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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 16188
Experience:  General practice attorney
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Can my landlord charge me rent while he does not have a

Customer Question

Can my landlord charge me rent while he does not have a valid Certificate of Occupancy?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Wayne, NJ
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: We had a lease for the first two years we lived here. He did not require a renewal, but rather just continued to collect rent for the additional 3 years we have been living here.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My "roomate" lived on the lower floor (he just moved out Monday) and I live on the street level floor. There is a kitchenette downstairs and a kitchen upstairs. The bathroom downstairs was full of mildew and what looked like black mold in the walls and floor. The landlord took 6 weeks to get the shower "workable" again with concrete wallboard, but still no tiles. Their's much more, but I don't know how much he wants me to tuype.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. He can "charge" you rent, but really can't enforce it. In towns where certificates of occupancy are required, a dwelling rented without a certificate of occupancy constitutes an illegal contract. Consequently, in the matter of Khoudary v. Salem Board of Social Services, 260 N.J.S. 79 (App. Div. 1992), the Court ruled that a landlord who rents a dwelling without a certificate of occupancy does not have the right to file a suit for rents.

Note the distinction here: he can't file a suit for rents. He can still file a suit to evict. So if the landlord doesn't want you to stay, he can get you kicked out. He can't seek the back rent though if he doesn't have that certificate of occupancy.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 months ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions).

If you can't see the stars, you may need to scroll up / down / left / or right to see them. This is where you rate so that the question will close out.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 months ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 months ago.

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (>40 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 6 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

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