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barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37885
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Hi, I am renting a cottage on an estate, no lease, pay cash.

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Hi, I am renting a cottage on an estate, no lease, pay cash. However, for the last 2 years I have had high electric bills. I called JCP&L and they had no answer. Then, on of the caretakers mentioned that my electric had the hot water heater, furnace ignition and sub pump on my meter. There are two cottages and apparently the other one does not get charged for the usage. I had written the landlord that I would not pay rent until this is settled right, but in the meantime have big electric bills. My question is what can the landlord do to me? What rights do I have in NJ? Thank you.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
My question is what can the landlord do to me? What rights do I have in NJ?
To be very honest, the landlord can terminate your tenancy and evict for failing to pay the rent if he chooses to. While you couldn't be forced to continue the tenancy and pay the utilities for both units, your recourse would be to terminate and move to another dwelling.
Although it is unusual, there is no law that would prevent a landlord from having all the utilities on one dwelling and making one tenant responsible for them. However, there should be some accomodation with a difference in the rental rates of the two units though. If the landlord failed to disclose that the one tenant was responsible for the additional utilities, that tenant might be able to maintain a breach of contract lawsuit against the landlord based on misrepresentation becaus they might not have rented if they had known up front about the utilities.





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