Jersey City Landlord Tenant Lawyer
Being a landlord or property manager can often accompany legal problems. If you need help creating a lease or dealing with a problem tenant, contact our experienced Jersey City Landlord Tenant Lawyer Brian Freeman for a free consultation.
Protecting The Rights of Landlords Throughout New Jersey
Disputes between landlords and tenants are common. One party often tries to take advantage of the other, thinking nothing can be done about it. However, an experienced lawyer can change that person’s mind. Sometimes just a firmly worded letter from an experienced lawyer can make a huge difference.
Download Our Free Landlord Guide
In landlord / tenant disputes, Jersey City Landlord Tenant Lawyer Brian Freeman of the Freeman Law Center, LLC exclusively represent landlords, bringing more than 30 years of experience to each case. Contact us and we can meet with you in a free initial consultation.
Working for the Jersey City Housing Authority, Freddie Mac and other organizations, our lawyers have gained a comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations governing actions involving landlords’ rights. We work on behalf of landlords in cases involving:
- Right to enter apartment
- Failure to pay rent
- Disorderly conduct
- Property damages
- Late rent payments
- Lease violations
- Notices to Quit and Notices to Cease orders
- Eviction for non payment
- Loud music and other noise
Our Jersey City Landlord Tenant Lawyer will handle your case personally to get the best resolution possible. We always keep clients informed about their case, and always make sure our lawyers and highly skilled bilingual paralegals are available to answer all of your questions or concerns.
Making a living with rental properties is a very lucrative business. Flexible schedules, meeting new people, choosing the people you work with, having your mortgage paid off with rent… Sound familiar? However, because this is an enterprise that requires you to work with people, I am certain you are probably wary of being bogged down by a bad tenant. With a wide variety of unscrupulous characters out there who strive to take advantage of the law, and sue their landlords over the most unfair of issues, this eBook should help you learn how to protect yourself before any such mishaps take place.
Download Our Free Landlord Guide
Disputes between landlords and tenants are common. One party often tries to take advantage of the other, not realizing that there are laws in place to protect both landlords and tenants alike. As a landlord, you are well aware of the variety of problems that can crop up in your line of business. However, being aware of the law and having an experienced lawyer back you up can alleviate the nuisance that such tenants cause. In my experience, even a firmly worded letter from an Jersey City landlord tenant Lawyer can make a huge difference.
Common Issues Landlords Face
Most landlords perform checks on applicants before going ahead and presenting them with a lease. This is something that I encourage all landlords to do. Background checks and credit checks are vital to getting to know your tenant before you allow them to establish residence on your property. However, these screenings are not fool-proof, and you may still find yourself stuck with a tenant who seems like they just stepped of World’s Worst Tenants.
- right to enter apartment
- failure to pay rent
- disorderly conduct
- property damages
- late rent payments
- lease violations
- notices to quit and notices to cease orders
- eviction for non-payment
- loud music and other noise
Types of Tenancies in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey recognizes three categories of tenants, including commercial tenants and two categories of residential tenants. New Jersey statute N.J.S.A 2A:18-53A generally addresses tenants who occupy owner-occupied premises that have 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.
Tenants who fall under N.J.S.A 2A:18-61.1, which is called the Anti-Tenancy Eviction statute (and with good reason) are much better protected because the essential purpose of that statute is to protect tenants from unwarranted evictions.
In owner-occupied tenancies, the landlord can simply terminate a tenancy once the lease term has been completed. In the case of a month-to-month tenancy, for example, the landlord can serve the tenant a 30-day notice and terminate the tenancy.
Under the Anti-Tenancy Eviction statute, however, as long as the tenant pays rent in a timely manner and does not violate the other terms of the lease, they cannot be evicted. In other words, the mere fact that a landlord simply does not like the tenant and does not want to continue to be their landlord is not a sufficient reason to evict the tenant. The tenant can only be evicted for just cause – and that must be a clear violation of the lease or failure to pay rent.
If you do not know this already, a lease is typically a contract or an agreement by virtue of which one party (you, the landlord) conveys property to another (your tenant) for a specified time, in return for a periodic payment of rent. While it is possible to draw up your own lease, it is always wiser to have an Jersey City landlord tenant lawyer take a look at it before your tenant signs it.
Written Lease vs. Verbal Agreement
Obviously, a verbal agreement is one which has not been reduced to writing and, except for cases regarding payment of rent which the landlord can generally substantiate by keeping written receipts showing the manner in which payment of rent is made, such leases are virtually unenforceable in a Landlord-Tenant Court.
If he has not insisted upon a written lease, a landlord’s attempts to evict a tenant for other violations – meaning those which the landlord imposes as violations of the tenancy – will encounter serious challenges.
What to Consider When Creating a Lease
It is essential that a landlord draft his lease very carefully because the purpose of that lease is to provide clear protections for the landlord. Absent a lease, a tenant is not obligated to abide by any rules or regulations other than the timely payment of rent, so it is a big mistake for any landlord not to have a lease. Many landlords hold to the erroneous belief that a lease somehow helps the tenant; however, that is absolutely false.
As a landlord, it is important that you make sure your lease includes specific language that prevents such conduct as having pets, if that is a clause you require your tenants to fulfill. You may also prohibit other behaviors such as smoking or the playing of loud music at times that are after normal hours.
You can even set forth clear timetables to govern when the rent is to be collected. Also, if the rent is going to be late, the lease must clearly state when the late period begins. Late charges must be clearly stated in the lease – and they have to be deemed to be additional rent. An additional rent clause must be included in every lease because, without an additional rent clause, you cannot seek to recover those charges in Landlord-Tenant Court as part of the rent. It is very important to set forth your expectations of your tenants in unambiguous and specific language.
If a Tenant Breaks the Lease
A landlord whose tenant breaks a lease may avail of several remedies. First, the landlord can file a Civil Action against the tenant in which he seeks payment of rent that would have been paid if the tenant had complied with the lease.
The landlord must, however, fulfill his obligation to mitigate the damages. For example, if a tenant breaks a lease with several months remaining in the stated lease term, the landlord cannot simply sue the tenant for the rent that he would have paid. The landlord must first make reasonable efforts to rent the premises, and he must be able to document those efforts.
Once the landlord makes and documents that effort – but his efforts prove unsuccessful – he can seek to have the tenant pay all the monies to which he would have been entitled under the lease, if the lease had not been broken.
Contact Our Jersey City Office
If you would like to sign up for a free initial consultation, contact our Jersey City Landlord Tenant Lawyer today. We can schedule your free initial consultation during a weekday, evening or weekend. Freeman Law Center, LLC is fully staffed with bilingual paralegals that are ready to assist you through every step of your case.