How can I keep my current living situation? Is it even possible?

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How can I keep my current living situation? Is it even possible?

I live in NJ. I am the owner of a four bedroom single family home. I live in the home with three others (roommates/housemates) and share the expenses. We all have access to the entire house including the basement and use of the yard. As friends, (no relation) we cook together, go food shopping together and watch TV together. Does this sound like a rooming or boarding house? Zoning does not permit a rooming house in my area. How can I keep my current living situation so I can afford this home? Enforcement is knocking on my door and I have not met with them as of yet. They will be returning. I am only a student and work full time and can’t afford this home by myself now that my fiance and I have broken up and she’s moved out.

Asked on June 4, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You and your household can stay -- and that's the key, here, that you are truly a household group, the shared cooking, shopping and living activities make it so.  There's an old case from the New Jersey Supreme Court, which I don't have the time to retrieve, that decided this.

You shouldn't need to cite the case, you should explain the facts to the zoning officer, or whoever.  He or she should know the law well enough, and while more proof might be asked for, that should be the end of it.

But if you're issued a citation, you need to get a lawyer, who'll look up the case and beat the town over the head with it.  One place to find a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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