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I have some concerns, as a landlord, to address to my tenant/neighbor. 2 family house. I live upstairs.

Lakewood, NJ |

I want to express my concerns, talk to my tenant, verbally. My tenant says that I can only text him. May i demand him to talk to me verbally? May I call him, or ring his bell?

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Attorney answers 4


No. Your best bet is to write them a letter and send it by both certified and regular mail.


I find your desire to talk to your tenant to be admirable. In this digital age many people have shunned face to face communication; and I for one think our society is all the poorer for this change. But back to your point, as a general rule, you're probably better off putting all of your business related communications in writing. That way, you and your tenant have a written record of everything said between the two of you. This should reduce any miscommunications and misunderstandings. Also, depending on what you want to say, you may have an obligation to send the communication by letter sent by certified mail. A review of your lease should indicate the manner in which lease-related matters must be discussed.

If it's not a great burden, try to keep relations with your tenant on a positive note. If he doesn't want to talk to you, then I would advise against insisting he change his mind. A happy tenant is a paying tenant.

To more specifically answer your question, you should consult with an attorney to discuss what exactly you wish to say to your tenant.

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You certainly can attempt tp speak to the tenant. However, if the tenant refuses to speak to you, you should document that with an e-mail or a letter (slip it under his door or put it in his mailbox and keep a copy).Whether it be by text or in the form of a note or letter, both parties will have written confirmation of the communication. Also, be aware that certain noirces must be in writing and oral communications would not be legally sufficient anyway.


My colleagues' input is well put, and I will not restate it here. However, I will add that your tenant is not authorized to dictate to you how you contact him or her. That particular authority (if it lies with anyone) lies with you.

If your tenant refuses to speak with you, and you have other issues (relating to the tenancy, such as an unreasonably noisy tenant, or a tenant who is in some way abusive to you or your family) you may want to speak with an attorney to determine whether it might be better for all parties to remove this tenant from your home.

As you have not provided any concrete information on the subject, it's impossible to say whether this is something you may want to (or be legally entitled to) do. I merely raise the subject as something to consider.

In the end, you're not only sharing a building as neighbors, you're also running a business and you have a right to run that business in the manner you best see fit (so long as you conform with the laws/regulations governing your situation.)

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.

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