A common misconception for many new Landlords is that they can terminate a lease upon its expiration or for any other reason they chose.
However, New Jersey law is clear that a lease will continuously renew unless a Tenant is properly evicted for good cause.
In New Jersey, a residential Landlord can only evict his or her Tenant if he or she proves in Court one of the “good causes” set forth under the Anti-Eviction Act, specifically N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1.
Some of the reasons listed under the good cause statute include:
· being a disorderly tenant
· willful or grossly negligent damage to the property
· violation of rule
· violation of lease covenants
· habitual late payment of rent
· failure to pay rent after increase
· personal occupancy by Landlord
The Anti-Eviction Act requires that in all cases, except for non-payment, the Landlord must provide his or her Tenant with proper notice of the violation before filing for eviction.
In some cases, the Landlord must also give the Tenant notice to cease the improper conduct, allowing them the opportunity to correct the problem. For example, if a Tenant violates the Landlord’s rule of not placing garbage in a common area shared with other Tenants, the Landlord must first send the Tenant notice of the violation and give him or her a chance to stop inappropriately disposing of the garbage before the Landlord can file for eviction.
Failure to strictly comply with all of the requirements of the Anti-Eviction Act may result in a dismissal of a Landlord’s eviction action. For that reason, it is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with the Anti-Eviction Act and can properly advise you of the necessary steps to take before filing for eviction.
If you are in need of assistance regarding eviction, please contact our attorneys. We represent both Landlords and Tenants in eviction matters.