Your first step is to check with the municipality and determine the status of the unit. Assuming the unit is illegal, you can obtain a record from the municipality incidcating as much. Under N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(g) or 2A:18-61.1(h) you are entitled to relocation assistance from the LL equal to 6 months rent. This is the citation for the definitive case on illegal tenancies. Kona Miah v. Ahmed, 179. N.J. 511 (2004).
I agree with counsel. Your first step is to call the township to determine if the apartment is registered. Your LL should have registered the apartment already. If it ends up being illegal, the LL is responsible to give you 6 months rent as relocation expenses.
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