I rented a home -and now the tenants are renting the basement illegally. What do I do? I dont want to get fined.

Asked by Sandy, 08812 Tue Nov 8, 2011

The lease stated no subleasing- the lease has expired but I believe that the tenants continuing to pay rent indicated a month to month with the same conditions applying. I recently found out when having a pipe leak fixed that they have been renting the basement to a disgruntled man- I am afraid of being fined and want this person out of the basement.

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9
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Tue Nov 8, 2011
First and foremost, discuss with an attorney. Get the attorney onboard with a plan and be prepared to get an eviction notice.

You should go to visit the tenant explain that they are illegally renting the basement and the will have to leave the premises within 30 days.

When they counter back with "no" explain to them that you will also visit with the disgruntled man and explain that the tenant is illegally renting the basement to him, that you will in fact have the disgruntled man speak to your attorney about getting the tenant to refund all of his previously paid rent as the tenant rented this space to him illegally and had no right to rental income.

From experience, I have seen this exact situation happen and the tenant had to re reimburse the illegal tenant all of his rent collected. This will make things move in your favor

Good Luck!
3 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Wed Nov 9, 2011
Sandy - get an attorney.

Sorry, Nayna not good advice.

The landlord would want the disgruntled man on his side.. why? Because it is the property of the LANDLORD and if the disgruntled man paid rent illegally.. regardless of to whom, because it is hearsay... the landlord would be responsible to pay back the rent money and or any fines involved.

The landlord is responsible for his property.. not the tenant, who collected the rent illegally.

If the disgruntled man was to retain an attorney.. he would go after the property owner.. not the tenant that colleted the illegal rent. The landlord would then have to go after and prove the tenant collected the illegal rent.

Sticky situation.
2 votes
Nayna Bawa, Agent, Monroe twp, NJ
Tue Nov 8, 2011
Yes, Sandy - you should get an attorney as I had expressed in my earlier comment.

John - you are wrong in my opinion. The disgruntled man clearly does not have any valid lease agreement between himself and the landlord. Any understanding that was formed is between the tenant and disgruntled man. The landlord does not need the disgruntled man on his side. He can show valid tenancy without having anyone on his side. That is preposterous to now think that the landlord has to befriend the disgruntled man to get him on his side. As for your comment that the disgruntled man would go after the landlord, he has no valid legal leg to stand on. The disgruntled man entered into an illegal lease agreement with someone other than the landlord. The landlord had no knowledge of this agreement nor facilitated the agreement in any manner. So, what makes you think that the disgruntled man can come after the landlord???? Does not make sense at all. But, again an opinion of mine but it needed to be voiced.
2 votes
Jane Shebroe, Agent, Jupiter, FL
Tue Nov 8, 2011
I don't think Nayna was talking to you John, and there was nothing wrong with her advice from my point of view.
1 vote
Nayna Bawa, Agent, Monroe twp, NJ
Tue Nov 8, 2011
If the tenant's lease has expired, then the tenancy becomes a month to month tenancy. You could evict the tenant (with proper 30 days notice) and the disgruntled man as well if you cared to do so. It sounds like they are more of a headache than what its worth.

You could also threaten to evict the tenant( with thirty days notice of course) if the disgruntled man is not removed from the premises. Have your request placed in writing to keep a record and always consult an attorney for her advice on this issue.

Best of Luck to you!
1 vote
Jerry Barker, Agent, Atlantic City, NJ
Sun Nov 13, 2011
Ask them to leave, but maybe this mans rent is the only way they can afford to pay you your rent. Anyway since they have violated your lease and are legally in breach of contract you now have grounds for an eviction, which is the only legal way to get rid of the tennants, all of them. Good Luck
Web Reference:  http://www.sjrates.com
0 votes
Jane Shebroe, Agent, Jupiter, FL
Tue Nov 8, 2011
You can evict tenants, but it doesn't always mean they will leave. Some stay as squatters for a year or more until a judge orders them to leave. However, if they are doing something illegal, and you are the one to report your suspicions to the town, then I doubt they would fine you. Just my opinion, but always consult with a legal professional when in doubt.

Jane
http://www.RealTerrific.com
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Nov 8, 2011
Consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in real estate, he/she can best advise as it relates to your specific situation...
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Nov 8, 2011
Evict them.

Contact an attorney. Eviction is a simple process. (Lots of landlords do it themselves, but it sounds like, in your situation, it might work better if you involved an attorney.)

Hope that helps.
0 votes
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