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What constitutes a “good cause” to evict a tenant?

After leasing your property, you discover that your tenant has done something you believe warrants eviction. To file for eviction, however, New Jersey law requires you to describe what the tenant has done and follow specific steps before you file for the eviction of your tenant.


Notices and filing for eviction

In New Jersey, landlords must first give specific notices to their tenants before beginning the eviction process with a court.

First, in some cases, a landlord serves a Notice to Cease to the tenant to act as a warning. A Notice to Cease details the action that a tenant commits that proves a cause for eviction. Landlords may use a Notice to Cease in court as evidence that he or she notified the tenants of their inappropriate behavior, and the tenants continued to engage in these activities.

Second, a landlord must serve a Notice to Quit to the tenant before filing a lawsuit to evict the tenant. A Notice to Quit requests that the tenant immediately leave the premises.

Legal grounds for eviction in New Jersey

The New Jersey Anti-Eviction Act was created to protect tenants from landlords that wanted to terminate their tenant’s lease without good reason. Therefore, to evict a tenant, landlords must have good reason for doing so.

According to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, 15 good reasons exist for you to evict your tenant. These reasons include:

  1. Failure to pay rent
  2. Disorderly conduct
  3. Damage to property
  4. Violation of the landlord’s rules
  5. Breach of agreements in the lease
  6. Failure to pay a rent increase
  7. Health and safety violation
  8. The landlord permanently retires the property
  9. Refusal to accept changes to the lease
  10. Tenant habitually pays rent late
  11. Tenancy based on employment
  12. Conviction of drug offense on the property
  13. Conviction of assaulting landlord or landlord’s family
  14. Criminal activity by the tenant
  15. Conviction of theft

Should you find yourself leasing property to a tenant who commits any activities you find eligible for eviction, you want to speak with an experienced attorney that can help you legally and quickly follow all steps to take back your property.



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