If a tenant signs a lease indicating that there will be only 3 people renting an apartment but then has more living there, is that a violation of the law?

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If a tenant signs a lease indicating that there will be only 3 people renting an apartment but then has more living there, is that a violation of the law?

I had a tenant who signed a lease indicated that it would be her and her two kids living in the small 2 bedroom apartment. She then had her boyfriend and had another kid living there right after the lease was signed (mail was coming to the boyfriend, etc). In the end she left the apartment early without any notice and now wants her security deposit back. Is there any way i can say that she broke her lease by not only leaving early but by having more than the people she said was going to live there?

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the written lease clearly states that the unit is to be inhabited by a limited number of people and the unit has more than the stated amount the failure to abide by the written lease would be a material breach of it warranting the landlord to terminate it at his or her option.

Whether or not there is a zoning violation for having too many tenant in a rental depends upon what the zoning law in effect for the unit mandates.


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