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  1. #1
    jerseyrenter09 is offline Junior Member
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    Temp Restraining Order against Landlord/Roommate who was renting room illegaly-Advice

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NJ

    I rented a room from a woman who owned a condo and became her roommate. A police officer told me that her renting the room to me was illegal. I've heard before about rooms for rent being illegal but did not know what constitutes that but I signed a month to month lease with her. She gave me a 30 day notice to move out because she said I did not clean the apartment enough and other issues(no damage, partying etc..created by me) and this led us into a verbal argument. She walked through the apartment with a 4ft bike chain and blocked me from moving in a common area and we started fighting.Cops were called by a neighbor and they arrested her and I won a temporary restraining order against her. I also found out later that the cops noted a saw sitting on her coffee table in her room.Right now she is not allowed to be in her own residence and I am still here. The hearing for the final restraining order is on February 5th. If I win the final hearing on February 5th, she may not be allowed to come back here. If they do allow her to come back then I would have to move immediately for my own safety - IF in fact they grant this -Do I have to pay for my own relocation?? We have a municipal court for the incident on Feb 17th, but for the landlord/tenant issues do I need to find a lawyer to go to a separate small claims court with her if I seek rent back or relocation assistance? Where do I begin that process? If I win in the municipal court could I seek monies there instead?

    There is also a grey area for me with the restraining order. It states for her that "You are prohibited from making or causing anyone else to make harassing statements to Plaintiff". However, she has already sent two different people over here with a set of keys to enter the apartment and retrieve things for her. The first person that came over I did not see, but for the second I was in the apartment and heard the door being unlocked but the chain lock stopped them from getting in. If she comes over here the cops said she would go to jail but nothing was stated about others coming over here for her. They didn't harass me, but I don't think it's right for her to be doing such a thing. For now I have switched the deadbolt lock- a renter switching the lock on the landlord -crazy right? But considering the circumstances, I can argue what I did if I need to right?

    One more thing - The incident happened on 1/28/09 and my rent for the room is due on February 3rd. Until things are sorted out by the courts I do not plan on paying her my rent for this month. Should I still be obligated to do so?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Exclamation

    Expect the media on your door step on the 5th with questions about a PROPERTY OWNER being removed from the HOME SHE OWNS...the police were WRONG. You are NOT a TENANT * you are a ROOMER/LODGER and have no rights as a TENANT and I suspect that she will have an attorney who will have judge require you to move.....why would you want to stay?

    Use next few days to pack and move out ENTIRELY. You should not be in residence on the 5th as she may well be allowed to come home.
  3. #3
    Ozark_Sophist is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    Expect the media on your door step on the 5th with questions about a PROPERTY OWNER being removed from the HOME SHE OWNS...the police were WRONG. You are NOT a TENANT * you are a ROOMER/LODGER and have no rights as a TENANT and I suspect that she will have an attorney who will have judge require you to move.....why would you want to stay?

    Use next few days to pack and move out ENTIRELY. You should not be in residence on the 5th as she may well be allowed to come home.
    Why would the media show up? And why are you yelling at OP when you are wrong?

    OP is a TENANT with a month-to-month lease.
  4. #4
    Ozark_Sophist is offline Senior Member
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    OP is protected by provisions of the state Anti-Eviction Act. If OP is displaced, OP is eligible for relocation assistance in the amount of 6 times the monthly rent.

    OP, do the research now. Do not move until you do because you need to preserve your right to relocation assistance. You should probably file for assistance now before the court date and your 30 day notice is up.

    N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(g) or 2A:18-61.1(h); Kona Miah v. Ahmed, 179. N.J. 511 (2004).
  5. #5
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    OP is a roomer - LL LIVES in the same unit and there are different laws for this situation in many states under "innkeeper" rules.

    Media will show up exactly like they showed up in MA this past weekend when tenant killed a landlord with a machete - someone at the jail will tip them off and it is a STORY
  6. #6
    Who's Liable? is offline Senior Member
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    As stated before, there are different rules for innkeeper/tenants...
  7. #7
    jerseyrenter09 is offline Junior Member
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    I don't expect news cameras to show up about this! However, I still don't know what

    actions to take and how. I don't have enough money for a lawyer do I call a Pro-bono place in the area and see what they can do in a landlord tenant issue? Can I do the whole process without a lawyer and go to small claims court by myself Judge Judy style w/her? How do I file that claim?

    If a judge has already granted a temp restraining order are the chances high that they will grant another upon final hearing? This woman had a bike lock in her hands, a saw on a coffee table and a foot long pair of scissors in a closet. She's very dangerous.
  8. #8
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    You need to move before your 30 day notice is up. The anti-eviction laws have exceptions for owner-occupied dwellings and she CAN give you notice to move without a specific reason. So you need to comply with your notice to terminate the month-to-month lease and get out of there as soon as you are able. She shouldn't have tried to physically harm her but you certainly have no right to prevent her friends from getting her belongings out of HER HOME which you have managed to prevent her from entering. You can't keep her out forever so you'd best start making moving arrangements now. And no, you can't make her pay for your relocation.
  9. #9
    jerseyrenter09 is offline Junior Member
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    I'm confused Ozark_Sophist says I would be protected by anti-eviction laws and ecmst12 says no. If I win the hearing for the Final Restraining order, this website says I may be entitled to the following things but it depends on the judges decisions --

    "How can a restraining order help me?

    A restraining order may:

    * Order the abuser not to assault, threaten, abuse, follow, harass, or interfere with you and your children in person, at work, on the telephone, or by other means;
    * Allow you to live in the home where you and your abuser have lived together and order the abuser to move out and not return, no matter who owns the home or is on the lease;
    * Order the abuser to pay for suitable alternative housing for you;
    * Order the abuser to stay away from any place you request including your school, your children's school, your work place, your friends' homes, or any place where you are seeking shelter;
    * Order that you have possession of a car, a key, a health insurance card, a checkbook, passport, immigration documents, birth certificates, keys or other things that you might need;
    * Order that law enforcement accompany you or your abuser to retrieve personal items from the home;
    * Order the abuser’s weapons be seized;
    * Order that the abuser repay you for any losses, such as lost earnings, out-of-pocket costs for injuries, money spent to repair damage to property, cost of counseling, moving or other travel expenses, lawyer’s fees, court costs, and medical bills;
    * Order the abuser to pay for your pain and suffering;
    * Order the abuser to pay punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages described above;
    * Order the abuser to support you and your children and pay any mortgage or other necessary payments;
    * Order that the abuser undergo psychiatric evaluation and/or receive psychological counseling or counseling for substance abuse;
    * Order the abuser to do anything else you ask for and the judge agrees to.*

    Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

    *NJSA 2C:25-29"

    I understand hat I could LOSE the final hearing and the restraining order is taken off and bam she's moved back in with me but like the cops told me I should have nothing to worry about. I don't know how to ask the judge for what I want but if I could I would want her to first pay for me to re-locate. I just don't think that it is right for me to be thrown out of here given the circumstances.
    A cop was the one who brought up the whole illegal sublet thing to me and suggested I take her to landlord/tenant court.

    Do I still pay her rent for this month somehow? Under the TRO she is not allowed to contact me.
  10. #10
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    You were given a LEGAL notice to terminate your tenancy prior to the altercation. You have no right to throw her out of her own home for any longer then it will take for you to gather your belongings, find someplace to move, and move. If you haven't paid rent for this month, you'd better pay it because if you don't, you can be evicted for non-payment much sooner.

    Your landlord should not have threatened to harm you, but she is still allowed to terminate your tenancy. And she did not actually harm you! I hope you don't reasonably expect a judge to allow you to continue living in her home for as long as you like? Cause that's never going to happen.

    If you don't know who is right about the law, read it yourself. NJ Landlord Tenant law is available online.
  11. #11
    jerseyrenter09 is offline Junior Member
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    On the restraining order Assuault, Criminal Restraint(because she had me pinned down) and Harassment were all checked. She restrained me from moving with the bike chain and sat on me and the cops caught her in that position. There were bruises and scratches on my face and the cops took pics of me with them.
    I think the decision made was, yes. She did harm me. She had no markings.
  12. #12
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Did you actually read my post?
  13. #13
    jerseyrenter09 is offline Junior Member
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    I did read your posts.
    I read through this forum and read similar situations like mine without the restraining orders and a whole criminal case on top of things.

    Someone rents a room, whether it be illegal or not, the LL says I want you out in 30 days and if they dont have a good reason why - like if you caused no damage or trouble, not delinquent on rent..they can't do that! A cop told me that her throwing me out over BS reasons is wrong and if shes going to, under NJ law she would be obliged to paying 6 mos rent to me like the other poster said.

    Why would I be an exception??
  14. #14
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    You are an exception because you live in an owner-occupied property and she does not need a reason to give you 30 days notice. The owner has that right for ANY month to month tenant in most states. NJ has more protections for tenants then most but even NJ isn't going to allow you to live in your landlord's house and kick her out and not pay rent, no matter how physically inappropriate she may have been with you. You can't live with her anymore so YOU need to find somewhere else to live, not her! It's her house! You don't think she has the right to live in her own house? You're nuts lady.

    Cops are not experts in landlord-tenant law and shouldn't be giving legal advice at any rate. Did you read the landlord tenant act for your state?
  15. #15
    NJnbsLandlord is offline Junior Member
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    Deadbeats Out!

    If you are so confident about your chances and feel you are impervious to action taken by the LL - Then why are you here continually asking for advice? Then when you are advised you repeat your warped reasoning when you read something you dont like. I hope this LL you are beefing with gets to slap you with a fat judgement based on HER hardship CAUSED by you, a deadbeat looking to live rent-free and making money anyway you can. You know what - dont pay her the rent, dont get a lawyer and keep thinking in your twisted mind that you are correct and everyone else is wrong. Eventually there will come a day when you wont be able to avoid the knocks and requests for you to be decent and a fat burly constable will show up and break the good news to you - pack up your trash, it's moving day for you. And also your inquiry into "what" you can 'get" out of her is laughable. You are the perfect example; Not only for being a bad tenant but also for being a very greedy person. I only wish I could film them throwing you off the premises on that day for Youtube fans. Good day deadbeat...
    Last edited by NJnbsLandlord; 07-14-2009 at 11:09 PM.

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