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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.
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