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How do I get a tenant out of an illegal apartment?

Paterson, NJ |

A friend built a studio apartment in the basement "not legally" and has someone living there for about a month but wants him out. The guy in the basement brought two big dogs to stay down there and my friend doesn't want to accept rent. He just wants him to leave but the guy keeps prolonging the move. How can he get this guy and dogs out immediately? Can he turn himself in for the illegal apartment so the tenant has to leave right away? Does him calling the fire inspector do anything? There has to be a way out of this...

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Answer: Your "friend" should immediately consult with an experienced landlord tenant attorney as there is additional information which will need to be gathered in order to achieve the best possible resolution.

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  2. I agree with the previous answer. The friend is liable for 6 months of rent to the tenant + additional cost. If the town finds out he may also get fined by them. It would be very beneficial for him to speak to an attorney on this matter.


  3. Ms. Ginzburg hit it on the head. Your friend is going to have to move gingerly. I would have everything reviewed and see if there is another basis to get the tenant out and pray that the tenant is unaware of the penalty.

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