I have a complicated situation here and I'm looking for some advice.
My mother owned a home in New Jersey, and had a man (long time on and off boyfriend) staying with her. He was very abusive and she would often have to call the police on him and he'd be sent to jail. Eventually, she got a permanent restraining order, which she only used sometimes due to her battered woman syndrome. The whole thing was an unfortunate mess.
While he was in jail for assaulting her, she passed away. Prior to passing she asked if I would allow him to stay for a short time to get this footing. He's got nowhere else to go, no family, no money, and a violent felon record. I thought I'd NEVER allow that, but once she passed, I guess I became soft and decided to honor her wishes against my better judgement.
I told him he could stay for a few months until he could figure something else out. There would be rules though: no drinking or drugs, no houseguests, no craziness, and I was allowed to keep watch on the inside and outside of the house with cameras. He also promised to fix up the house because it needs a ton of work. He said he would do the roof, and all interior rennovations. He agreed to all these terms.
Well, now it's been 9 months and nothing has been done- of course. He refuses to leave. He also has a woman who has been staying there for 2 months now. I keep saying she cannot stay and he says she's not, but I have cameras and she is there every day and never leaves. He says I can't do anything about her being there or him refusing to leave, but I know that's not true.
He doesn't pay any rent, but he does pay towards the taxes, water, and sewage at the house on a monthly basis. All utilities are still in my mother's name as well, and I am just now in the process of having the deed transfered to my name as soon as I finalize estate duties. I am legal executor, though.
The house needs to be renovated desperately, and the more time that goes by, the worse things are getting. I feel backed into a corner because I'm worried he will destroy the home more than it already is if I evict him due to his violent past, but he also cannot stay there anymore. I cannot allow this to continue anymore. I'm not even sure what the grounds for eviction could be because he has no lease and pays no rent.
I need him gone as soon as possible and am looking for recommendations about the best way to handle this. Is there any way to use my mother's restraining order? How can I get him (and this new woman) out as quickly as possible? How should I handle utilities all still in my mother's name? I am prepared to hire a lawyer if necessary. I just need this taken care of asap.
I have most certainly learned my lesson, the hard way.
Thanks in advance for your help!
@Staci B. Even though there’s no signed document, there is still a lease in place for what you ‘handshake’-ed on.
Eviction just follows standard NJ laws, which unfortunately are a bit harder for landlords.
I would first write down what your agreement was. Then get in touch with a real estate Attourney who specializes in evictions. It’s one of those things that even as an experienced landlord many still utilize a lawyer. It will be well worth your time and expense.
Good luck and get the property back as soon as you can. Then you can decide whether to sell or rent.
Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent (and other things of course) prepare notice with lawyer and inform police if he threatens you or property ASAP. Non-Payment of Rent is grounds for eviction, living in home without a lease, destruction of property etc etc you have tons of leverage to get him out