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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36181
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I live in NJ...I rented a room year from a lady with no

Customer Question

I live in NJ...I rented a room for one year from a lady with no problems. She died in June. We had no lease, I paid her on time for that year. Her brother, who lives in California, needs to sell the house that I am in now, and I understand that. However, since she died, I have paid all the utilities, the gas, the electric, and the water bill. He has paid nothing, but still wants rent and me out of here by Saturday the 31st. When I was renting from this woman, her dad had died in March, her mother was in a VA hospital, and she was paying the utilities out of the trust she had in her parent's names. Since Janice's death(the woman I was renting from), her brother states he cannot get access to the trust or even Janice's estate, even though he is paying a lawyer in CA to help him. Says he paid $4500 for a retainer, then $11,000 etc. He is paying the taxes on this home in NJ, but wants me out so he can clear the house out and sell it fast. Do I have any recourse? I have receipts for all the bills I have paid. Thank you for any help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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If he is in CA and hasn't opened up a probate case in NJ to settle sister's estate, then legally he can't do anything to force you to vacate the property or pay the rent. This is because the estate now owns the house and only the executor of the estate has the power to control estate assets.

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With that said, if he does file a probate case, then he could demand any unpaid rent and file to evict you if you didn't pay that to the estate. However, if your rental agreement with the deceased included utilities, then you can deduct them from the rent and then deposit the remainder into an account specifically for rent sitting there waiting on someone to be appointed executor to claim it. Once an executor is appointed, then they could give you a 30 day written notice to terminate your tenancy and then evict through the courts if you didn't voluntarily vacate.

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But until someone is appointed by the local NJ Probate Court to be in charge of the estate, then no one has the authority to force you to move out.

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thanks

Barrister