control board and tell them what is happening. It's possible that they may be able to assist you and others in your building. The number is(###) ###-####
Otherwise, a local attorney may be able to help you seek an injunction against the new landlords. You should also know that when a NJ landlord illegally removes a tenant from leased premises in violation of the law, the tenant may be entitled to recover three times his damages PLUS attorney's fees from the landlord. A judgment can be use to put a lien on the building and prevent them from flipping the property until they pay you. So, that's important - they'll have to pay you.
A good place to find a local attorney who can help is www.martindale.com. But start with the rent board.
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