A solution in this matter requires an interpretation of the meaning of the word "owner' as stated in paragraph l (3) of the anti-eviction statute (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1).
This is a complaint for dispossession of a subtenant by the primary tenant.
Based upon the relevant, credible testimony and the documentary evidence submitted, the following findings of fact are made.
On February 2, 1988, plaintiff, Ramon Marino, entered into an agreement with Central Gardens, Inc., the owner of a multi-family apartment house located at 1200-1202 Central Avenue, Union City. There are 15 dwelling units in that building.
The February 2, 1988 agreement between plaintiff and Central Gardens, Inc., granted Marino the option to purchase, as a condominium unit, apartment # 5 in the Central Avenue building. The purchase price was $45,000. A deposit of $5,000 on signing the contract was paid.
The agreement gave Marino the right to have immediate possession of apartment # 5 "as [a] buyer under the within option agreement to purchase said apartment dwelling unit and not as [a] month to month tenant.'
Marino was to pay Central Gardens $500 a month beginning March 1, 1989 "and on the first of each and every month for the right to take immediate possession and to have the use and occupancy of said apartment dwelling unit prior to the final
approval of said apartment into an individual condominium unit.'
On or about March 1, 1988, defendant Mendez, with Marino's permission, moved into the apartment. She had the apartment painted and moved her furniture into the unit.
On or about February 21, 1988, defendant gave Marino $500 as security toward rental of the apartment and $500 as the first month's rent. Thereafter, defendant paid $500 a month as rent to Marino until November 1988.
From December 1988 until February 1989, defendant paid $277.91 instead of $500 a month.
By letter dated November 3, 1988, Central Gardens notified Marino that renting his apartment to another person was in violation of the purchase agreement. And he was to ...