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First, notify the landlord of the problem and allow a reasonable time for the landlord to address the problem. If the problem persists, contact the housing inspection office at 609-989-3560, 609-989-3562 or 609-989-3563. Be prepared to provide the following:
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Although all the information in the case is public information, personal information such as an unpublished telephone number is confidential. Therefore, we will allow a person to look at the parts of the file that are not considered confidential and make copies for them. It is probably better to get a subpoena so an inspector can bring the file to court and testify if necessary. Also, an attorney may request a copy for his or her file.
Call the housing inspections division and ask to speak to the inspector of record. He or she will provide the information regarding the case as well as all actions being taken at that time.
If there is a housing problem, call the inspector immediately, especially if it is an emergency. The housing division is always willing to respond to a citizen or landlord complaint to assure that quality of life and life safety concerns are addressed.
A tenant may be limited by the agreement reached with the landlord (whether it is a written or oral agreement) but also is governed by the total habitable floor space within the unit. A rule of thumb is to take the number of people and put the number 50 behind it to calculate the minimum number of square feet required. This does not include hallways, closets, baths, or storage spaces. Cellars of buildings may not be used as part of the living area because they do not meet the standard for habitable space.
Every dwelling unit with 2 or more bedrooms is as follows:
See Ordinance 132-146.
Violations that are not corrected can result in penalties of up to $2,000 in fines and 90 days in jail.
The judge will issue a warrant for the arrest of the person who does not appear. This could cause the person to be detained by the police until bail is posted and the hearing rescheduled. It also delays the required work from being completed until all parties appear in court.