Can a landlord evict me for taking in my daughter due to a domestic violence situation?

My daughter was a victim of domestic violience situation. She and my grandaughter, who is 4 years old, had no where to go. Now my landlord is using that against me because I withheld the rent since I haven’t had a working sewer system in my house for about a month. I have a 3 bedroom house that my fiance, son and I live in. He claims that is too many people in the home?

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the lease restricts either the number of people who live in the home, and/or only allows those persons specifically identified/named on the lease (as either tenants or members of the tenant's household) to reside in the rental unit, then the landlord could give you a "notice to cease" for violating the lease terms with too-many people. If you continue to violate the lease after provision of the notice to cease--i.e. you don't make your daughter move out--then the landlord could provide you a notice to quit/termination notice, terminate your tenancy, and evict you.

If there is not restriction on how many or who could live in the unit, however, then the  landlord likely cannot evict you, unless the number of people you have and their relationships violates code for an apartment of that size, which this probably does not (1 bedroom for you and your fiance; one bedroom for son; one bedroom for daughter and young granddaughter), or unless you give him some other ground to evict you.


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