Reasons for Eviction in New Jersey
There are several reasons why a landlord can evict a tenant in New Jersey. High on the list is failure of the tenant to pay rent in a timely fashion. A landlord can also evict a tenant if he is convicted of an offense involving drugs, willfully damages or destroys property, is continually disorderly or is in violation of the provisions of the lease.
Notification before Filing with Court
Before the landlord can pursue the matter in court, he must notify the tenant of the infraction and give him time to correct it. If the matter involves the nonpayment of rent or the landlord alleges a major lease violation, the tenant is given three days to comply. If the tenant is advised of anything other than those infractions, he will have 30 days to comply if the lease is month-to-month and three months if it is year-to-year. Unlike other states, both the tenant and the landlord must be represented by a lawyer in New Jersey.
If a Court Case Ensues
Both the landlord and the tenant must prove their cases before a judge. Since written testimony is unacceptable, both parties must have their witnesses in court to back up their cases, but both can bring written records. For example, the landlord can provide rent receipts and bank notifications that rent checks have not been honored. Likewise, the tenant can bring in canceled checks to prove his case. If the two parties can come to an agreement before the date set for the trial, the trial will be cancelled. If the landlord proves his case, then a so-called judgment for possession is issued, and the tenant has three days to move out. If the tenant fails to do so, the county sheriff will physically remove him.
Tenant Can Remain
The tenant can petition the court for permission to stay in the property for up to six months if he can prove that a move any earlier would cause major hardship. However, the tenant usually must pay the back rent to the landlord for him to be granted this extension by the court.
Personal Effects of Tenant
If the court case resolves in favor of the landlord, he must allow the tenant to remove his personal belongings from the property. If the personal property is not removed, the landlord must arrange for it to be stored.