Rental apartment is located in Old Bridge, NJ.
Probably not. Failure to obtain a CO is not in itself a violation of the landlord-tenant law sufficient to justify nonpayment or withholding of rent. However, it may be indicative that the premises were not in habitable condition at the beginning of the lease. This would be shown by serious problems with the premises - lack of sanitary facilities, running water, electricity or heat. If the premises were habitable, the only consequence of not having a CO is that the landlord is prohibited from succeeding in an action to dispossess, or evict, the tenant.
My answer is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and is not confidential. Pursuant to Circular 230 of the Department of Treasury: (1) no written statement to be provided by me relating to any Federal tax transaction or matter is intended to be used, and no such statement can be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (2) such written statement may not be used by any person to support the promotion or marketing of or to recommend any Federal tax transaction or matter.