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Questions Answered by Matthew Schutz
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Can my girlfriend take half of my home in New Jersey if i moved her in and we brake up?
Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Jun 11, 2022

This answer assumes you are not married. No. She is your guest in your home. If she chooses to stay after she has worn out her welcome, you can file an action called an ejectment and here removed by a sheriff's officer.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Can landlord change first month rent, security deposit, AND last TWO months rent?

Edit: with confirmation that this is illegal, what’s my next step? I already signed and paid, should I reach out to the landlord and try and get my money back or contact an attorney?

I was told I needed to pay the following at the lease signing:

1.5 months security deposit, 1... Read more »

Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on May 16, 2022

What your landlord is asking you to do is illegal in New Jersey. He's only allowed to ask for a month and a half security. Asking for the 2 months rent at the end of the lease on top of a month and a half security is not permitted. Could you ask your landlord to put that request in writing.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: Hi. What is the legal percentage that a NJ landlord for an apartment complex, can increase the rent by? Thank you
Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on May 16, 2022

I read Mister Greb's answer. While I generally agree with it, I would add that in the absence of rent control, the court will look at what is reasonable as far as an increase is concerned. The court will consider a variety of factors. How much time between the current increase in the last... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: My landlord is asking me to sign a full lease contract without seeing the unit. is it normal?

i am transferring to a bigger Unit, but they asked to sign the whole lease, put a deposit without seeing the next place. and in Case i do not like it, they will fine me, as my current place will be committed to somebody else.

is it normal to commit to a 12 months lease, without seeing it?

Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Apr 18, 2022

No. How can read the lease or have an attorney review it, if you don't have a copy?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: Is this lease offer letter binding and considered a renewal?

I received an offer letter from landlord that stated the new rent for a 12-month term, and the rent if converted to month-to-month. I asked if it was negotiable, and was told it was not. After considering the amount and my budget, I signed the offer letter and returned it. Upon receipt of the... Read more »

Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Apr 18, 2022

Your landlord is stuck. Contracts are formed upon the offer and acceptance. The landlord offered to renew your lease at the initial rental. By signing the letter you accepted his offer. The fact that he may have made a mistake in sending you the offer, doesn't change the fact that he did. Your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: How much notice does property management have to give for a rent increase on a year to year lease in NJ
Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Apr 18, 2022

My answer here is dependent upon what your lease provides. Assuming the lease is silent on renewal periods, you should give at least 3 months notice. If the rental is residential and subject to the Anti Eviction Act ( not owner occupied or in excess of three units), the lease becomes a month to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: Landlord is putting house on the market,how much time is he suppose to give me to look for another place to rent?
Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Apr 12, 2022

It depends on the situation. Under New Jersey law, the landlord can't evict you if he is selling the premises, unless it's under contract and the new owner wants to use the unit for his own personal use. The landlord has to give you 2 months notice to quit. If the property is under lease,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: I've rented over ten years in current apartment. This year's lease is ending and my landlord wants a 10% rent increase

A 2 bedroom apt that has a broken radiator in one room and needs new toilet, so can't have roommate. I told them fine, but I need them fixed so I can get a roommate to share expenses.

They replied they'll fix them, but now the new lease will be month to month.

Is any of this legal?

Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Apr 4, 2022

Yes and no. A 10% rent increase is a nonstarter. Absent rent control, where increases must stay within guidelines, the court will look at the reasonableness of the rent increase. Generally speaking, 5% is the ceiling, but this can increased by investment in the property, time since the last... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: How much notice needed for new lease and rent increase in NJ

Renting house since 2013, lease expired 2014, no physical lease since (therefore month to month). received new lease today 3/30/22 for 4/1/22 effective date. Current rent is 1500/mo, new rent 1800/mo effective 6/1/22. Lease is VERY favorable to landlord who has made NO repairs or improvements in 9... Read more »

Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Apr 1, 2022

Generally speaking the LL is allowed to have a reasonable rent increase. Tyically that is not over 5%. Jurisdictions with rent control will have guide lines the LL must comply with. Any changes in the lease terms must be reasonable as well.

Depending on the nature of repairs required,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: If there is a new owner with a long term pre existing month to month lease, can the new owner deny tenant amenities?

I live in the city of newark & I am trying to find out my rights as a tenant. My landlord just sold the home I have lived in the past 7 years. The new owners are trying to raise my rent by $475/mo. I don’t believe this is legal & I told them so. I have another issue where they are trying... Read more »

Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Mar 28, 2022

The answer is yes and no. Newark is rent controlled. They are trying to raise your rent by over 30%. Unless they put in a lot of improvements, it would never pass muster at either the rent control board or in court. cuttng your amenities is just another wy to raise your rent. You are paying the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey on
Q: Paying rent while the apartment was uninhabitable, is this reimbursable?

My brother was hospitalized and his apt ceiling collapsed making the house inhabitable, bathroom was unsafe. Management notified multiple times (have pictures and emails). We continued paying rent but he could not return home. He passed away at a rehab while waiting for repairs. I have continued... Read more »

Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Mar 22, 2022

I would stop paying rent after I send a letter to the LL outlining the history. I would also preserve the prior letters. I expect you are going to have to sue the LL after he refuses to return the security deposit. In that action I would also sue for the months the apartment was uninhabitable.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: Neighbors trespassing and will not stop
Matthew Schutz
Matthew Schutz
answered on Mar 21, 2022

Assuming the property is properly posted, you have a basis for civil (section 4:17-2) and criminal (section 2C:18-3) action against the tresspasser. I would start with filing a crminal complaint in the municipal court in the town where the property is located.

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