Q: I have an issue with my landlord concerning duty to mitigate; landlord is ignoring me as well.
I have an issue with my landlord. I signed a year lease but would like to move out early due to excessive noise in the apartment. I understand that in my state (New Jersey) there is a legal obligation of the landlord to mitigate damages. My landlord briefly showed the apartment (over the course of 1 weekend) and suddenly took all the listings down for it. I offered to help my landlord find a new tenant to start a new lease by advertising but he refused to allow me to do this. I fear the landlord put up the listing for 1 weekend and removed them just to give the appearance that he tried showing the apartment. So far he's not answering my calls/emails/texts. Is he legally allowed to not show the apartment and not allow me to advertise for it either after I informed him I wish to move out?
A: You are correct in your assessment of Landlord's duty to mitigate damages. Keep a daily journal of all events concerning your tenancy, landlord's failure to provide 'quiet enjoyment' (A term of art as required in all leases) because of other tenants' noise, and failure to advertise the available apartment, and failure to retain a licensed NJ real estate broker to obtain a tenant. When you moved in, did the Landlord provide you with a certificate of habitability from the municipality? Further, if a security deposit was paid, did you receive notice of the depository bank and interest as required by law? The landlord's failure to do so places him a position of jeopardy if litigation is instituted.
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