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NeedSmartHelp

Guest
What is the name of your state? NJ
My best friend has dealt with the mother of all deranged landlords for the past 8 and a half years. My friend moved into a ten family, landlord occupied building. When he moved in, he was told that men were not welcome or preferred. Bad omen one. After the first year lease ended, the landlord's presented my friend with an updated lease that had a page of unreasonable rules (such as he could never own an a/c while in apt) He refused to sign it and has been livign month to month ever since then. Over the years he couldnt get the landlords to make simple repairs. At one time his kitchen ceiling fell in and dust/dirt landed all over his apt. The landlords refused to pay for clean up and he had to take them to court to get the money back. As I said the landlord's live in my friend's building. On his original lease it says he's to pay his rent to them at their address. Well over time he was told he couldnt pay it to their address and would have to mail it to their daughters in another town. My friend complied and ever since then they complain that they receive it late. The thing is is that i KNOW my friend has always paid on time. (i usually help him out by mailing his bills for him since he has diagnosed health problems) In addition to his landlord's ignoring to make needed repairs, (for one winter he went without heat because his heater died in his bedroom and the landlords said they coudlnt find one to replace it [ which was later found out to be a lie by the actual heater manufactuer) and complaining that the rent was constantly paid late, my friends' landlord's also constantly have harassed me and other firends who visit his apt. And lastly his landlord's have mentally unstable son who lives with them. Im a polite person and always tried to be cordial with their nutty son when he tried to talk at me when I was coming up or down the building stairs. Apparently the guy started to become increasingly obsessed with me and talking to me. he would try and talk to me whenever he saw me on the street and would complain to me that i never gave him any of my time. Started to really creep me out but I tried to rationalize his behavior and talked myself into believeing him harmless sort. Finally things cam eto a head when he wrote a letter addressed ot me and left it taped on my friend's door. The letter inside was written by him and contained nothing but insane junk. In the letter he addressed former first lady nancy reagan and her husband ronald reagan and talked about how he(the landlord's son) was a Holy Roman soldier and that he was divinely inspired and was a special agent in the secrect servic eof USA. Clearly not a well individual. My friend and I were both freaked out a little by this. When the landlord's nut son tried to stop me on the street again, he was actually with his father, my friend's landlord. I tried to keep walking and he hollered after me and started walkign after me. I turned on my heel and told him firnly but politely to please leave me alone and not talk to me further. Since I did this, my friend's landlords have started having their lawyer write my friend letters telling him he is habitually late at paying rent. Seems they want to evict him instead of dealing with their son. And although the 'official' landlords are elderly, the mother herself is sharp as a tack but will slip into 'innocent little ole lady' when it suits her. She hates me (and of course my friend) for no good reason (i never said anything but niceties to her and just gave up saying hello finally when she wouldnt even smile back at me. She and I came to blows last year on september 14th. My nerves were beyond raw from what had just happened in front of my own eyes a few days before and i was in no mood to be messed with. I was bringing laundry down my friends stairs in a soft duffel bag and alhtough it was soft is still made a clicking sound on the stairs... This woman stood blocking the stairs on started screaming her head off at me. I broke in to tears and asked her toplease move and lower her voice an dthat i had just been thru hell. Instead she kept yelling and wouldnt move....so I pushed passed her and called her the B word. She then called me one too and I told her to never bother me again. Hell when she dies Im going to jump on her grave after treating me that way when I was already beyond traumatized. I might add she and her middle aged unmarried daughters are the ones who handle all the rent issues and makes their fragile 87 year old father maintain the entire apartment building himself. (he always complains that they overwork him) And when he doesnt do maintenence they ask their crazy son to handle repair work. Which means everything gets more screwed up. Anyhow, I thought that after I told their son to not talk to me he woudl leave me alone..Not so he followed /bothered /talked at me in the building and in public 3-4 times after that. On the fourth time , I was at a post office, standing at the post office window in the middle of talking to the clerk there when I suddenly felt someone grab at my arm. I looked over my shoulder and jerked my arm away and it was the freak talking at me interupting the business i was conducting. He started saying soemthign about hello and he had found me and i whipped my head back to the clerk and ignored him. The P.O. office clerk asked if i was okay and who was bothering me. As I finished conducting my transaction, the landlord's son came back and stood 2 inched a way form me and started talkign at me again. I looked at the post office guy who asked th elandlord's son what he wnated . I took off from the post office and he followed me outside. i was waiting for a cab next to some stranger and he satrted talking to the stranger asking if she knew me! so insane. So when my friend heard about this he flipped out and wrote a letter telling his landlord's to stop writing him about him paying his rent late and to tell their son to leave me alone.
Well this was three weeks ago and the freak still keeps bothering me and the landlords still keep bothering my friend about paying his rent late (even though he/i now send his rent early via certified return receipt mail !),,,,,
On September 11th , of all days (i used to work on 103 floor of WTC2 for AON a couple years ago and lost friends, so i REALLY didnt need any B.S like this to deal with on the 1st anniversary of everything) , both the landlord's insane son wrote my friend a threatening letter and their lawyer wrote a letter to him too. The lawyer's letter was more of the same (cept this letter said my friend has to pay his rent before the first of the month and have it received by the 1st with no grace period [is this even legal btw ?]), but the son's letter to him was delusional and filled with insane threats. the guy said that angels would harm my firned and that my friend must start paying this kook 100.00 a week or they would be set after him to destory him.... (wait it gets better)....on the backside of the letter, were xeroxed copies of envelopes and messages that this guy had sent addressed to martha stewart, george w bush, the secret service, samatha runyon and serveral other famour, political names. Just insane gibberish, but very scary nonetheless. So what advice does anyone have regarding all this lunacy ? About the accusations of late rent. about the lawyer saying the grace period isnt applicable anymore. about this dernaged nut on the loose... HELP ! (P.S- my friend isn't the first person to have ongoing problems with these landlords, other former tenants have left because harassing reasons. Such as racial bias (a white woman had biracial baby )and the landlords had to reach a reduced rent settlemnt with her as part of a lawsuit.Update here:
Situation above has gone from bad to worse....My aforementioned friend and I went to the police station on last friday and a detective wrote up a report and said he was charge the landlord's son with harassment. My friend and I hoped everythign woudl a t least quite down until the nu receives his summons....next day my friend calls me and says there are not one but two NEW threatening letters inside his locked mailbox. These letters were NOT mailed via the post office, no the landlord's son somehow obtained a key and put them inside my friends secure locked mailbox. Isn't this like a federal offense or something ? My friends missed getting some mail he was expecting so now hes really freaking out that the guy mightve taken it.>>>>>>>>> The two latest letters th eguy wrote were thinly veiled death threats (saying that angels would break my friends bones and destroy him utterly into hell and that because he didnt pay up and give this kook exortion money that he'd be harmed worse 'by the angels') If ANYONE has some good advice on what my friend should do next (other than moving out which Ive told him to please do ASAP) I'd greatly appreciate it. Can my friend sue for harassment ? Since the landlords son is a tenant in the building can't they be held accountable for him disrupting my friends right to peaceful enjoyment ? (to put it mildly) The landlord's also havent ever made lots of needed repairs and being written to about them repeatedly. Can my friend just call it a constructive eviction and move right away ? Can he sue them to pay for his moving costs and punitive damages because they and their sons harassment makes living in the building unteneable ?
If this werent my oldest and dearest friend in the world I wouldnt be tearing out my hair over his problems............. Yikes.
 


D

daddie1001

Guest
Unless he is willing to file police reports, then all he has is a month to month lease and can give 30 days to leave, he should have plenty of money saved up after 8 years of pretty cheap rent...dont you think?

Second..where in NJ? it still could be a rent controlled building which would entitle him to far more rights.

Third NJ has a 5 business day grace period, for seniors and Socail security and disabled people... by law for paying the rent.
 
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D

daddie1001

Guest
|Civil Division| |Legal Resource Room|

Landlord/Tenant Section Frequently Asked Questions

What types of claims are filed?
Where do I file a claim?
How do I go about filing a complaint?
What are the filing fees?
How do I prepare for trial?
What happens on the day of trial?
What happens if the landlord is granted judgment for possession?
What happens to residential security deposits?



Most disputes between landlords and tenants are resolved by the Landlord/Tenant Section of the New Jersey Superior Court,
Special Civil Part. The Landlord/Tenant Section is one of the three sections of the Special Civil Part.

This FAQ gives general information about the Landlord/Tenant Section. It is not intended to provide or take the place of legal
advice or to answer every question you may have about this court.

For legal advice about your rights, you should contact a lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer contact the Lawyers' Referral Service of
the County Bar Association. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may contact the Legal Services Program to see if you are eligible
to receive free legal services.



TYPICAL LANDLORD AND TENANT COMPLAINTS

Following is a general list of some of the reasons a landlord may file a complaint in the Landlord/Tenant Section:

Failure to pay rent.
Continued disorderly conduct.
Willful destruction or damage to property.
Habitual lateness in paying rent.
Violation of rules and regulations, after written notice to comply, as outlined in a lease or other document.
Tenant's conviction for a drug offense.

Before filing some complaints, a landlord must give a tenant written notice to stop particular conduct. Only when a tenant continues
that conduct after notice to stop can a landlord try to have the tenant evicted. Also, complaints for other than non-payment of
rent generally require notice terminating the tenancy. You may wish to contact an attorney for more information.

A landlord or a tenant that is a corporation must be represented by a New Jersey attorney in all matters filed in the Landlord/Tenant
Section. No landlord or tenant may send a representative other than a lawyer to court.

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WHERE TO FILE A COMPLAINT

A complaint must be filed with the Office of the Special Civil Part Clerk in the county where the rental premises are located.



FILING A COMPLAINT

A Landlord/Tenant complaint form is available from the Office of the Clerk of the Special Civil Part in the county where the rental
premises are located. The complaint can be sent to the court through the mail or delivered in person. When filing a complaint, you
must:

Give your full name, address, and telephone number. To ensure proper service of the complaint, give the correct name(s) and
address(es) of the person(s) named in the complaint as defendant(s). It is important that the defendant be properly identified as an
individual, a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. Give all information for the type of complaint you're filing, as
indicated on the form. Sign the completed form. Pay the correct filing and service fees when filing the complaint with the Office of
the Clerk of the Special Civil Part.

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FILING FEES

The cost for filing a complaint in the Landlord/Tenant Section is:

$20.00 for one defendant. $2.00 for each additional defendant.

In addition, you must pay a mileage fee for delivery of the complaint by a Court Officer. The staff of the Special Civil Part can inform
you of the mileage fee.



PREPARATION FOR TRIAL

Landlord

If you are the landlord, you must come to court and prove the statements made in the complaint are true. Arrange to have in court
any witnesses you need to prove your case. A written statement, even if made under oath, cannot be used in court. Only actual,
in-court testimony of the witnesses will be allowed. Prepare your questions in advance.

Bring to court records of any transactions that may help you prove your case. Such records may include:

Leases, estimates, bills, rent receipt records. Dishonored checks. Letters, photographs. Other documents proving your claim.

If you are able to settle your case with the tenant before the trial date, call the Office of the Clerk of the Special Civil Part
immediately.

Tenant

If you are the tenant, you don't have to file a written answer, but you must come to court and prove that the statements made
by the landlord in the complaint are not true. Arrange to have in court any witnesses you need to prove your case. A written
statement, even if made under oath, cannot be used in court. Only actual testimony of the witnesses will be allowed.

Bring to court all applicable records. Such records may include:

Rent receipts, canceled checks. Leases. Letters and notices to or from the landlord. Photographs. Other documents proving your
case.

If you have not paid rent because the landlord did not make necessary repairs, you have to prove to the court how serious the
problems are and how they are affecting your use of the rented premises. If you have not paid your rent, you should bring the
amount the landlord claims you owe to court. Only cash, a certified check, or a money order made out to the Court Clerk is
acceptable.

If you are able to settle your case with the tenant before the trial date, call the Office of the Clerk of the Special Civil Part
immediately to confirm that the case was settled.

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THE DAY OF TRIAL

Both the landlord and the tenant must come to court at the time and date stated on the complaint unless otherwise notified by
the court. Bring all evidence and witnesses needed to present your case. Both the landlord and tenant will be able to present their
cases.

If the court decides in favor of the tenant, the case will be dismissed. If the court decides in favor of the landlord, a "judgement for
possession" will be granted. A judgement for possession allows the landlord, within time limits, to have the tenant removed from the
premises by a Court Officer.

If the landlord's complaint is for non-payment of rent and the tenant offers to pay all the rent due plus court costs before or on the
day of the court hearing, the landlord must accept the rent and the case will be dismissed. If the landlord doesn't accept the
money, it may be deposited with the Clerk of the Special Civil Part. The judgement then will be voided, and the tenant does not
have to move out of the premises.



JUDGMENT FOR POSSESSION

If a landlord is granted judgement for possession, the landlord may apply to the Clerk of the Special Civil Part for a warrant for
possession, which allows the landlord to force the tenant to move out of the premises. The fee for a warrant for possession is
$15.00 plus double the amount of the mileage fee. The warrant for possession may not be issued until three (3) business days (not
counting the court day) after the judgement for possession is granted. The warrant for possession will be issued to a Court Officer
to serve on the tenant.

The Court Officer must give a residential tenant three (3) business days to move all persons and belongings from the premises. If
the tenant does not move after three (3) business days from which the warrant for possession was served, the landlord may
arrange with the Court Officer to have the tenant evicted or locked out. The Court Officer will tell the landlord the fee charged for
an eviction.

Following the eviction, the landlord must let the tenant remove personal belongings from the premises. A landlord cannot keep a
tenants's belongings, but can arrange for their storage.

A landlord must apply for a warrant for possession within 30 days from the date of the judgement for possession unless the
judgement is stopped through a court order or other written agreement signed by the landlord and the tenant.

A tenant may ask the court for permission to stay in the premises due to special difficulties that moving out may cause. If permission
is granted, the tenant may not stay in the premises for more than six months. All rent due ordinarily must be paid for permission to
be granted by the court.

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RESIDENTIAL SECURITY DEPOSITS

The security deposit generally must be deposited in an interest-bearing account in a bank or saving and loan association in New
Jersey at the time the lease is signed. The tenant must give written notice of where the money has been deposited within 30 days
of receipt by the landlord.

If the landlord does not return the security deposit within 30 days from the date the tenant moves out of the premises, the tenant
may sue to recover double the amount due, plus court costs. If the amount sought is $2000.00 or less, the tenant may sue in the
Small Claims Section. If the amount sought does not exceed $10,000.00, the tenant may sue in the Special Civil Part. If the amount
sought exceeds $10,000.00, the tenant must sue in the Law Division.

The landlord must notify the tenant of the amount of the security deposit being retained and the nature and cost of the repairs.

If the amount of any damage caused by a tenant plus any unpaid rent is more than the security deposit, the landlord may sue for
the additional money.

If a residential building is sold, the seller must turn over each security deposit plus any interest to the buyer and notify each tenant
by registered or certified mail.


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Copyrighted © 2001 - New Jersey Judiciary
 

abezon

Senior Member
1. Your friend should look for a new apt now.

2. Write the lawyer back and say that LL's have allowed their son to make death threats and to access private mailboxes. Both these actions are illegal and must cease immediately. Enclose copies of the threatening letters and police reports. File a complaint with the post office as well about the maiilbox access. Say that if this behavior does not stop immediately, you will consider the lease terminated by LL's actions and leave.

3. Move out.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
Pictures Pictures Pictures cannot tell you enough times go in and take pics of everything from repairs that look like crap to any monkey rigged repairs to mechanicals ( plumbing wiring ) in the apt any repairs not done , anything in common areas that is unsafe . Then If there is to be any lawsuits either from LL making claims of rent owed Or just to have damage dep returned NOW FOOD FOR THOUGHT do you honestly think the behaviors of the LL & family is going to change , best bet is to find another place and be done with it .
 

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