my lease

Asked by Pink07, 08330 Sat Jul 18, 2009

i have a 2 yr lease with this person who is not the owner nor an agent. i want to move out due to sheriff sale in 3 months. how can i break the lease?

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Carrie Cahill’s answer
Carrie Cahill, Agent, Atlantic City, NJ
Thu May 9, 2013
I think there is a lot of good advice here, but one thing I would keep in mind, you do not want to end up with someone starting the eviction process on you. As a landlord, one of the first things I check on a potential tenant is eviction history. Many landlords won't even bother asking for an explanation of why you were evicted as in this case it wouldn't be your fault... They will simply see "eviction" and put you on the bottom of the pile.

If the home is going into sheriff's sale, as stated by others, there are many laws and statutes that are there to protect you as the tenant. I think the advice on contacting is very good advice. Don't do anything until you understand the ramifications of your actions. Don't just stop paying rent on your own because you want to get out of this lease without it affecting your ability to rent in the future.
0 votes
William Leigh…, , New Jersey
Sat Jul 18, 2009
First, I believe that it against the NJ statute to collect rent unless you are an owner or a licensed real estate agent. You can check that out right at the start.

Usually Landlords do not pursue people who have moved out. It's just not worth the time, although you may have to leave your security deposit behind. (Again, not worth the time to argue about it with anyone but the landlord directly.)

You should know that there are laws on the books in New Jersey that protect you in just this case of foreclosure. If it were I, I'd stop paying rent and start putting it in a savings account so that, if push comes to shove, you'll have a reserve. That's not a legal opinion but as a practical matter, you can't be evicted without a court hearing and if you want to stay until the end of your lease, all you have to do is have someone come foreword to demand the monthly amount and prove that they are entitled to it and if you then pay, you can probably stay until your lease expires.

On the other hand, if you'd like to find a less unsettled situation, having a couple months’ payments in the bank may give you the funds you will need to affect the transfer.

As far as attorney representation goes in this affair, you may not need it, not because there are no legal issues at stake but that they may not be worth anyone's time to pursue.

I'd start by searching on line at this Website:, which should at least set you on the right path.

Just remember, if you have the cash ready to go, you are in a lot better position than if you don't pay the rent and divert the funds into other expenditures. If you don't pay the rent, sooner or later the sheriff will come to escort you out. Having funds to move on immediately at that point will be most helpful.

Best wishes

Bill Holt
0 votes
May Nancy Ch…, Agent, Medford, NJ
Sat Jul 18, 2009
Did you sublet this home? Best thing you should do is contact an attorney or legal aid. Below is quoted from the brochure Rights of Tenants During Foreclosure by the NJ Department of the Public Advocate.
"The Anti-Eviction Act
Enacted in 1974, the Anti-Eviction
Act protects residential tenants from
losing their homes through no
fault of their own. The Act applies
whether or not the tenant has a
written lease.
Exceptions are limited. The Act does
not apply to tenants of:
• 0wner-occupied homes with no
more than two rental units,
• units set aside for developmentally
disabled members of the owner’s
immediate family, or
• hotels, motels, or guest houses.
Residential tenants in New Jersey
cannot be evicted solely because the
property where they live is in
foreclosure or has been foreclosed.
In general, New Jersey law protects
tenants against eviction from their
homes so long as they:
• pay the rent,
• respect the peace and quiet of
their neighbors,
• avoid willful or grossly negligent
damage to the property, and
• obey the reasonable rules they
have agreed to in writing.
The laws protecting tenants
from eviction apply throughout
foreclosure proceedings and
continue to have effect even after a
new owner buys the property.
• SAVE your rent money
every month, even if you
are not sure who or where
your landlord is. Nonpayment
of rent is grounds for
eviction. Don’t let your
landlord’s foreclosure problem
become your problem.
• Even though you are
entitled to remain in your
r ent a l home dur ing
foreclosure and after resale
of the property, the new
owner can change the
terms of your lease in certain
limited circumstances.

• If you are having problems
with the utilities because
the landlord has not paid,
the law provides some protection
from shutoffs"
If these or other issues come
up, you should contact an
attorney or one of the groups
listed below.
If you feel that you are at risk of
being evicted from your rental
home because of a foreclosure,
here are some numbers you can
call for help:
Legal Services o f
New Jersey
New Jersey Tenants ’
Department of the
Public Advocate,
Division of Citizen Relations
Good Luck! I hope this helps
0 votes
Yelena Tsula…, Agent, Morris Plains, NJ
Sat Jul 18, 2009
i am not an attorney, and this is my personal opinion:
sheriff sale wil be in 3 months, and you have to vacate property in 3 months, if before that: who is going to be after you, landlord - he is not an owner, bank - you dind't signed a lease with them, Check rules for cheriff sale or contact sheriff directly.
If it won't cost you a penny, check with an attorney.
0 votes
Steve, , 95624
Sat Jul 18, 2009
Remember both parties are obligated to preform under a lease agreement. It appears the lessor may have broke the lease first.
You can consult an attorney but this is a small claims case. You need to analyze how to do feel you will stand up in court.
Your question is very general, you can break any lease. The question is what will the damages be if the lessor goes to court.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Jul 18, 2009

Our recommendation is to consult an attorney to find more out about your options. There are probably going to be a number of other questions that will come sure you are informed AND have someone in your corner ready to advocate for you.

Good luck
0 votes
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