New Jersey Eviction
UPDATED: February 13, 2020
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The eviction of tenants by landlords in New Jersey is governed by specific laws. New Jersey landlords cannot simply change the locks or disconnect vital services without running afoul of the law and potentially incurring penalties. Instead, New Jersey landlords must go through a multi-step process in order to rid themselves of uncooperative tenants.
Available New Jersey Termination Notices
In New Jersey, eviction is a multiple step process beginning with the termination of the tenancy. There are only a couple of exceptions to this, the first being that if a lease has expired, then the tenancy is terminated. In this case, a landlord must still give notice demanding possession of the property before proceeding with eviction. Second, a landlord may not have to serve a termination notice before beginning court action to evict if a tenant is behind on their rent. Otherwise, a landlord must terminate the rental agreement before proceeding with the eviction. The particular notice that must be given to terminate the agreement depends on the circumstances.
New Jersey landlords must issue one or more of the following notices before evicting:
3-Day Notice: Given in cases of disorderly conduct, drug conviction, damaging the landlord's property, conviction or civil liability for assault or terroristic threats against the landlord, and violation of lease provisions that specifically dictate that eviction is the penalty. (N.J. Stat. Ann. Section 2A:18-53(c))
30-Day Notice: Given in cases of habitual failure to pay rent and continued violations of lease provisions that don't specifically dictate that eviction is the penalty.
In New Jersey, evictions are handled in New Jersey Superior Court, Special Civil Part. Find your local court at the New Jersey Judiciary website. You may be able to locate forms either there or at connecting court websites. Remember, though, that while filling out legal forms may seem like an easy way to evict your tenant, sometimes events do not unfold as smoothly as you had hoped. If you are unsure of the termination and/or eviction process at any point, you may wish to hire or consult a New Jersey landlord or tenant attorney. You can refer to Questions to Ask your New Jersey Evictions Lawyer below when going through this process.
Self-Help Evictions in New Jersey
While simply changing your tenant's locks or shutting off utilities may seem like an easy solution to a landlord's tenant problems, self-help evictions are not permissible under New Jersey law. Not only can tenants file suit against landlords who engage in this activity, there may also be criminal penalties depending on the circumstances.
Questions to Ask Your New Jersey Evictions Lawyer
- How many evictions cases have you handled?
- How many were successful/unsuccessful?
- How long will the eviction process take?
- For tenants: How long do I have before I MUST move out?
- For landlords: Will I be able to get a judgment for back rent for the amount of time the tenant has been living in the rental property illegally?
- What do you charge?
- For landlords: If I hire you, will I be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?