Do I Need a Lawyer To Evict a Tenant in New Jersey?

evict a tenant in new jersey legally

As a landlord, you may encounter situations where you need to evict a tenant. Whether it’s due to non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms, or other reasons, eviction is a legal process that must be handled with care.

The process involves navigating complex legal requirements and ensuring that every step is handled with precision to avoid potential pitfalls. Many landlords wonder if they need a lawyer to handle the eviction process.

While it’s not legally required to hire a lawyer in New Jersey to evict a tenant, there may be benefits to doing so. Here are some of the legal considerations specific to New Jersey and discuss why Kristen Johnson, Esq., stands out as the best choice for landlords in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ, seeking expert legal assistance in eviction matters.

Understanding New Jersey Eviction Laws

Evicting a tenant in New Jersey is subject to specific legal procedures and timelines that landlords must adhere to. New Jersey law provides tenants with strong protections, and any deviation from the prescribed eviction process can result in significant delays and even legal liabilities for landlords. As such, it is crucial to understand the intricacies of the state’s eviction laws before initiating the process.

When To Evict A Tenant

Non-payment of Rent

One of the most common reasons for eviction is when a tenant refuses to pay rent. If your tenant misses a payment, it’s crucial to act promptly and follow the legal process. You’ll need to provide written notice to the tenant, stating the amount owed and the deadline for payment.

In New Jersey, if a renter doesn’t pay, the landlord can evict them. The renter has to pay rent if they don’t want to be evicted. If the rent is paid before the eviction is complete, the eviction process generally stops.

Most of the time, rent is late if it is paid a day after it is due, though there may be a grace period if it’s written in the lease or rental agreement.

If the renter always pays rent late and the landlord accepts it, the landlord must give a 30-Day Notice to Pay before starting the eviction process. But if the owner has never let the rent be late before, they do not have to give any notice.

If the rent hasn’t been paid after 5 days, the landlord may charge late fees that’s no more than 5% of the rent, and the late fees have to be written into the lease terms.

See New Jersey Stat. Ann. § 2A:18-61.2  for more details.

Violation of Lease Terms

Another reason for eviction is a lease violation. Common lease violations include noise complaints, unauthorized pets, and property damage. Again, it’s essential to document and provide written notice to your tenant of the violation. If the tenant doesn’t remedy the situation, you can begin the eviction process.

In New Jersey, the grounds for eviction document on the website states:

“If the tenant continues to substantially violate or breach the reasonable covenants or agreements contained in the lease, after given written Notice to Cease violating or breaching those covenants or agreements and if the landlord has reserved a right of re-entry in the lease, the landlord may file a suit for eviction.
A Notice to Quit must be served on the tenant at least one month prior to filing the suit for eviction.

There is additional guidance within the law relating to situations involving public housing.

Other Reasons

In some cases, landlords may need to evict tenants for reasons unrelated to rent owed or lease violations. For example, landlords may need to reclaim their property to sell it or live in it themselves. In general, these types of evictions must be “for good cause.” This is an example of several reasons why it’s best to consult a landlord tenant attorney familiar with your state’s laws before pursuing an eviction of a tenant for reasons including non-payment of rent or lease violations.

The Legal Process

When evicting a tenant, it’s essential to follow the legal process. The legal process typically involves providing written notice to the tenant, filing for a Judgement for Possession with the court, and serving the tenant with the eviction papers.

Once you have gone through the legal process and the eviction has been granted, you can then take possession of the property. Keep in mind that you’re not allowed to remove the tenant’s personal belongings or change the locks until the court has ruled in your favor.

The Role of a Lawyer in the Eviction Process

When it comes time to begin eviction proceedings, hiring a New Jersey eviction lawyer can save you time, money and stress. A lawyer experienced with the eviction process can handle the legal work and ensure that the eviction is done in a timely and legal manner. They can also represent you in court if the eviction becomes contested. Furthermore, having a lawyer on your side can show the tenant that you are serious about the eviction, which might lead them to comply without having to go to court.

legally evict tenants in new jersey

Legal Requirements for Eviction in New Jersey

Evicting a tenant is never an easy process. New Jersey law can make it even more challenging for landlords who own rental property. In order to evict a tenant in the Garden State, landlords must strictly adhere to legal requirements. These requirements involve serving the tenant with a notice to quit, providing them with a specific amount of time to vacate the premises, and following the proper court procedures in the event that the tenant fails to comply.

It’s important to note that failure to follow any of these steps can result in serious consequences for landlords, including fines and even criminal charges. That’s why it’s crucial for those seeking to evict a tenant in New Jersey to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can guide them through the complex legal process and ensure that all necessary steps are taken.

How To Deal With Squatters

The idea of a stranger occupying your personal space without your consent can be quite unsettling. Squatters have been known to take up residence in homes that they do not own or rent, and if you’re a homeowner renting out your property, this can be a nightmare. In some cases, they may even change the locks or refuse to leave, making it hard for you to regain control of your space. So, what can you do?

It is important to understand the eviction laws in New Jersey regarding squatters. A squatter is someone who lives in a property or on a piece of land without the owner’s permission. When squatters meet certain requirements and argue their case in court, they may be able to legally own the land. This is called “adverse possession.” But New Jersey has strict rules about adverse possession that say a squatter must have lived on the property for at least 30 years.

This can change what constitutes illegal entry and disorderly conduct. It’s always better to know what you’re working with before starting an eviction lawsuit. From there, you can begin the process of evicting the squatters, either through legal action or with the help of law enforcement. While it may be a difficult and sometimes lengthy process, it’s important to stand your ground and take the necessary steps to protect your property.

Legal Representation and Documentation

Having an attorney represent you during the eviction process provides several advantages. An experienced lawyer can handle all communication with the tenant and their legal representation, reducing potential conflicts and emotional stress. Additionally, your attorney will compile and present all necessary evidence and documentation required to support your case in court, increasing the chances of a favorable judgment.

Why Choose Kristen Johnson, Esq. for Eviction Matters in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ?

Kristen Johnson, Esq., is a highly skilled and respected real estate attorney with extensive experience in handling eviction matters in New Jersey. Her in-depth knowledge of New Jersey eviction laws and court procedures ensures that the eviction process is navigated efficiently and effectively. Kristen’s proactive approach and attention to detail provide landlords with peace of mind, knowing that their legal rights are protected throughout the process.

As the Managing Partner of her law firm, Kristen Johnson, Esq., is committed to delivering exceptional value and personalized service to her clients. She understands the importance of swift and decisive action in eviction cases, and her track record speaks for itself. Whether it’s drafting the necessary eviction notices, representing clients in court, or negotiating settlements, Kristen Johnson, Esq., is the best choice for landlords seeking a reliable and skilled attorney in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ.

Final Thoughts About Eviction In New Jersey

Addressing the eviction process in New Jersey, or any jurisdiction for that matter, demands a comprehensive and potentially demanding endeavor. Whether the grounds for eviction arise from non-payment of rent, lease term violations, or handling squatters, it becomes imperative to acquaint oneself with the pertinent local laws and protocols, ensuring that actions align with both rights and responsibilities.

Engaging the expertise of Kristen Johnson, Esq., an experienced New Jersey real estate attorney, can prove invaluable in navigating these intricate legal waters. Irrespective of the circumstances, approaching the eviction process with patience, meticulousness, and an unwavering dedication to upholding the law is paramount.

One must also be mindful of providing proper notice to tenants during the eviction process, adhering to the requirements specified in the local regulations. Understanding and fulfilling the obligations of issuing proper notice ensures a legally sound and ethical eviction procedure.

In New Jersey, such legal matters often fall under the purview of the Department of Community Affairs. Thus, staying well-informed about their guidelines and directives can be instrumental in executing the eviction process smoothly and in compliance with the state’s regulations.

Remember, the eviction process can be a complex journey, but with professional guidance, due diligence, and adherence to the legal framework, landlords can effectively protect their rights and interests.

Call 732-477-4921 or Contact Us Now For a Consultation About NJ Eviction Law


  • Kristen Johnson, Esq

    With over two decades of legal experience, Kristen E. Johnson, Esq. has been serving the Jersey Shore community. As the owner and principal attorney of her NJ real estate law firm, Kristen specializes in residential and commercial real estate. A Monmouth County native, Kristen is deeply rooted in the community. She holds degrees from Drexel University ('00) and Villanova School of Law ('03). Her expertise spans various areas, including foreclosures, Condominium Law, Landlord-Tenant matters, and residential and commercial real estate. Kristen's commitment to the field extends to education, as she also operates the Ocean School of Real Estate as a licensed educator.