The COVID-19 eviction moratorium may be coming to an end, but many eviction courts continue to be reluctant to oust tenants from their apartments regardless of their non-payment of rent or other lease violations. Those courts might look for any flaw in the eviction complaint to delay or reject the eviction process.
The New Jersey eviction attorneys at GLR&W understand the hard work and sacrifice that many smaller landlords have devoted to building their rental portfolios. We file and prosecute airtight New Jersey eviction complaints that protect a landlord’s investment while treating tenants fairly and equitably within the context of applicable laws and procedures.
Begin a New Jersey eviction process with a proper Notice to Vacate
In most cases, New Jersey law requires a landlord to give a tenant a notice to vacate the property before a tenant can be evicted prior to the expiration of a lease. The form and timing requirements for the notice depend on the reasons for the pending eviction:
- A landlord can go directly to court to evict a tenant that has not paid rent without first giving notice of an intent to terminate a lease, but these direct eviction processes are subject to a tenant’s right to redeem and cancel the eviction by paying all back rent and other fees. A tenant in this situation might argue, for example, that the landlord has a history of accepting late rent payments, in which case an eviction court might be reluctant to grant an eviction order that is not preceded by a notice to vacate.
- A landlord can give a 3-day notice to vacate where the tenant, for example, has exhibited disorderly conduct, has destroyed the landlord’s property, has been convicted of drug possession or use, or has threatened the landlord. In these situations, the tenant has no right to cure or to cancel the eviction and the landlord can terminate the lease within three days after the notice has been given.
- A landlord can give a 30-day notice to vacate where a tenant has habitually paid rent late or has routinely violated other lease provisions.
In every case where a notice to vacate is issued, the landlord should include specific reasons for the eviction. To avoid delays and extra expenses in the eviction process, New Jersey landlords should consult with experienced eviction lawyers who can prepare a notice that will not be rejected by an eviction court.
File a complaint for eviction in the appropriate New Jersey Superior Court
A landlord’s next step after providing a defaulting tenant with a notice to vacate is to file an eviction complaint in the appropriate New Jersey Superior Court and to formally serve that complaint on the tenant. The complaint should include specific facts and details regarding the tenant’s default and the notice to vacate that the landlord has delivered to the tenant. Service of the complaint needs to strictly follow the procedures provided by the New Jersey civil practice rules. Eviction complaints can be rejected due to failure of or improper or incomplete service of process. A landlord can prevent a procedural rejection by retaining a New Jersey eviction attorney to complete the filing, service, and prosecution of the complaint.
Include correct and accurate information in the eviction complaint
A New Jersey eviction complaint must state more than just that the tenant is in default under a lease. At a minimum, it must include:
- The landlord’s full name and contact information
- The correct names and addresses of the tenants that are being evicted
- Specific facts regarding the causes for eviction e., how much rent has not been paid, dates when rent payments were due, efforts to collect rent, copies of any notice to vacate, etc.
- The landlord’s signature and verification that information in the complaint is complete and accurate
- A summons and return of service form for the tenant’s acknowledgment of service of process
The appropriate fees must also be paid when the eviction complaint is filed with the court clerk. Last, the landlord should accomplish service of process promptly after an eviction complaint is filed.
Call the Eviction Lawyers at GLR&W To File Your Eviction Complaint
The New Jersey eviction attorneys at GLR&W, LLC represent all classes of landlords whether they are individuals with residential properties or large commercial property management companies. Please contact our Mount Holly office and schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you any way we can.