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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37003
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I got a new tenant whom got the keys to the apt and moved

Customer Question

I got a new tenant whom got the keys to the apt and moved some of his stuff on Oct 1st. A month ago he signed an one-year lease, which starts on Oct 1st. He got the keys to the apt and moved some stuff on the 1st. Now suddenly, he texted me saying that
he doesn't want to stay anymore because the place is too small and there are too many stairs, etc... He said he only has a few boxes in and he will move them out right away. And he wants all his money back (first and last month rent + security deposit). He
was very rude on the phone and threated/cursed me when I tried to talk sense to him. My question is 1) If he returns the apartment in good/original standing, can I hold on to the 2 month rent (Oct and last month) and security deposit, and instead let the tenant
break the lease and not owe me the whole 1 year? Do I need to do anything for that to happen? 2) Until a new tenant rents the place, he is responsible to pay the rent for the whole year. Am I right? 3) can I sue him for not fulfilling the 1 year lease, regardless
of if he completely moves out or not?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky 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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The tenant is out of luck because once he signed the lease and received the keys, he is legally bound and if he doesn't pay the rent you can sue him for breach of contract.

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So you have no legal duty to refund him anything, whether he moved in or not. The fact that he changed his mind doesn't give him legal grounds to breach the lease.

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If he doesn't pay the rent, you can pursue a formal eviction action in court to regain legal possession and then hold him liable for any lost rent until you re-rent the property.

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IF he returns the keys and gives you a written notice that he is abandoning the property, then you wouldn't have to evict him, but you can still hold him legally responsible for all rent until you re-rent.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The tenants claims that his wife (whose name is ***** ***** the lease and he claims they are separating, but she would stay with him for a couple of months) was a former city inspector and a current NJ state fire inspector.She is threatening based on two things:
One is that one of the stove burners is not working and because she knows that the burner was not working during the previous tenant, I am in sort of violation and should not have a valid CO (certified occupancy) now.
Second she said that the CO on the house is from 2 years ago, and because it has been over 2 years since that CO, the renal is not a legal rental. Also she was saying that every time a tenant leaves I need to renew my CCO.1. Does she have a case?
2. Is CO and CCO open to public? If so where can I find it?
Please forward me any relevant city and state links.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

If the property doesn't have a valid CO, then that would give the tenant grounds to avoid the lease if this got in front of a judge. But I find it highly doubtful that one non-working burner on a stove would make the property fail an inspection for a CO.

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I don't have access to local city information regarding CO offices and whether they publish this information and make it available to the public.

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I will opt out of the question and open it up to other experts who might have a more definitive answer for you..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I agree with you that the burner will not make the house pass inspection.
My question was on her 2 year statement. she said that the CO on the house is from 2 years ago, and because it has been over 2 years since that CO, the renal is not a legal rental. Also she was saying that every time a tenant leaves I need to renew my CCO.
Is her statement right and if so, can you forward me website link on how often in NJ, CCO inspection needs to be done, even if no tenant moves in and out? What is the penalty if the CCO not renewed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You have spent time on this question, so you don't need to opt out. Would you like to continue?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is the CCO/CO still valid?

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