I am the landlord of a duplex where I also reside and have been looking for information on my rights as a landlord of a owner occupied duplex. It being my primary residence I want to know if I have the rights to more strictly dictate how my house appears and is presented. For instance, the property has a front porch. In no part of the lease does it say she has access to the porch however when I bought it she had furniture and her bike stored out there. I want to use the porch for myself and also dont want a rusty bike sitting out there. Can i request these be removed and then enjoy the porch being its my primary home? How about the back yard, again nothing in the lease spelling out whos entitled to what outside spaces. Lastly, her old lease I inherited from the old owner doesn't speak to weather it is smoking or non-smoking. Inside or out....do I have a say on this? Thank you!
It normally falls back to the lease. If the lease doesn't say anything about the common areas, it is reasonable that they would be shared. She likely was using the areas before you purchased the building. Ideally your lease would have a rules addendum that explains what she can and cannot do. I would put something in writing and have a discussion with her.
First here's some links to read up on for owner occupied properties and landlord tenant laws in NJ. It doesnt specifically spell out what you've asked other than the old lease. It says in there you must adhere to the old lease until it expires AND you put a new one in place. Where in NJ are you?
Read the Lease. If it doesn't say anything then IMO you can push and restrict usage.