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Landlord Tenant Law - Eviction Defense: Cert. of Occupancy

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A tenant can be evicted only if the landlord obeys the eviction process and if a Judge finds cause for eviction under the Anti-Eviction Act. A tenant can defeat an eviction complaint by showing the eviction process were not correctly followed, or that cause for eviction does not exist, or that the landlord has not met other duties under the law. This blog will address the defense of "Failure to Obtain a Certificate 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 Cook342 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)

Failure to conform to the requirments set forth above can be grounds for a defense to an eviction. If you are facing an eviction, contact the Landlord Tenant Attorneys at Fazzio Law, we are in your corner!

Category: Landlord Tenant Law


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