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What is a Notice to Quit?

New Jersey’s eviction laws spell out the exact reasons why a landlord can evict a tenant. For all the reasons, except when the tenant fails to pay rent, the law requires the landlord to give the tenant a Notice to Quit.

This notice signals the beginning of the eviction process for a tenant who has done something that triggered the landlord’s right to remove them from the premises.

Notice to Quit explained

The Notice to Quit must explain the exact reason for the eviction. It should go directly to the tenant. The landlord cannot begin the eviction process prior to providing this notice to the tenant. It allows the tenant the chance to leave on his or her own without a need for a legal eviction. If the tenant does not leave, the landlord can file with the court as soon as he or she serves the Notice to Quit.

Other notices

Sometimes, the landlord must give a warning notice prior to the Notice to Quit. The warning is called the Notice to Cease. It just gives the tenant a heads-up that something he or she is doing is against the lease and could result in an eviction. If the tenant does not stop the behavior, then the landlord can issue a Notice to Quit.

Nonpayment of rent notice

Eviction for the nonpayment of rent does not follow these rules because the state law provides exceptions and conditions for not paying rent that could mean the landlord cannot evict. For example, tenants with shutoff notices for utilities can use the rent money to pay them, and the landlord cannot hold the nonpayment against them. The notice required for nonpayment eviction also is longer than for other reasons.

Landlords should note they must be able to prove the reason for eviction to the court. And the reason must be one allowable by law.

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