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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33790
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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I am a landlord in nj. My tenant is behind 3 months rent. I

Customer Question

I am a landlord in nj. My tenant is behind 3 months rent. I also found that she has 2 dogs in my unit. They were not allowed.Can I bring a realtor in to sell it and how much can I up the rent for her 2 dogs?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Is the tenant under a written fixed term lease or are they month to month?

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Have you given the tenant a written notice to pay or vacate?

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If not, is there some reason for not doing so?

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thanks.

Barrister

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We are month to month on a verbal agreement. I pu an eviction notice on her door last wed. Mailed her on and certified one.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She has refused to answer me since July 15th.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How much can I charget her for her 2 not allowed dogs!
Expert:  barristerinky replied 4 months ago.

If she is month to month then unless you had some type of agreement that you could charge extra rent if she violated the lease by getting dogs, then you can't do so. Everything that a landlord can charge for has to be spelled out in a written lease or allowed under state law.

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So if you gave her a written 30 day notice that you were changing the terms of her lease to increase rent by $XXXX due to the dogs, then it would be legal to do so because you are modifying the lease legally.

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But you can't just bump the rent if she is violating the lease unless you give her proper notice.

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However, if she is 3 months behind on the rent, increasing the rent isn't going to help much because she already isn't paying the rent... So your realistic recourse here is to just go ahead and file to evict her in court and then see if she comes up with the money to get current. In NJ you don't have to give any notice prior to filing to evict as long as you haven't previously accepted late rent. If you have, then you have to give her a 30 day written notice to pay or vacate before you can file to evict.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister