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New Jersey Legal Blog

Key eviction law tips for New Jersey landlords

Many people in New Jersey consider investing in real estate but may be concerned about how to handle difficult or dangerous tenants in their income properties. In most cases, tenants also want to avoid an eviction, but landlords can help themselves prepare for problems by being aware of their rights and the law. There are particular reasons why people are allowed to evict tenants, and being conscious of the law can help people enjoy successful, profitable properties.

Landlords cannot evict tenants simply because their lease has expired. Under state law, the lease shifts to a month-to-month lease after that time. The landlord can deliver a written notice to quit the property at the end of a lease, which requires the tenants to leave. If the tenant fails to leave, the landlord is often entitled to double rent for this period. In addition, landlords can change the terms of the lease, including increasing the rent, and require the holdover tenants to agree. However, if a landlord wants to evict based on a failure to pay the new increased price, he or she should be able to show a judge that the increased rent reflects the market rate and profitability.

Effects of divorce on small business owners

Divorce may carry unique considerations for New Jersey business owners. This is especially true for entrepreneurs with small, closely held firms. In many cases, this type of business is both the largest marital asset and the greatest source of income for both families. Of course, the financial effects of divorce can significantly outweigh other changes that come with the end of a marriage. However, business owners may have specific concerns about the future viability of the company and how the firm will be handled.

Certainly, the business is a major issue to be addressed in the property division stage of the divorce. In some cases, people may worry that they will be forced into a permanent business partnership with a former spouse. However, there are other ways to reach a resolution that can leave everyone with a fair outcome. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, so the division of marital property may not be precisely in half; instead, it depends on several factors. However, business owners should plan to see some of the company's value transferred in a settlement.

Retirement, Social Security benefits and divorce

A divorce will not always affect a New Jersey spouse's Social Security benefits. If the marriage lasted more than 10 years, the individual might be eligible to draw on the former spouse's Social Security earnings at or near retirement. To collect, it is necessary to remain unmarried and to have a smaller benefit than that of the ex-spouse.

For those born in 1960 or after, full retirement age is 67. It is possible to start drawing benefits at age 62, but they will be reduced. If a former spouse has not yet begun collecting benefits, it is necessary to wait at least two years after the divorce to start getting them.

College students can face major consequences for drug convictions

College is a time of experimentation, often without carefully considering the potential repercussions for an action. Students can engage in a lot of risky behaviors, from cheating on exams to drinking before they turn 21, largely because they see many of their peers doing the same thing without consequence.

It is common for college students to assume that because their friends don't get caught, they won't either. However, a small fraction of college students who experiment with drugs and alcohol will wind up facing criminal consequences as a result, just like some students who cheat on tests also get caught.

Dealing with life and health insurance in divorce

Maintaining health and life insurance may be a concern for some people in New Jersey who are going through a divorce. A person who is carried on a spouse's employer-sponsored health insurance may need to look for another option after the marriage ends.

COBRA allows a person an additional three years of coverage on such a plan after a divorce, but it can be expensive. Some people may find a less costly and longer-term option thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

The downsides of buying far from the city

Those who live outside of a major city and its suburbs are generally said to live in the exurbs. In some cases, exurbs are literally nothing more than a collection of residential neighbors located far from grocery stores or other community resources. Therefore, it can be difficult for those who live outside of large New Jersey cities to sell their homes. A lack of buyers can lead to increased volatility in home prices.

Realtor.com collected data that illustrates the impact that the last recession had on homes in the exurbs compared to homes in urban markets. Homes in urban markets are worth 22% more than they were in 2007 while homes in exurb markets are only worth 7% more than they were in 2007. Furthermore, properties in the exurbs took longer to get back to their 2007 valuations compared to those in urban environments.

Younger people more likely to get a prenup

Millennials in New Jersey and throughout the country are requesting prenuptial agreements in increasing numbers. This is partially because people are getting married later than previous generations. The median age for a man getting married is 29.9 while the median age is 28.1 for women, and this means that individuals tend to have more assets that they want to protect.

Economic and political events that occurred during their lifetimes have also played a role in this trend. Most people who are between the ages of 22 and 37 lived through both the events of Sept. 11 and the Great Recession; the recession occurred while many in this group were in college or had started their careers. Another reason for the rise of the prenuptial agreement among younger people is that women have more earning power. The gender pay gap narrowed to 4.6 percent as of 2018 from 6.5 percent in 2011.

Deciding between mortgage assumption or refinancing in a divorce

New Jersey couples who are divorcing and who decide that one will get the home have three basic options for dealing with the mortgage. One of them, keeping the joint mortgage, may mean less paperwork, but it leaves the person who did not keep the home in a vulnerable position if the other person misses a mortgage payment. This could have a serious impact on the credit of both people.

Couples may prefer for the mortgage to be in one person's name only, and this means either refinancing or a mortgage assumption. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Many people prefer a mortgage assumption because it allows them to keep the same terms. It also means they do not have to pay certain fees associated with a refinance.

Do you want to fight for your home in your New Jersey divorce?

Divorce is different for everyone who goes through it, and many people have unique objectives and goals when ending their marriage and planning for a new future. For some people, retaining the family home becomes the most significant priority in the divorce.

There are a number of reasons why people become attached to the home they shared with their spouse. Perhaps it has been in their family for generations. Maybe there is simply fondness for the memories attached to the property. This is particularly common if you raise your children in the home. Some people even believe that the house is a winner-take-all asset in New Jersey divorces, so they want to have it for themselves.

Age plays a role in overall crime rates

New Jersey residents might be interested to learn that Americans between the ages of 26 and 35 were 3.6 times more likely to have been taken into custody compared to those over the age of 66. This was according to a study called the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which reviewed 35,000 individuals over a period of 50 years. Generally speaking, white men were less likely to be taken into custody than black men at a young age.

However, the number of white males who were taken into custody tripled during the study period. Researchers also mentioned that the rate at which males of either race were taken into custody tended to even out over time. If a person was taken into custody, it tended to have a negative impact on that person's ability to earn a living. Those who were taken into custody as a young person earned about $6,000 less annually.

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