Understanding Eviction Proceedings in New Jersey

Notice to Cease and Notice to Quit

When a landlord wants to terminate a contract with a tenant, depending on the type of case, they may be required to give the tenant notice prior to beginning formal legal proceedings. If termination is for cause (such as nonpayment of rent or violating the lease by having a pet), the tenant may have a right for a period of time to remedy the issue.

Summary Eviction Proceeding, including Summons & Trial

Evictions are dealt with by the Special Civil Part of Law Division in Superior Court. If the tenant does not leave voluntarily, the landlord can evict them by formally serving the tenant with a complaint. The complaint requires the tenant to respond by appearing in court. If no appearance is made, the landlord can file for a default judgment. If the tenant appear, rent arrears shall be needed to be deposited with Court by 5:00 PM. A trial is then set, during which a judge will listen to testimony from both sides before deciding the matter.

Habitually Late Payment in Rent

In New Jersey, tenants who failed to pay rent may always be allowed to cancel the eviction and remain in the property if they pay the full amount of rent due plus all fees owed to the property owner on the date of trial.  This is a right of redemption.  There are cases where tenants habitually and continually fail to pay rent, resulting in repeated eviction proceedings. In New Jersey, the landlord may file for eviction “for habitually late payment” meaning the judge’s ruling would stand.

Removal from the Property

After a tenant loses an eviction suit, he/she may have a short period of time to leave the premises before further legal action is taken. In New Jersey, the Landlord must apply for a Warrant of Possession within 30 days of judgment and the Court and Court officer shall each grant 3 business days to the Tenant for removal.

That is, if the tenant refuses to leave, the landlord must get a “warrant of possession” from the court (the Court will not issue said Warrant until 3 business days later) and present it to the Constable of Special Civil Part.  The officer then posts a notice for the tenant, informing them that law officers will return on a specific day (three business days later) to physically remove the tenant if they have not moved; then the client shall arrange with a locksmith working with Constable to “lock out” the tenant.

Our legal fees quoted for Eviction does not include money judgment actions.  The Eviction proceeding discussed above does not include money judgment action in that it should be filed separately either in Special Civil Part or Law Division for damage as money judgment.  

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