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We are currently a tenant in a NJ apartment building managed…

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We are currently a tenant...
We are currently a tenant in a NJ apartment building managed by a local, very unorganized management firm. Our lease ended in August 2017 and we continued with a month-to-month, not additional terms were signed or agreed to, and I do understand that in NJ you are subject to all the terms and conditions of the original written lease other than the duration term.
There is a section of out lease titled:
Renewals and Changes in Lease, it reads:
We are currently a tenant in a NJ apartment building managed by a local, very unorganized management firm. Our lease ended in August 2017 and we continued with a month-to-month, no additional terms were signed or agreed to, and I do understand that in NJ you are subject to all the terms and conditions of the original written lease other than the duration term.
There is a section of out lease titled:
Renewals and Changes in Lease, it reads:
"At the end of the Lease the Landlord may off the tenant a new lease. The new lease may include reasonable changes from the pervious lease such as a reasonable increase in rent. The Landlord will notify the Tenant of any proposed new lease at least ninety (90) days before the end of the present lease. If a new lease is not offered the Tenant may continue to rent the apartment on a month-to-month basis (with the rest of the lease remaining the same), or as otherwise permitted by law. Either way the Tenant must notify the Landlord of the Tenant's decision to stay or to leave at least seventy-five (75) days before the end of the term of the present lease. If the Tenant fails to provide such notice the Tenant will be responsible under the terms of the new lease."
I have a few questions/issues.
1. Our new property manager, is saying that it is their rule that we must give a 60 day notice, I did not see any reference in the lease to a 60 day notice required once the lease goes to month-to-month. We gave a 30 day notice, on March 19, and they are saying we should be responsible until May 19, but that they actually listed and rented our until starting May 1, so we would only be responsible until April 30. If there is not specific mention of a 60 day notice, they cannot just have a rule, it would have to be included in the lease something we both agreed to in writing and signed correct? Do you read anything in this section of the lease that would lead you to believe we have to give a 60 day notice. The previous property manager lady, had told us via email that to go month-to-month there would be no increase in rent, but we needed to give a 60 day notice, we never agreed to that, and I even talked to her in person and she said, in person, that 30 days would be fine, but the new manager is just going by the email that was sent, and we never agreed to that, nor signed anything, nor is that listed in the lease, so does that email have any binding argument for them?
2. If we are unable to work this issue out, they claim we are responsible for the rent now until 4/30, and they have a new renter for 5/1, that does not give them any time to flip the apartment, so even though we gave an original notice until 4/19 if we are having to pay the rent until 4/30 then can we stay in the apartment until then? We cannot be required to pay the rest of the month and also not be able to be there correct? This would not make us a Hold-over tenant would it?
3. They are also claiming that we signed a new lease that was through 8/10/18, (we did not, they are just very unorganized, and I have asked them to produce the document), so they are making it out like they are doing us a favor. I had previous conversations in person with the former Property Manager and she knew our work situation with getting relocated possibly and said she would work with us, but now they are giving us a hard time. They stated in their last email what I took as a threat: “Even our month to month residents are required to provide 60 days notice, there is no circumstance in which 30 days notice is permitted. Additionally, we charge a $250 per month month-to-month fee which you were not assessed because we were showing that your lease was renewed through August of this year. Should you insist that you have a month to month lease, we would have to go back and assess the $250 per month charge from the end of your last lease term which would total $1,750.” There is no mention of this month-to-month fee in the lease nor any document that we ever signed. This seems as a threat to scare me with a larger amount to back off, and just pay the remainder of the month they want us to, but we were trying to do everything according to the lease and communicate that with them. If there is not a fee like that listed in the lease that we both originally signed they cannot assess this correct? And they surely would not be able to go back almost 8 months and charge us for that, or am I incorrect?
Any help and guidance would be greatly appreciated, I am very much a rule follower and we were trying to do this correct, and they ignored my original emailed with the notice and the followup, said they did not receive them, but yet they still listed the unit and said they have it rented already so clearly they got the email and never followed up. I asked about the prorated rent and everything but they never responded. I have to call them multiple times and just today almost 2 weeks later I was able to reach them and find out all this new information.
Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 1 day by:
3/29/2018
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 2 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 125,163
Experience: Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

  1. If your lease does not say you must give 60 day notice to terminate, then under the law a month to month tenant must give 30 days (one month) notice of termination of the lease unless the lease says otherwise. You need to read the rest of the lease as well, because the section you posted is only one section of the lease and the notice for cancellation could be somewhere else in that lease document. If there is nothing else in the remaining lease clauses, they cannot hold you to give more than 30 day notice.
  2. Yes if they are trying to make you pay for rent until April 30, you are entitled to retain possession until April 30. You are not a hold over tenant if you paid rent to 4/30.
  3. If they cannot produce a lease with your signature showing the lease is until 2018, then they cannot enforce such a clause. They cannot assess you more money as a month to month unless your lease says that they can. They cannot retroactively charge you something they never gave you notice of or was not in the lease initially. You need to reply to them that if they continue to break the law and if they continue to make threats as they are doing, you will be filing a complaint in the local housing office against them for their threats and harassment and will sue them for breach of lease.

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Category: Landlord-Tenant
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