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Tenant Problems in Non owner occupied two family house in N.J.
started a topic
about 12 years ago
My tenant is on a month to month lease since March 2010. In Jan. 2011 I presented him with a new lease$40. increase to begin in March2011. I waited until July and presented him with a lease with a 16 % increase, NOT SMART. He took me to court and judge ruled retaliatory, and I lost. How do I proceed ? He has been paying the same rent since March 2010 and has now stopped paying the water bills , which are presented quarterly and are in his lease. What are my options, if any ? Secondly, I have a new and improved lease which basically says the same as the Blumburg Lease, but I would like to be able to present him with this new lease which is and improvement on the old lease. The new lease was provided to me by an attorney friend. Can I legally present him with a new lease and how do I go about raising his rent 3% to 4 % ? Since he won the case that was ruled "retaliatory", do I have this tenant for life at the same monthly rent ? I NEED HELP THANKS
about 12 years ago
Generally when a judge rules in favor of a tenant for "retaliation" there is pretty sufficient evidence to suggest it. Raising rent is usually a landlord's prerogative but when charges are so high that it appears that it is a penalization; it could be construed as a retaliatory motive. Just because you lost in court regarding a 16% increase does not mean you cannot increase the rent unless the judge ruled "NO INCREASES AT ALL". Make sure if you are increasing their rent it is by the letter of the law! Make sure the lease is given with proper notice, give extra notice to be safe. Increase in small amounts. One other thing, if the lease reads that the tenant is responsible for utilities, the tenant is liable for them.
about 12 years ago
Thanks, your response is helpful. The question I still have is can I create a new lease, with a new format and basically the same language that is an improved lease, such as the residential lease you offer, and present the lease to him with the expectation that it will be signed and returned?
almost 12 years ago
The short answer is yes, depending on what the judge said before. As the landlord you can dispose of his property at will, which would include leasing, renting, selling, and so forth. The longer answer is effectively to check with a lawyer. It shouldn't be more than a few hundred dollars to be safe. I agree with the idea of giving extra notice to be safe. If you want to be double safe regarding the amount of rent increase you could go with the guidelines for rent increases in rent stabilized apartments in your area (if any). I am pretty sure that the month to month rental that usually occurs (at least here in NY) continues under that same terms as the lease. So if the tenant was responsible for utilities and is not paying them, then you should be able to evict them. Again, this is the fodder of those licensed to practice law. My personal leaning here is that you've established an adversarial relationship with this tenant, and it might be best for all concerned to end the relationship.
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