Bethesda, MD asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey

Q: NJ tenant. Landlords repeatedly failed to repair/maintain. No landlord registration/certificate of smoke detector compl

I contacted township due to safety concerns I had over removal of leaking oil tank in my basement. Landlords then repeatedly threatened to evict. County DOH came out to inspect. Landlords insist they don’t have to “accommodate” my schedule making repairs required by DOH. Won’t provide start or finish times for interior repairs. Four consecutive days in one week. Then demanded two more days this week to finish small drywall repair I offered to pay contractor to do (four hours or less). They refuse to knock. I’m a single mother and work day and night shift at a hospital. If I don’t miss work or sleep to meet their demands, there isn’t an adult present with my minor children while they wander in and out. This morning, landlord and township inspector walked into unit and were on second floor before I even heard them. When asked for specific time frames or to limit times, they say things like I started this. Or it’s happening because I brought things to township’s attention. Advice??

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1 Lawyer Answer
Morris Leo Greb
Morris Leo Greb
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Rockaway, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Become proactive. Open an escrow checking or savings account. Notify in writing ( best to use certified mail return receipt required) to the Landlord that the monthly rent will be placed into the escrow account until all required repairs are scheduled to your satisfaction and are completed by licensed contractors. Be sure to make the deposit into the account by the date the rent is due each month. NJ Courts do not recognize self help. This means that the landlord can not unilaterally act to evict you. He must follow all statutory requirements. If he does to evict you, be sure to attend the court scheduled hearing. Bring with you a copy of the bank statement showing timely rent payments. Worst case scenerio would be the Court telling you to release the money to the landlord.

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