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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 9697
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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I was seriously injured on landlord's property after

Customer Question

I was seriously injured on landlord's property after demanding his fixing the problem (in writing) many times. I've lost my job due to this--and have astronomical medical bills--including 2 operations and a 5 day hospital stay. I am unable to pay rent, and my landlord is threatening eviction. What can I do to prevent eviction until I find another job? He knows this is his fault, and I have a PI lawyer representing me that is unable to help me with any landlord/tenancy issue.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 2 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

I need some more information to help you. What state are you in? Are you suing the landlord? How long was the condition unrepaired?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Richard--thank you for any assistance you can provide.
I am in NJ. I am suing the landlord for the injury/medicals/lost wages.
My first request was made within the first week of moving in.....which was August 1, 2015.
Maybe I can add that there were 12 items on the "fix it" list, and only ONE has been fixed/addressed.Thank you again Richard
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Sorry--fyi: I was injured on January 22, 2016 and still hasn't been repaired
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm really sorry, but I keep thinking of things to point out to you. The multiple, deep holes in the yard dug by the previous tenant's dog resulted in a torn meniscus. I had an arthroscopic surgery. About 6 days after this surgery, I was rushed to the hospital and almost died from an infection resulting from the surgery. I had to have another surgery and was in the hospital for 5 days.
Multiple requests, in writing, were provided--which I have.
Additionally, the other fixes (not made) were, for the most part, non-emergent. Non-working dishwasher, the place was in a disgusting state....a luxury townhome with layers of grease, dirt and grime (I was promised in writing that the place would be spic and span when I moved in)--really--if you saw the pictures your stomach would turn, the previous tenant's furniture laying all around making it difficult to move MY things in, painting that was slapped on (in a different color!) over dirty/damaged areas resulting in TWO colors on all the walls, screens missing from the windows, a PILE of garbage/debris (some too heavy for me to lift) left strewn around the yard which is now a moldy pile of concrete/old towels/wood with nails in it/etc that is now covered in mold (this sits right next to the air conditioning unit, a nonworking dish washer, no washer or dryer (when I moved in)...............sheesh, I could go on and on.
And I'm a single mom.....who has paid $1850 on time up until last month.
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 2 months ago.

There is a case in NJ holding that you are entitled to a rent abatement (reduction) if the landlord's fails to maintain the premises in a habitable condition. Berzito v. Gambino, 63 N.J. 460 I assume you were paying rent up until the time you were injured. On the premise that the premises were not in a habitable condition, you would raise as a defense in any eviction case that the premises is not in a habitable condition as evidenced by your injury arising from a condition about which you complained, gave written notice and was never repaired. I am also assuming that your injury is attributable to some defect that was on your fix it list. In addition, you can assert a counterclaim seeking to recoup all the rent you previsouly paid on the basis that the unit was always not habitable and therefore you paid rent for a unit that was not in habitable condition. Your argument is that no rent should be due until the fixes are made and that you are entitled to a refund of all rents previously paid which would offset any rent due once the repairs were made.

There is no assurance that you would get a 100% refund of rent previously paid or that a court would determine that no rent was payable due to the defective condition of the premises. However, to the extent you are even partially successful, it will buy you more time.

I saw the updated post. I assume the backyard was part of the premises you were renting. The holes which caused the injury are a little borderline as they are not in the premises themselves. However, given your complaints, I think you have a reasonable chance of establishing that. Check with your lawyer for whatever research he or she has demonstrating that failure to fill and repair the holes was negligence on the part of the landlord as that will help you in your landlord tenant case.

If I have answered all your questions, please positively rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 2 months ago.

I sent you an answer to the question about a week ago. If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.

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