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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102363
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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My name is ***** ***** and I have a question regarding

Customer Question

Hello my name is ***** ***** and I have a question regarding the home that I live in. It is a five bedroom house and each of the bedrooms are occupied. We each live independently of each other, the owner of the house is really incompetent and he has been illegally renting out the rooms in his home since he has been the owner. The house is registered as a single family home but he is charging us separate monthly rents to pay for the mortgage and the utilities. I know that this house has never been inspected and he remodeled it without permits since 2012. My issue is how can I obtain the house from the owner so my house mates and I will not have to move due to his mistakes? I am willing to fill out the proper documents to bring the house up to code and get it inspected I just need the owner to no longer be the owner
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Yes I can. The house is located in passiac county in new Jersey and it is a single family ranch house which was built in 1962. The owner purchased it in 2012 and since then he has been renting it out to different tenants for funds. When I moved in 2013 the house was already remodeled. Now 2 and a half years later everything is coming to the light. For example our electrical wiring of the house is extremely off, the ceilings on the second floor do meet the required height, the second floor kitchen is also where the boiler and the heater is located. And the owner has never had a house or health inspector view property since he purchased it. I am a Paralegal student so I know that the operations of this house is illegal and I know the correct solutions to fix them I just want my roommates and I to be protected. The township where I live does not about this and I was considering of telling them
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Real Estate Lawyers generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me what state this is in.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The state is New Jerseu
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
New Jersey
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. How long have you lived on the property, please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have lived on the property since August 2013
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I am afraid I have some bad news. I am not sure who told you otherwise, but you cannot take over the property if the landlord is not providing a livable space to reside in. Taking ownership of a property via squatter's rights means the person has to live in the property for 30 YEARS and WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION. See HERE. A tenant cannot claim squatter's rights by living in a property. The good news is that you do have recourse, however. In NJ, a landlord has a duty in a "warranty of habitability" to provide good, livable space for the tenant. See here. You can seek relief from the property not being in good shape in court. Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The house is livable there is nothing drastically wrong with it. He is just illegally renting out the rooms and the house has never been inspected so if I can't own the house I can at force his hand to properly take care of the house
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
You cannot gain ownership of the house this way. However you can take steps for him to care for the home. If he is renting is illegally without proper license, then this up to the county/municipality to enforce, not the tenant. You can file an anonymous complaint if you want to. Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

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