Landlord Tenant Law - Eviction Defense: Cert. of Occupancy
Failure to Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy
A municipality may have an ordinance that requires a landlord to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy before the landlord can rent a unit.
The certificate of occupancy, issued by the municipality, ensures that apartments meet code standards before they are rented. Failure by a landlord to obtain a certificate of occupancy can be used to show that the conditions in the apartment are poor and that this violates the landlord’s duty to provide habitable housing. The conditions of the apartment determine how much rent is due.
See McQueen v. Brown and Cook, 342 N.J. Super. 120, aff’d 175 N.J. 2000 (2002). (The court in this case said that if a landlord does not have a C.O., he or she must apply for one before trying to evict a tenant)
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