rights for someone renting a room

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Latest post 07-17-2008 7:54 PM by Drew. 3 replies.
  • 07-17-2008 3:03 PM

    rights for someone renting a room

    If someone is renting a room and sharing other common space, such as kitchen, bathroom, living room etc do they have rights since there is no lease or no written documentation whatsoever?

    I rented out a room in my home to someone on a temp basis. They gave me one month security. On 7/1 they gave me 30 days that they will be leaving. They are using their security for the last months rent. All the rent has been paid no cash with no receipts given.

    This person is refusing to let me into the room to show it unless that person is home. The person works odd hours and possible new roommates cannot come during those hours.

    I own the house and should be able to show it. There is no lease, it's just on a verbal agreement. In addition I need to fix the baseboard heater in the room since the fins are broken. The person won’t allow me to do anything in there while they are not home. This is not fair and things need to be done.

    There is no key to the room and technically I can go in if the person is not home. Not saying I am, but what are my rights?

    Also this person has a small dog shitzu and it stays in the crate pretty much all day. I decided to get a dog and plan on picking it up this weekend.

    Now my roommate expects me to call them when I pick up my new dog so they can meet at a neutral place not at the house so no issues occur.

    After the way I have been treated lately I could care less if my dog bits there dogs head off. They are lucky I am not getting a Rottweiler. They will have to keep their dog locked up in the room in the crate if they do not get along since the person is only living there for just under 2 more weeks.

    The roommate also started complaining about space and wants to get what she paid for. Meaning she does not want to be limited to if she can or can’t let her dog out of her room and in the kitchen.

    What would be my best course of action here?



  • 07-17-2008 3:19 PM In reply to

    re: rights for someone renting a room

    "If someone is renting a room and sharing other common space, such as kitchen, bathroom, living room etc do they have rights since there is no lease or no written documentation whatsoever?"

    There is presumably a lease; the fact that it isn't in writing isn't relevant. The tenant still has rights.

    "They are using their security for the last months rent."

    It's not up to the tenant unilaterally declare what the deposit is used for, so you made a mistake in acceding to this. I would not have allowed it myself.

    "This person is refusing to let me into the room to show it unless that person is home."

    I don't think NJ law allows for you to enter without the tenant's permission under these circumstances. I suspect you'll have to wait until he-she leaves. (That said, if there's no lock on the door, unless you think she's got a camera set-up in there, there's not much she can do about it if you just open the door and let the prospective tenant take a look inside the room. It's not as though a couple of incidents will make for a big deal even if she wanted to take the issue to court.

    http://www.lsnjlaw.org/english/placeilive/irentmyhome/leases/trchfour/index.cfm#4whenenter

    "There is no lease, it's just on a verbal agreement."

    There is too a lease agreement. :)

    "In addition I need to fix the baseboard heater in the room since the fins are broken. The person won’t allow me to do anything in there while they are not home. This is not fair and things need to be done."

    You can do it after they leave.

    "Now my roommate expects me to call them when I pick up my new dog so they can meet at a neutral place not at the house so no issues occur."

    Huh? You don't have to consult with the tenant about when you bring your dog home or anything else.

    "After the way I have been treated lately I could care less if my dog bits there dogs head off."

    Sorry, that's just silly. :)

    "The roommate also started complaining about space and wants to get what she paid for."

    She's free to allow her dog to roam around if she likes (if you wanted it a different way, then you should have had a written lease agreement setting out prohibitions).

    "What would be my best course of action here?"

    I'd bide my time for the next couple of weeks.
  • 07-17-2008 4:59 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: rights for someone renting a room

    "If someone is renting a room and sharing other common space, such as kitchen, bathroom, living room etc do they have rights"

    Yes. The rent is exchanged for the right of possession.

    "since there is no lease or no written documentation whatsoever?"

    It can be oral.

    "They are using their security for the last months rent."

    That would appear to breach your agreement and you can pursue an eviction, unless you agreed to this. You likely can't complete that before August 1, however.

    "I own the house and should be able to show it."

    Law isn't about SHOULDS. It's about rights. You don't know if you have the right to show the property, so you do so at your legal peril.

    "There is no lease, it's just on a verbal agreement."

    That's a lease.

    "In addition I need to fix the baseboard heater in the room since the fins are broken."

    Doesn't sound like an emergency since it is summer.

    "There is no key to the room and technically I can go in if the person is not home. Not saying I am, but what are my rights?"

    Nothing technical about it. You likely cannot enter without giving proper notice.

    "The roommate also started complaining about space and wants to get what she paid for."

    She hasn't paid rent for July, unless you accepted the security deposit as such rent.

    "What would be my best course of action here?"

    Suck it up for 14 more days.



  • 07-17-2008 7:54 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,925

    re: rights for someone renting a room

    A room rental situation may not fall under NJ L-T laws but apparently NJ accords roomers equivalent protections against evictions--so I'd be darn careful to coast this one out until she leaves under own steam lest you have a troublesome tenant ensconced in your home

    Apparently NJ's laws as to rooming houses do not address privavy of a space when resident is not present---but why invite disputes over that oral contract.



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