HUDSON COUNTY. SPECIAL CIVIL PART
This is a suit to dispossess a tenant for a violation of the terms of a written lease, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1e. Based on the credible, relevant testimony and the documents submitted into evidence, the following findings of fact are made.
Defendant is a tenant in a multi-unit apartment building owned by plaintiff, which is located at 45 51st Street, Weehawken. Defendant resides in apartment # E-4 for which he pays a monthly rental of $208.93.
"Apartment Rental Rules and Regulations" were submitted to defendant on or about May 30, 1990. They were signed as accepted by defendant, dated June 25, 1990. The applicable part of the rules and regulations read as follows:
B. CONDUCT OF TENANT AND USE OF PREMISES
For Tenant's own safety, as well as the safety and well-being of others, Tenant hereby agrees that Tenant, Tenant's family, guests and invitees shall not: . . .
9. Keep any mammal, reptile or bird in the apartment unless it is, in each instance, expressly permitted in writing by Landlord. Such permission given to any tenant shall not be considered as permission to do so for any other tenant. Tenant must leash any animal when walking it. Tenant must clean up after the animal when walking it in areas surrounding the premises or adjacent properties.
Sometime in early March 1991, it was learned by plaintiff that defendant kept a pet dog in his apartment. A notice to cease -- "to remove the dog from your apartment immediately." -- was served on defendant on or about March 25, 1991. The dog was not removed.
A notice to quit was served on defendant on or about April 16, 1991. This notice terminated defendant's tenancy as of May 31, 1991. The June rent was tendered by defendant but not accepted by plaintiff. Defendant is illiterate in the English language. The rules and regulations were read to him by a friend.
The rules and regulations consist of 7 1/2 single spaced typewritten pages on 8 1/2" X 11". The rules are subdivided into separate parts -- A through E. Each part except D contains various numbered provisions. For example, part B, has 22 individual "shall not[s]."
Defendant lives alone. His dog is his only companion. The dog is a small chihuahua approximately 12 inches in length. Defendant has had the dog since about June 1985. He wants to keep the dog; it is his only "entertainment."
The notice to cease and the notice to quit are inadequate; they do not meet the requirements of "suitable notice." As quoted in 447 Associates v. Miranda, 115 N.J. 522, 559 A.2d 1362 (1989) and A.P. Development Corp. v. Band, 113 N.J. 485, 550 ...