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RWB Newton Associates v. Gunn

Decided: May 9, 1988.

RWB NEWTON ASSOCIATES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ELLEN GUNN AND GERALD SLIKER, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Sussex County.

Pressler and Skillman. The opinion of the court was delivered by Skillman, J.A.D.

Skillman

[224 NJSuper Page 706] Defendant Ellen Gunn entered into a lease of an apartment from plaintiff for a term running from August 16, 1986 to July 31, 1987.*fn1 The lease incorporated rules and regulations regarding the tenant's occupancy of the premises, including requirements that she keep the premises in a "clean and safe" condition, that she conduct herself "in a manner that will not disturb [her] neighbor's peaceful enjoyment of the premises," and that

she "[u]se balconies in the demised premises only during reasonable hours and only for regular sitting purposes."

On April 29, 1987, plaintiff sent a notice to Gunn stating:

This is to notify you that because of the filthy condition of your apartment, the fact that your friend, Gerald Sliker, frequently has been seen drinking on the terrace in the company of male friends and has been shouting obscenities at you in the parking lot from the balcony of your apartment, and the further fact that you have two additional people living in your apartment, all in violation of the terms of your lease, your lease will not be renewed on its expiration date, July 31, 1987.

On May 12, 1987, a staff attorney with Somerset Sussex Legal Services wrote a letter to plaintiff on behalf of Gunn, stating that she denied violating the terms of her lease.

On June 19, 1987, plaintiff wrote a letter to Gunn's attorney stating:

Following our last telephone conversation and upon complaint of roach infestation emanating from Apt. 9-R, I had the exterminator in to "bomb" Apts. 7-R, 7-S, 8-R, 8-S, 9-R, 9-S, 10-R and 10-S. I had hoped that this would at least temporarily clear up the condition but I did receive a telephone call on June 16th from Roberta Blair, the tenant in Apt. 10-R, who advised me that the situation still persists. . . .

In addition to my previous complaints, I have this morning, received information pertaining to Mr. Sliker, reports of numerous assaults and battery, disorderly persons, thefts, drunk driving and driving while a license has been suspended. . . .

In any event, it would appear that we made a serious error earlier in the year in formally accepting the fact that Gerald Sliker was living with Ellen Gunn and accepting his tenancy on that basis.

It certainly appears that he is not the kind of person that we want at Brookside Terrace and for that reason as well as those stated in my letter of April 29, 1987, we are not going to renew the lease of ...


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