Articles Tagged with Eviction

New Jersey is one of only four states that provide for rent control. Jersey City is one of 98 municipalities that enacted local rent-control laws. While Hoboken and Bayonne recently relaxed their rent-control ordinances, Jersey City maintains one of the State’s strongest rent-control laws. Jersey City tenants should aware of the most important part of Jersey City’s rent-control laws.
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Part 1 of this series described the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the warranty of habitability. Marini explains that a landlord implicitly promises to provide an apartment free of latent defects and maintained in a livable condition. While tenants have a right to a regularly maintained defect free apartment, they also have an obligation to inform the landlords of any problems and allow sufficient time for those problems to be fixed. In most cases, the repairs are made and both parties are happy. If the problems continue, tenants have a number of options to consider.
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Generally, most NJ landlord-tenant matters settle before trial. A prior post explained the range of options available to tenants and landlords before “taking your chances with a judge.” While settlement is usually the best route, sometimes a trial is unavoidable. Whether the trial is for nonpayment or other “good cause” under the Anti-Eviction Act, N.J.S.A 2A:18-61.1., the landlord has the burden of proving his case. New Jersey Court Rule 4:37-2(b) requires that a landlord show that the facts and the law entitle him to relief (in a landlord-tenant setting, the relief is a judgment for possession). Practically, this means that the defendant-tenant, before telling the court his side of the story, can ask the court to dismiss the landlord’s case. The type of eviction case determines what the landlord must show to avoid dismissal.
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At the end of a lease term, New Jersey tenants have rights beyond their right to reasonable changes in a proposed lease. Tenants have a right to two separate notices before a landlord can file an eviction action. A landlord’s failure to strictly observe both the content and timing of the notice requirements will result in the dismissal of the eviction action. Before evicting a tenant for refusing lease changes, the content and timing requirements must be strictly observed.
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Most of the residential eviction cases in New Jersey sound in nonpayment of rent. Often, by the time court date is scheduled the relationship between the landlord and the tenant soured. When both parties appear in landlord-tenant court, the temptation is to believe that either a) the greedy heartless landlord only wants to evict the tenant or b) the deadbeat tenant is looking for a free ride. Despite these temptations, there are three avenues of compromise that can meet both parties’ needs. Keeping these comprises in mind can help the tenant remain in the apartment and the landlord collect rent, while removing the uncertainty of a landlord-tenant trial.
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Efficient and profitable property management requires landlords to navigate the complex web of New Jersey landlord-tenant law. Often, small steps can save time and money throughout the life of leasing apartments. One such small, but important, step is commonly known as the “registration requirement.” In eviction cases, failure to comply with the registration requirement can lead to costly and time consuming delays.
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New Jersey landlords can find evicting a residential tenant a difficult task. In large part, the difficulty of ending a tenancy stems from New Jersey’s strongly pro-tenant “Anti-Eviction Act,” N.J.S.A. 2A: 18-61.1 (“AEA”). The stated purpose of the AEA is to limit the eviction of tenants to reasonable grounds and provide that suitable notice be given to a tenant prior to eviction. Practically speaking, landlords are generally limited to evicting tenants only on the “reasonable grounds” provided in the AEA. The AEA includes a range of eviction grounds from disorderly/damaging tenants to refusal to accept reasonable lease changes at lease end. By far, the most common ground for eviction is nonpayment of rent.

Evicting a tenant for nonpayment can quickly become a difficult task. Most landlords assume that a tenant’s failure to pay is enough to evict. Unfortunately for property owners, the law is not that simple. Under the AEA, the nonpayment must be for “rent” that is “due and owing.” Here, simple words mean more than meets the eye.
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“The monster under my bed forced me to leave my apartment.” Two tenants in New Jersey are alleging that paranormal activity chased them for their apartment and caused them to break their lease. As reported by ABC News, the couple is suing the landlord for the return of their deposit. Unfortunately, the only thing scarier than the Boogeyman is forfeiting a $2,250 security deposit.


Pursuant to the Rent Security Deposit Act, New Jersey tenants are entitled to a refund of their security deposit within 30 days “after the termination of the tenant’s lease.” N.J.S.A. 46:8-21.1 However, as in this case, a landlord may deduct from the deposit amounts legally due and owed to him by the tenant. One such amount is the money lost by the landlord while the home is vacant and the current tenant breached the lease. The Casper-loving landlord may not recover this amount if the home was uninhabitable under New Jersey case law. Are ghosts enough to render a home uninhabitable? Unless the judge is Van Helsing, no.
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