The Notice Required to Terminate a Lease and Remove a Tenant
If you’re a landlord, a great concern is that you’ll need to evict a tenant for some reason. There’s good news and bad news. The good news—eviction rates tend to be pretty low. One study found that roughly one of every 20 tenants engages in actions that warrant eviction. The bad news—when you have to do it, it’s almost always messy.
In New Jersey, you must have a legal reason to initiate eviction proceedings against a residential tenant. Of course, if the lease has expired and you’ve given the tenant notice to vacate, that’s a legal reason. If, however, you seek to terminate the lease before its stated end date, you must have cause.
Common reasons for eviction include these:
- Non-payment of rent
- Participation in or commission of an illegal act on the premises
- Violation of the terms of the lease
Is Notice Required to Initiate an Eviction Proceeding?
Notice generally is required to instigate an eviction action in New Jersey, with one notable exception—if the tenant fails to pay rent in a timely manner, no notice is required. If the rent is late, the landlord may simply file the eviction action in court, effectively terminating the lease. However, the landlord must not have established a past pattern of consistently accepting late payments.
In some situations, the landlord needs to give the tenant only three days’ notice to vacate the premises. Typically, this occurs when there has been destruction of or damage to the leased property, assaults or threats to the landlord, disorderly conduct, or illegal drug activity in the apartment. The three-day notice does not include an opportunity for the tenant to remedy the situation. It merely notifies the tenant that the lease will be terminated and gives the tenant three days to clean out and vacate the apartment.
In other situations, a landlord must give a tenant 30 days’ notice to quit. This typically is used when rent payments are consistently late, or when the tenant has repeatedly violated the terms of the lease.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 to set up an appointment.