New Jersey’s Anti-Eviction Act strictly prohibits self-help evictions and requires landlords to adhere to the legal process when attempting to evict a tenant and take possession of their own property. The Act sets forth different grounds for eviction and establishes the process for evicting based on each ground. For example, in a non-payment of rent case, the landlord is not required to provide the tenant with any prior written notice before filing the complaint for eviction. But if the landlord is seeking to evict based on the tenant’s violation of some other term in the lease (i.e., pets, smoking, disturbances), then certain notices are required as a prerequisite to filing the complaint. If the landlord fails to follow the procedures set forth in the Act, the landlord’s complaint may be subject to dismissal.
In addition, parties frequently misunderstand their rights and obligations concerning the maintenance and return of a tenant’s security deposit. A landlord’s failure to properly place a security deposit in a trust account or return the deposit within 30 days after termination of a tenancy may subject the landlord to damages, which could include double damages and attorneys’ fees.
If you are a landlord seeking to evict a tenant or you are a tenant who believes that your rights have been violated, please contact the Office.