1. I just signed a real estate contract with the realtor, how long do I have before the real estate contract becomes final and binding?
You have 72 hours to have an attorney read and approve the real estate contract or it will be binding on you. Real Estate contracts should be reviewed within the window provided in the contract in order to protect your rights. Your real estate attorney can and probably will disapprove the contract and that begins the process of negotiations.
2. My landlord is trying to evict me but the apartment has serious problems so I withheld the rent, now what should I do?
It sounds like you have, in New Jersey, what is called a Marini defense, if so you need to bring your proof either to Court or to an attorney's office to review prior to going to court. Remember, a defense only helps you if you argue it in court and the Judge does not know what is going on unless you tell him or her.
3. I have small children and it's winter, my landlord has a judgment of possession but we have no place to go, what can I do?
In New Jersey, you would ask the Judge for an Orderly Removal, however, you need to be able to pay your rent during this process. If you ask for an Orderly Removal you need to have a time certain when you can move, however, if you do not pay your rent during this process the Landlord can still have you removed if he or she has a judgment for possession.
4. I have a parent with a mental disability and it causes him or her to pay the rent late. The landlord has filed to evict my parent based on habitual late payment of rent. What can I do?
It sounds like you have a defense under the American's with Disabilities Act. You will need medical records. If you do not think that your parent can present the case him or herself, you will need to get your parent an attorney. Unfortunately, you can't represent your parent unless you are an attorney yourself.
5. Does a Realtor earn their commission even if the sale of the house does not occur?
That depends on the terms of the real estate contract. The NJAR [New Jersey Association of Realtor's] Standard real estate contract does have a provision that if the Seller breaches that the Broker still receives the commission agreed to in the real estate listing agreement. This clause can be removed or amended by your attorney if he or she gets the real estate contract before the 3 days expire, during the attorney review process.
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