Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in New Jersey

Landlord failed to get co in time

I signed a lease two weeks ago that was to begin on jan 1 2006, landlord was supposed to get co. Electricity was not turned on at time the inspector arrived so landlord cancelled inspection. Electricity was turned on within two hours but landlord did not want to reschedule for that day bc did not want to be charged if everything in apt was not working. Landlord phoned on jan 3 to tell me that apt needed new water heater and heat needed to be fixed all would be done on the 4th or so and would reschedule co inspection for the 6th or 9th of jan. I would be allowed to move some items in that weekend but not able to inhabit until co was approved. Am i still bound to this lease or has there been a breach of contract on side of landlord?

Asked on 1/04/06, 9:44 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Corbett Corbett Law Firm LLC
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Re: Landlord failed to get co in time

It is an obligation of a lease that the landlord deliver possession at the time specified in the lease. You describe a breach of that obligation. With the facts as you have explained them, I don't think that a court would hold you to the lease and you may be entitled to damages for the landlord's breach.

In court, one problem will be that of proof. The landlord may tell a different story. If you decide to terminate the lease, you should do so in writing and express your reasons in that writing. You should also gather the evidence that the CO had not been issued.

You may have the practical issue of recovering any deposit that you may have paid. There are both settlement and litigation possibilities here. If you can get another place quickly at the same rent and if the landlord returns everything that you have deposited, you may not want to go further. If none of that happens, you may need a lawyer to represent you in court.

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Answered on 1/04/06, 10:17 am

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