A New Jersey eviction notice is the starting point for landlords or property management companies initiating tenant eviction due to rent non-payment or lease violation. This notice adheres to state regulations and provides tenants with the required time frame to address the situation or vacate the premises.
New Jersey Laws & Requirements for Eviction
- Eviction Law: N.J.S.A. §§ 2A:18-53 – 2A:18-84.
- Rent Grace Period: 5 days for senior citizens only (NJSA §§ 2A:42-6.1 – 2A:42-6.3). No statute for non-senior citizens.
- Non-Payment of Rent: Immediate, no notice required. 30 days (1 month) if the landlord has accepted late rent payments in the past. (N.J.S.A. § 2A:18-61.2).
- Non-Compliance of Lease Terms: 30 days (NJSA § 2A:18-61.2).
- Disorderly Conduct, Damage to Property, Illegal Activity: 3 days (NJSA § 2A:18-53(c) and § 2A:18-61.2).
- Termination of a Month-to-Month Lease: 30 days (NJSA § 2A:18-56).
Landlords may also evict a tenant to take the property off the rental market, for instance, if landlords want to turn a rental into a single-family home to live in or sell. In this scenario, a landlord must give a tenant an 18-month notice to vacate.
Additionally, landlords can give a 3-day notice to quit in cases of tenant disorderly conduct; possession, use, or manufacture of illegal drugs; and threats or assault against the landlord.
A Failure to Pay Rent Increase is another notice landlords can give to evict a tenant for failing to pay a rent increase. In this scenario, landlords must provide a one-month notice to vacate without the chance to remedy the issue.
How to Evict a Tenant in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, eviction lawsuits are governed by 2A:18-53 through 2A:18-84 of the New Jersey Statutes.
Step 1: Deliver a Notice to Quit
The landlord begins the eviction process by serving the proper notice to the tenant (via first-class mail, registered or certified mail, personal service, or a process server).
There are multiple grounds for an eviction, but the main reasons are when a tenant hasn’t paid rent (monthly rent plus late fees) on time or violated another lease agreement term  .
Written notification will prove that you informed the tenant of the issue. Further, protect you if this reaches the court (make sure you document all rent payments and late fees due, and if the tenant attempted to pay any portion of rent or a late fee).
Step 2: File a Complaint and Summons
Suppose the tenant doesn’t correct their violation or leave the property within the given timeframe. In that case, the landlord must go to the Clerk of the Special Civil Part Office in the county where the property is located.
The landlord files a complaint and summons and pays a fee for the eviction.
Step 3: Serve the Tenant and Court Hearing
A court officer serves the tenant the summons, which lets the tenant know the court date, time, and location of the eviction hearing.
The landlord and tenant must go to the court hearing; otherwise, the result could be dismissal (if the landlord doesn’t show) or default judgment against the tenant (if the tenant doesn’t show).
Step 4: Take Back the Property
If the landlord wins the eviction lawsuit in court, either by court order after a hearing or default judgment, the landlord will receive a Judgment for Possession.
If the tenant still does not vacate the property, the landlord can apply for a Warrant for Possession, which legally permits the sheriff to remove the tenant.
Remember that tenants can move back into their rental properties if they pay all rent and fees owed to the landlord within three business days of lockout.
Related Court Forms
- Tenancy Summons and Return of Service: The landlord completes this form to request the tenant’s eviction and the property’s return.
- Verified Complaint Non-payment of Rent: The official complaint form to file when the tenant does not pay rent or there is another ground for eviction.
- Notice to Residential Tenants of Rights During Foreclosure: A notice is given to tenants when the rental property goes into foreclosure. It informs them of their rights and what to expect during foreclosure.