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About Evicting Tenants in New Jersey

Experienced Eviction Lawyer Helping Area Landlords

At Griffin Alexander, P.C, one of our primary practice areas is residential and commercial landlord/tenant law.

If you are a New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania landlord experiencing problems with a tenant, and reasonable attempts at resolution have been ineffective, eviction may be the only viable option. Especially following COVID‑19, and the subsequent myriad of eviction moratoria, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in evictions for guidance on how to proceed in accordance with not only state and federal statutes and case law, but municipal ordinances and executive orders. Following proper notice procedures and developing a solid legal argument are fundamental to ensuring a successful eviction.

At Griffin Alexander, P.C., we have worked in the New Jersey real estate market for decades and regularly represent landlords in different types of evictions cases, including evictions for "cause" and evictions for non-payment of rent. Contact a New Jersey eviction lawyer at Griffin Alexander P.C. to request a consultation and learn more about your options.

Evicting a Tenant in New Jersey

Many landlords are overwhelmed by the prospect of evicting a tenant. They don’t know the requisite standards governing the eviction process. Working with an experienced attorney is essential to landlords in these proceedings. The consequences of going it alone can include the expenditure of substantial sums of money, only to lose your case.

Under normal circumstances, landlords may lawfully evict a tenant for “good cause.” There are a variety of causes that justify an eviction under New Jersey law, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • disorderly conduct,
  • destruction of property,
  • violation of the lease agreement,
  • nonpayment of rent,
  • habitual late payment of rent,
  • conviction for drug offense on the property,
  • conviction for assault or threats, and
  • conviction for theft.

These reasons, of course, vary from state-to-state.

Importantly, just being permitted to evict is not normally enough. Landlords must send out appropriate notices and wait the appropriate time periods. Landlords must have the right events documented. Leases must be analyzed in depth before making decision as to a course of action, and in preparation for court.

Tenant Defenses

Landlords filing an eviction lawsuit should obviously expect their tenants to oppose the eviction. Some common tenant defenses are:

  • the landlord failed to follow notice requirements,
  • the landlord “locked out” the tenant or otherwise attempted to unlawfully remove a tenant from the property,
  • nonpayment of rent was justified because the apartment was not habitable,
  • the eviction is retaliatory in nature, and
  • the landlord is evicting the tenant for a discriminatory purpose.

Landlords who try to lock out tenants without court support can face severe consequences.

In our residential and commercial landlord tenant law practice, it is not uncommon for us see tenants raise a false counterclaim. For example, a tenant who has not paid rent in three (3) months may argue that the apartment is not habitable, without the requisite evidence to support the claim. At Griffin Alexander, P.C., we defend our clients against false claims and help prove the validity of their eviction actions.

Nonpayment of Rent

New Jersey landlords evicting a tenant for nonpayment of rent are not required to give any notice to the tenant before pursuing eviction under most circumstances. They can immediately file for eviction and attempt to remove the tenant from the apartment. However, if the landlord has accepted late rent payments throughout the lease term, then a Landlord in New Jersey must provide a thirty (30)-day notice to quit. New York landlords, on the other hand, must give their tenants five (5)-day and fourteen (14)-day notices before they can pursue eviction. Certain COVID‑19 moratoria, including the CARES Act, complicate such proceedings even further.

Violation of Lease Agreement Terms or Late Rent Payments

If the tenant has violated the lease terms, or has habitually made late payments, a New Jersey landlord can file an eviction after first giving the tenant a thirty (30)-day notice to quit/terminate. Prior to sending this notice, a notice to cease/cure may also be required, depending on the type of lease violation. If the violation is criminal in nature, the landlord may be able to expedite this process by providing a three (3)-day notice. However, circumstances – and what state the apartment is in – affects how you must proceed. In addition to preparing these notices for you, Griffin Alexander, P.C., can advise you as to which predicate notices are required to be served on a tenant, and during what timeframes.

Contact a New Jersey Eviction Lawyer at Griffin Alexander, P.C. for Legal Assistance

If you are looking to remove a tenant from your property, whether or not the tenant has initiated or escalated conflict, contact Griffin Alexander, P.C. to consult with an experienced New Jersey landlord-tenant attorney.

Our firm has spent decades helping landlords successfully and efficiently address landlord/tenant issues. We understand the unique frustrations that landlords face when pursuing evictions and engage closely with our clients to ensure we not only have the information necessary to provide personalized legal representation, but also to communicate with respect to issues as they arise.

Contact a New Jersey eviction lawyer at Griffin Alexander, P.C. by calling 973-366-1188 or completing an intake form through our website to request a consultation today.

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