In a post last month, our blog began discussing how even though disputes between landlords and tenants are commonplace and frequently culminate in threats of eviction, both parties need to understand that this action cannot be taken without obeying the letter of the law -- in this case the New Jersey Anti-Eviction Act.
Specifically, this landmark law provides that landlords cannot evict absent good cause and must follow a series of steps to accomplish this from supplying tenants with a "Notice to Quit" to securing a Judgment for Possession from the court.
We'll continue this discussion in today's post, examining some of the grounds for a good cause eviction under the Anti-Eviction Act.
Failure to pay rent
As we mentioned above, landlords must supply tenants with a Notice to Quit, meaning a written notice stating that the tenancy is ending, and the particulars of why and when they must vacate the premises.
However, the failure to pay rent is the one circumstance in which a landlord is not required to take this step, such that he or she may take immediate action to have tenants evicted.
The only exception to this requirement is if a tenant resides in housing subsidized by federal funds, in which case 14-day notice must be provided before filing an eviction suit.
Destruction of or damage to the property
Eviction may be pursued where the tenant has either intentionally or due to gross negligence caused or permitted damage, injury or destruction of the property.
Tenants must be served with a Notice to Quit at a minimum of three days prior to filing an eviction suit.
Substantial breaches or violations of the landlord's rules/regulations
In the event the tenant is violating or breaching the reasonable rules/regulations set forth in the lease or otherwise accepted in writing, the landlord must first serve a "Notice to Cease," which essentially serves as a written warning to cease the wrongful conduct.
If the tenant continues to engage in the problematic behavior addressed in the Notice to Cease, the landlord must serve the tenant with a Notice to Quit at a minimum of one month prior to filing an eviction suit. (Notices must be supplied either before or on the start of a new month).
We'll continue this discussion in future posts …
If you have questions about the eviction process or have another landlord/tenant-related matter that you would like to discuss, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional.