The New Jersey one (1) month lease termination letter, pursuant to Section 2A: 18-56, is required to be served to month-to-month and other “at-will” tenants. The notice provides the tenant with one full month to vacate the rental property. Likewise, the notice can also be used by the tenant to inform the landlord of their intention to move out within one month. If the tenant fails to move out within one month, the landlord can file an eviction action in Superior Court. The notice must be served to the tenant personally, left at the property with a resident at least
New Jersey Eviction Process & Laws | Free NJ Eviction Notices
The New Jersey notice of quit, instituted by § 2A:18-61.2, allows the landlord to hold the tenant subject to a violation of the lease (nonpayment, noncompliance, or disorderly conduct) for the period of time suggested below: Material Non-Compliance – Thirty (30) days; Non-Payment of Rent – Thirty (30) days; Disorderly Conduct – three (3) days 2A:18-53(c) Once the form has been completed by the landlord the tenant must be given this form either through personal service, leaving with an individual as young as fourteen (14) years of age, or sending in the mail through a certified letter. Download Link: .PDF How to Write
How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
All evictions in the State of New Jersey must have “good cause.” There are numerous examples of grounds for good cause such as non-payment of rent, disorderly conduct, property damage, and violation of the lease/rental agreement. More details regarding what comprises a “good cause” eviction are available on New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs website (direct link here).
Step 1 – The landlord must serve the tenant with a notice to quit. If the tenant has failed to pay rent, no notice is required (the landlord can immediately terminate the rental agreement and file an eviction action in court). Tenants who have damaged property, or have committed disorderly conduct, must receive at least three (3) days notice before an eviction action can be filed. If the tenant has committed a major lease violation, they are required to receive at least one full month’s notice before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. The notice must be served personally, left with a resident of the property at least 14 years old, or sent via certified mail.
Note: Tenants in federally subsidized rental units must receive at least 14 days notice prior to lease termination. Also, if the tenant has used rent money to cover the continuance of utilities that the landlord was required to pay (i.e. if the electric company threatened to shut off power and the landlord failed to pay the electric bill), they cannot be evicted due to non-payment of rent.
Step 2 – After giving the proper notice to the tenant (and waiting for the notice period to expire), the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in the Superior Court of the county where the rental property is located in. The forms that will be filed include a “complaint” and a “summons.” The complaint is the specific action that the landlord is seeking against the tenant (such as possession of the rental unit, damages, etc.). The summons contains the date and time of the eviction hearing/trial.
Step 3 – The tenant will be served a copy of the complaint/summons by the court. The date of the hearing is at least ten (10) days from the date that the complaint is filed/served. If either party fails to show up to the court date, the judge will issue a default judgement in favor of the party who is in court. Before the judge will actually hear the case, a mediation session will most likely take place. The mediator is court-appointed, and works to help both sides come to an agreement. The landlord/tenant are not required to come to an agreement during the mediation session.
Note: The tenant and landlord can settle the eviction anytime up to the hearing date. The settlement must be in writing, and the landlord must request to dismiss the complaint against the tenant.
Step 4 – The judge will review the details of the case (documentation, evidence, etc.) and listen to testimony from both the landlord and the tenant (however the landlord and their witnesses usually get to go first). If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a “judgement for possession” will be issued. The judgement is a court-ordered eviction. If the tenant wins the case, the eviction suit will be dismissed.