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Layni S Rothbort

Layni Rothbort’s Answers

523 total


  • Can late fee's be accrued over the course of a 1 year Lease and be taken out of the security deposit?

    Have a tenant that has been late on rent every month for the past 8 months. I mean he has been late on rent every month by weeks, not days. He has never included a late fee no matter how late he is and I try to be sympathetic. The 1 year written s...

    Layni’s Answer

    A landlord can only terminate a lease (or not renew a lease) for cause. The permitted causes are enumerated in the Anti-Eviction Law statute, but one of them is "habitual late payment", which is what you have described. You must send a Notice to Cease and explain the behavior you want to stop. You must send this notice via both certified and regular mail. You must then wait 2 additional months to see if the tenant complies with the notice. If he continues to pay late 2 times, then you must send him a one-month Notice to Quit, which terminates the tenancy on the date specified. If the tenant does not vacate the property by that date, you will have to file a complaint in Landlord Tenant court to evict him.

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  • Can a tenant be sent a notice to cease if consistently late with paying rent?

    We have a 1 year written, signed Lease. States that the rent is due on the 1st of the month and if received after the 5th a late fee would apply as additional rent. The tenant has for the past 6 months paid whenever he wants. He always pays at lea...

    Layni’s Answer

    You have cUse for eviction based on "habitual late payment" of rent. You need to send a Notice to Cease and then wait 2 months to see if he does begin paying on time. If he fails to comply, you then send a Notice to Quit, giving him one month to vacate the premises. If he fails the vacate by the appointed time, you would have to file an eviction complaint and go through the court process if you really want to evict this tenant, there is no way around that.

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  • NJ Lease question

    My lease says bathroom tiles are in "new condition" , under proper care and such. The bathroom is the original when the house was built. I'm not sure how missed this!!!y lease is almost up in two months. Can she take from my security for cracked t...

    Layni’s Answer

    Make sure to take pictures do the bathroom and those tiles. They will come in handy if the landlord does deduct money from your security deposit for repairs to the tiles. Cracked titles and missing caulk are usually considered normal wear and tear, maintenance items unless the landlord can prove you did something to purposely destroy them. When you vacate the property, if the landlord deducts money for such items, you can file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court for the withheld funds and if the court finds that the money was wrongfully withheld, you will be awarded double the amount.

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  • My landlord received a sheriff notice of a bank foreclosure on the building I live in, should I withhold paying rent?

    attenuating circumstance(s) - the landlord has not provided me with a bank receipt for my security deposit. I fear being robbed of it. (I do have the realtor's receipt for deposit, but not a bank receipt). Additionally, if the house is foreclosed ...

    Layni’s Answer

    No, you must continue to pay your rent to your landlord until you receive notice to pay elsewhere, or you can be evicted for non-payment. The landlord's financial problems do not affect your contract (lease) and you are still obligated to pay the rent to him.

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  • Tenant continues to stay after the lease expires

    Tenant agreed in writing to sign a renewal lease as of June 30, 2015 but at the last moment does not do so citing his purchase of a new home. Meantime, landlord unwittingly accepted his rent payment( direct bank to bank transfer) for July on a go...

    Layni’s Answer

    Any time a lease expires but the tenant remains in possession of the rental property, the tenant is called a holdover tenant and the tenancy converts to a month-to-month term. That means that either party may terminate the tenancy on one full month's notice. Not 30 days, one month. So, if the tenant sent the landlord a notice today (July 18) terminating the tenancy, the tenant would still be responsible for all of August rent; the tenancy would terminate 11:59 PM, August 31.

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  • Can a slum lord landlord raise my rent 25%?

    I rent a apartment in Bergen County,NJ, a 2 family house for almost 5 years. I have had problems with the land lord not keeping up in repairs on major plumbing/ Floods and have had to take land lord to court 2 times and I won both times. I have a ...

    Layni’s Answer

    Increases in rent must be "reasonable" in order to be enforceable. The term "reasonable" is not defined, but is generally considered to be under 10%. So, a 25% increase most likely would not be allowed by a judge. Also, you do not mention the actual city or town In which this rental property is located, but some have rent control ordinances that may apply or at show what is considered "reasonable" there.

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  • Can a township charge full property tax on a house they condemned?

    We own a house rhat was damaged by super storm sandy. The township condemned/red stickered the house. We did not have flood insurance and because it's a second home (rental property). They are charging full tax and sewer. We are in a tough sit...

    Layni’s Answer

    You need to consult an attorney who specializes in property tax appeals. You may be entitled to a reduction in the value of the improvements on the property, i.e., the house, if the damage significantly impacts its appraised value. This is a highly specialized area of the law, so seek the advice of a specialist. Be aware that such specialists often charge a percentage of the reduction in taxes they achieve for the client, in addition to expenses.

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  • Exorbitant HOA fees?

    We're refinancing and the lender asked that the HOA fill out a one page PUD questionnaire (9 yes / no questions). I contacted the HOA and was informed that the fee for filling this out would be $250.00, which seems completely ludicrous. Is there a...

    Layni’s Answer

    If the HOA by-laws and/or Rules, as amended, provide for such a fee, then no, there is no way around it.

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  • I cosigned a 1 yr lease that went month/month after year. Am I still on the lease if I didn't sign after 1st year?

    Do I need to write a letter to get my name off the lease if I didn't sign on for the month to month?

    Layni’s Answer

    Once a lease expires and a new lease is not signed, the month-to-month tenancy that is created if the tenant remains in possession of the rental property is subject to all of the terms of the expired lease. The lease terms carry over each month, including the provision stating who is obligated under the lease.

    You say you "co-signed" a lease, but that could have one of two meanings: you signed for someone who could not qualify on their own, credit-wise, to rent but do not live there and no longer want the liability for this person; or you and the other person both signed the lease and you both lived there but you no longer live there or you want to move out and be taken off the lease.

    If it is the first situation, if you send a letter asking to be removed from the lease, the landlord may or may not agree to do so. If he does agree, he may require the tenant to sign a new lease in their own name alone. If for some reason the landlord still does not believe the tenant is creditworthy enough to continue paying the rent without your being obligated to do so in case he or she does not, he can refuse to let you off the hook.

    If it is the second situation, all you have to do is notify the landlord, at least one month in advance, that you are vacating the premises and your tenancy is terminated as of the last day of the following month. Example: you send a letter July 31 stating that you are vacating the premises and your tenancy shall be terminated as of August 31. (Even if you send the letter today, the tenancy would not terminate until August 31 because you have to give a full month's notice). The remaining tenant will then be responsible for the full amount of the rent as of September 1.

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  • Does a Landlord have to notify in writing why they kept part of security deposit?

    I moved 7/1 and just received my security deposit minus $450 with no explanation at all attached to the remaining balance check. At this point is it my word against theirs? They sent the check certified with no reason of keeping the $450. Do I hav...

    Layni’s Answer

    The law requires landlords to notify tenants in writing the reason why monies are withheld from the return of a security deposit. I always advise tenants to take pictures of their apartment just before they return the keys to the landlord so that they have proof of what condition they left the apartment upon vacating. If you are certain there were no damages to the apartment and no unpaid rent or fees, you can file a lawsuit in Small Claims court against the landlord. If the landlord wrongfully withheld money, you would be entitled to double damages.

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