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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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My husband and I rent a house in Toms River, NJ. A few weeks

Customer Question

My husband and I rent a house in Toms River, NJ. A few weeks ago, we had a severe storm which caused some of the severely overgrown trees in our yard to lose branches, some of which were very large branches. I called my landlord and asked him to remedy the problem. It took him about a week to get anyone to come to even look at the problem. He hired a "handyman" who is most definitely not qualified as a "tree guy." The handyman came last Wednesday and dropped off some large equipment in our driveway restricting our use of the entire driveway. He came back on Thursday and cut down a multitude of large branches and partially cut down a very large cedar tree in the front of the house, which he left piled up in my front yard (only leaving a walkway to the front door). He also had two large piles of debris in the back yard restricting our use of the yard. He returned on Friday, only to remove a very small portion of the mess he had made of the yard, leaving behind some buckets and garbage (in the front yard). He came back on Monday, removed a very small portion of the debris and left a trailer piled high with branches in our driveway, further restricting out use of the driveway. Do we have any recourse? I've called my landlord every day asking when this "project" is going to be finished. He has no answers for me other than "Jim said he'll be there tomorrow." If the landlord had hired a professional tree service, the entire job could have been completed in 1 or 2 days at the most. Please help!!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a licensed New Jersey professional and will be happy to assist you with your concerns. You do have recourse. Since this improper repair is affecting your use and enjoyment of the premises, tell the landlord that you are now seeking a decrease in your rental amount based on the amount of space that is no longer able to be utilized by you. Or demand that until repairs are done, that he place you in equivalent housing or hotel at his expense. Both of those are lawful demands under NJ law. And if he fails to do so, threaten (and take him) to local court, claim breach of duty on part of the landlord over failing to make timely repairs, and seek punitive damages from the courts of up to 3 times the monthly rent. Sincerely, ***** *****

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