6 Frequently Asked Landlord Tenant Questions
If you are a landlord and have questions, read these 6 frequently asked landlord tenant questions. Contact our New Jersey attorneys today.
1) How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant?
The length of time required to evict a tenant varies because different counties carry widely different caseloads. In Northern New Jersey, where my practice is located, Hudson, Essex, and Union Counties have the state’s densest populations. Because of that, just getting a court date for an eviction complaint can typically take two to three weeks. In other counties, where the number of evictions is much smaller, that time can be as short as ten days.
2) How Much Does an Eviction Cost?
The costs of an eviction vary depending on the reason the eviction is being sought. Most landlord-tenant evictions are based on non-payment of rent, while others are based on other lease violations. Depending on the circumstances, the cost of a tenancy eviction can range from as little as $750 to as much as several thousand dollars, depending on such factors as whether it’s a commercial eviction or a residential eviction, and the matter’s complexity.
3) How Much Notice is Required for Eviction?
Depending on the reason for the eviction, the length of time for notices to the tenant may be different. For instance, in the case of non-payment of rent where the tenant has simply failed to pay rent, no notice is required. You may file an eviction complaint with the Landlord-Tenant Court immediately and evict a non-paying tenant forthwith.
If the tenant has engaged in conduct that violates the lease, you must first send a Notice to Cease, which advises the tenant that they’re in violation of the lease, sets forth the lease provision of which they’re in violation, and advises them that if they continue to violate the lease, they will receive a Notice to Quit and be evicted from the property. If, after having received a Notice to Cease, the tenant continues to violate the lease, the tenant is sent a Notice to Quit. Generally, the time period contemplated in a Notice to Quit is 30 days, after which time – if the tenant remains in the apartment or on the premises – the landlord can file a conviction complaint in Landlord-Tenant Court.
In certain instances, other than non-payment of rent, a landlord does not have to wait 30 days and other scenarios a 60-day notice is required. For example, if there’s been destruction to the property because the tenant has recklessly or negligently damaged the landlord’s property, the tenant could possibly be given a three-day Notice to Quit. Then, immediately thereafter, if the tenant continues to remain in the premises, an eviction complaint can be promptly filed.
4) Should I Use a Process Server to Perform an Eviction?
In all New Jersey eviction cases, once the landlord has been able to obtain a Judgment of Possession – in other words, the court says that the tenant must leave the premises – the landlord must not avail himself of self-help in order to remove a tenant from his property, but must retain the services of a court constable. The court constable is the individual who actually conducts the lockout of the tenant, posts the Warrant of Removal, and subsequently performs the actual eviction. The landlord is prohibited from conducting self-help evictions in the state of New Jersey.
5) Which Courts Handle Landlord-Tenant Issues?
All landlord-tenant matters are heard in the County Superior Court, in the Special Civil Part Section of the respective county court.
6) What are the Different Type of Tenancies?
The state of New Jersey recognizes three categories of tenants – commercial tenants and two categories of residential tenants. New Jersey statute N.J.S.A 2A:18-53A generally addresses tenants that occupy owner-occupied premises where there are no more than two rental units in addition to the one in which the owner resides. Those tenants have far fewer rights than the majority of tenants – those who fall under N.J.S.A 2A:18-61.1. That statute is called the Anti-Tenancy Eviction statute, and for very good reason. The essential purpose of that statute is to protect tenants from unwarranted evictions.
In the first category – the owner-occupied tenancies – the landlord can simply terminate a tenancy once the lease has completed. In the case of a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord can serve a 30-day notice and terminate the tenancy. Under the Anti-Tenancy Eviction statute, however, so long as the tenant pays rent and does not violate the terms of the lease, they cannot be evicted. In other words, the mere fact that a landlord simply doesn’t like the tenant and doesn’t want to continue to be their landlord is not a reason to evict the tenant. The tenant can only be evicted for just cause – and that’s going to be a violation of the lease or failure to pay rent.
If you are a landlord and have questions, read these 6 frequently asked landlord tenant questions. Then, contact our experienced New Jersey Landlord Tenant Attorney Brian Freeman for strong legal help.