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lordofthering

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,
One of my tenant is renting out basement of house which he is renting house to. My lease clearly states that basement is not part of lease. I have allowed to him to use basement for storage purpose verbally but he is clearly going beyond renting out to illegal immigrant. How should I go about evicting basement as well him from apartment (two family house, he occupies ground floor) ?. He is very regular on rent.

I am in NJ and I know NJ is very difficult to evict someone who pays rent on time. He has never missed rent. 

I am OK to keep him as tenant but I want to evict basement. He has refused to vacant basement which obviously he is getting out $400/month rent he does not want to let go.

I like to start process of asking him to vacant basement as well we apartment from now and based on how he react, I can decide whether I want to vacant him from apartment or not.

Anyone can provide me couple of reasonable price lawyer in NJ ?. I need lawyer since NJ law requires lawyer to go in court for property owned by corporation/LLC. 
LLinVA

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Posts: 254
Reply with quote  #2 
I don't know which lawyers, but you will definitely want to find some good ones. This is definitely tricky, so do what the lawyer says to make sure it is done perfectly. 

Let us know how things go.
lordofthering

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #3 
Can I call local town police and have them vacated since it suppose to be illegal to live in basement ? Also, two people who is living in basement are illegal immigrant .


AccidentalRental

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Posts: 64
Reply with quote  #4 
Does your lease specify no subletting?  This seems like it might fall under that and constitute a breach of the lease.  I'll message you with a local NJ lawyer.  He's not the cheapest but he's very good.
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LLinVA

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Posts: 254
Reply with quote  #5 
Asking the local police is a good idea, but don't be surprised if they say it's a civil matter between you and your tenant. 

Even if the lease doesn't prohibit subletting, if he is using space that is not part of the lease, that is a violation of the lease. That may be your only hope of eviction. You will probably need to evict him to get rid of the subletters since it could be argued they are part of his lease (think of a guest that simply started staying at the place all the time but wasn't on the lease). In Virginia, this would require a 30-day Cure or Vacate notice where they have to correct the lease violation or move out. After the 30-days, we would then start the eviction process with the court.

The legal status of the tenants (whether or not they are illegal immigrants) technically isn't something you truly know. You may have your hunch, but unless you have asked them for SSN or something and been refused or been given one that is not legitimate, you don't technically know for sure. Even if you know, do you have proof that would hold up in court? If not, I wouldn't say anything beyond "I think a couple of them may be illegal immigrants." If you call someone an illegal immigrant who isn't, that is slander. Typing it in an email or in a letter would be libel. I'm not trying to scare you, but it is best not to get yourself into any trouble over an honest mistake.
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,748
Reply with quote  #6 
You may want to run something like this past your local zoning office, building inspector, or health department.  Here, it would be against local ordinances and zoning to have anyone live in a basement unless it met specific requirements (separate egress requirements, sprinklers, inspections, etc.)  Violation notices would be issued to the tenant who has the access to that area.  This would provide documentation to justify an eviction.  If not corrected within a set number of days, fines would be issued daily.
lordofthering

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHlandlord
You may want to run something like this past your local zoning office, building inspector, or health department.  Here, it would be against local ordinances and zoning to have anyone live in a basement unless it met specific requirements (separate egress requirements, sprinklers, inspections, etc.)  Violation notices would be issued to the tenant who has the access to that area.  This would provide documentation to justify an eviction.  If not corrected within a set number of days, fines would be issued daily.


Good suggestion but i believe violation cited by town are sole responsibility of Landlord to rectify it. That may create more pressure for me to take care of issue asap and town may take me to court if I am not able to evict tenant on time. Currently I have issued two notice, one for vacant Basement within 7 days and one to vacant apartment within 30 days. I am OK him staying in apartment if he complies with my 7 day notice since he pays rent on time. Let's see what happens by end of notice.
Anonymous

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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #8 
The people in the basement are technically trespassing and depending on how long they've been there you can likely have the police remove them. As we are regular tenant depending on what your lease says you can file regular eviction notice and process accordingly. There are free legal advice sites online http://www.avvo.com where you can at least post you're above question for reference purposes and they will likely refer you to an attorney in your area
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