As a savvy landlord who understands New Jersey eviction laws, you’ll want to rent to a tenant that meets certain criteria. For example, you want them to make sufficient income, have a good rental history, a good credit rating, and have no relevant criminal record.
But no matter how foolproof your tenant screening process may be, you may have to evict a tenant at some point in your career as a landlord. So, you will need to be familiar with the New Jersey Eviction laws to follow the due process to a tee.
Whether you’re looking to evict your difficult tenant or simply want to learn more, we at Capital Street Management have put together this basic overview of the New Jersey eviction process.
Notice for Lease Termination with Legal Cause
This is the only way to start a tenant eviction process in the state of New Jersey. To comply with the New Jersey eviction laws, an eviction notice must tell a tenant several things, including the reason for the eviction as well as what they must do.
Also, different eviction notices serve different purposes. In other words, the type of eviction notices to serve your tenant must be specific to the violation committed. The following are the various lease violations and their appropriate eviction notices.
Violation of the Lease
When a tenant signs a lease, they have a responsibility to abide by all terms until it expires. If your New Jersey tenant doesn’t, you could potentially be able to evict them.
New Jersey eviction laws state the eviction process, in this case, must begin by serving them a Notice to Cease. This tells the tenant to correct the violation by stopping the behavior. If your tenant doesn’t comply, you can go ahead and issue them a 30-Day Notice to Quit. This will give them 30 days to move out to avoid getting evicted.
Examples of lease violations falling in this category include exceeding the rental limit and having an unauthorized pet.
Potentially, you may also evict your tenant for violating other tenants’ peaceable enjoyment of their rented premises. But, as per New Jersey eviction laws, you must first give your tenants a Notice to Cease, warning them to stop the behavior.
If the tenant doesn’t stop their disorderly behavior, you must serve them with a 3-Day Notice to Quit to evict them. If the tenant doesn’t move out after the notice period ends, you may proceed with the eviction process.
Ending the Lease
According to New Jersey eviction laws, if your rental property comprises no more than 3 units, you may be able to evict a tenant for staying at the rental unit after the expiry of their lease.
For week-to-week tenants, you must serve them a 7-Day Notice to Quit. For tenants on a month-to-month agreement, you must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit. And for tenants on a year-to-year lease, you must provide them a 90-Day Notice to Quit.
If your tenant remains on the property after the expiry of the eviction notice, you may proceed with the process.
Negligent Property Damage
If your tenant neglected or willfully caused property damage, New Jersey eviction law states you may be able to evict them from your unit by serving them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This will give them 3 days to move out.
If the tenant doesn’t move out, you can move forward with the eviction process.
You can also evict your tenant to do necessary repair work that would bring the property to habitable standards. Prior to beginning the eviction process, you must serve your tenant with a 3 months’ notice.
Discontinuance of Rental Property
If you no longer wish to rent out the property, New Jersey eviction laws state that you must serve your tenant with an 18 months’ notice before beginning the eviction process.
Failure to Accept Lease Changes
If your New Jersey tenant is refusing to accept reasonable changes to their lease, you can serve them with a one-month notice prior to continuing with the eviction action.
If your tenant has been involved in illegal activities must give them a 3-Day Notice before proceeding with the eviction in court.
Nonpayment of Rent
As per state law, rent becomes late a day after it’s due. If you offer any grace period or provision based on your security deposit agreement, your lease should address it.
New Jersey eviction laws state that a written notice isn’t necessary to continue with an eviction action against a tenant for nonpayment of rent unless that tenant has a history of failing to pay rent on time. In this case, you must serve that tenant a notice of at least 30 days prior to evicting them.
File the Complaint and Serve it to the Tenant
According to New Jersey eviction laws and the New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Laws, when you file the complaint and serve it to your tenant, you must do so in a Superior Court and there will be a charge associated with the filing.
Attend the Court Hearing and Judgment
Once the summons has been issued, the hearing will be held anywhere between 10 and 30 days later.
If the tenant fails to appear, the judge may issue a default judgment in your favor. The court will then issue you a warrant for removal within three business days after the successful ruling.
New Jersey eviction laws show the warrant of removal to be the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit. If they don’t, officers from the court will remove the tenant.
If you have specific questions, hire the services of a qualified New Jersey attorney. Alternatively, you can seek help from a knowledgeable property management company like Capital Street Management.
Disclaimer: This blog is not a substitute for expert legal advice. Laws change and it might no longer be up to date. For expert legal advice, get in touch with a qualified attorney or an experienced property management company.