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How do I prove that my landlord lied when she said we had our own hot water tank & found out it's being shared next door?

Lodi, NJ |

We found out the hot water tank is being shared by the house next door; it's a duplex side by side. Often times we don't have hot water, how do I prove this? I have to move because of this issue. We asked the landlord 5x's prior to signing the lease and moving in if the water is separate? Can I sue for Relocation expenses?

How or what type of proof do I need to prove this misrepresentations ? I doubt I can get this in writing, but the LL has and will again admit to the lie/misrepresentation on the phone. Is a phone record sufficient for proof in court?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. What does your lease state? Who is responsible for hot water - tenant or LL. How do you know that it is shared? No you cannot sue for relocation expenses. If you are paying for hot water for both units you may be able to seek damages.

  2. I concur with Ms. Joseph's analysis, to the extent that you have a landlord tenant problem. It is, however, possible that if you can establish your landlord made affirmative misrepresentations regarding utilities or other aspects of the lease, that an NJ Consumer Fraud Act claim could be brought for the resulting damages.

    The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you feel you need to speak with an attorney regarding your issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney with expertise in your area of inquiry. The information related above is purely for informational purposes, and should not be acted upon without speaking with qualified counsel familiar with you specific situation and the laws related thereto.

  3. I believe that I have answered your other question, but here you provide a little more information. You do need to look at the lease. Certainly if you are paying for hot water that is on another person's account you should be able to sue for damages that you can prove. I don't think that the situation you describe makes the apt. uninhabitable, and relocation expense would only be if you have to move because of a local or state violation that makes the apartment uninhabitable (like an illegal violation or health or safety hazard). If there are affirmative representations made by the landlord you may have a CFA claim subject to proof.

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