What are a tenant’s rights if their landlord doesn’t havea C/Ofor the rental premises?

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What are a tenant’s rights if their landlord doesn’t havea C/Ofor the rental premises?

I live in a 2 family home; my family on one floor and another family on the other. My landlord lives out of state, however, an inspector came out to my home and informed me that my landlord has no certificate of occupancy. I’ve been advised by others to refrain from paying any rent and my landlord would owe me all rents paid from the time I began renting, which is going on 2 years. Is any of this true?

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the unit that you are living in has no certificate of occupancy then technically the landlord should not be renting it out and collecting rental money. I suggest that you contact the inspector who came to the unit that you are occupying to confirm that there is no certificate of occupancy and ascertain what if anything the governmental entity that he or she is employed with plans on doing regarding the landlord and your rental.

Potentially the governmental entity may order you out of the rental. I also recommend that you immediately contact a landlord tenant attorney about the lack of a certificate of occupancy for the rental that you are in and your obligation to pay rent to the landlord or not.

Good luck.


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