| Read Time: < 1 minute | Landlord/Tenant

Throughout the State of New Jersey, many people elect to rent an apartment for an array of reasons including location and convenience. Unfortunately, in some instances the landlord/tenant relationship may result in court appearances.

A class-action lawsuit has been brought against AvalonBay Communities over the January 21st fire that destroyed a 408-unit luxury apartment building in Edgewater New Jersey, displacing an estimated 1,000 tenants and affecting many people who lived nearby. The fire that engulfed Avalon Edgewater was so large it could be seen across the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan and resulted in the declaration of a local state of emergency.

The two named plaintiffs are identified as residents of Avalon who claim that the fire left them without a place to live and destroyed all of their personal belongings. The fire, which claimed no human casualties, did claim the lives of many pets and destroyed other irreplaceable items.

The filed complaint relies heavily on media accounts of the fire, including reports that it was caused by building maintenance workers who were using a blowtorch to do plumbing work inside a wall, that the apartments lacked sprinklers in the attics or concealed spaces and that the building was made of lightweight wood construction that might have accelerated the spread of the fire.

Avalon has multiple locations through New Jersey and plans to build a new 280 unit complex in downtown Princeton, New Jersey. The same day this lawsuit was filed, the Princeton Mayor and Mercer County executives cited the fire in calling for emergency reviews of the state construction code prior to formal evaluation of the project.

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