What You Need to Know about Eviction in New Jersey

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New Jersey landlords must give tenants a written notice before filing a landlord-tenant court lawsuit. Depending on the cause, landlords must give three to 30 days' written notice, and you may face an eviction suit if you fail to pay your rent.
Inflation, COVID-19, and higher costs of living have all caused an increase in evictions across the country and put many renters in the Garden State at risk for eviction. 
To help, Jerry, the super app that saves you money on car and renters insurance, has created a guide for eviction in New Jersey. In this, we’ll explain how eviction works, the requirements for landlords, and tips on protecting yourself from wrongful eviction. 
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New Jersey eviction 101: five ways you can be evicted

Looking at the reasons for eviction can be overwhelming. Technically, there are 17 good causes for eviction in New Jersey, but we’ll review the most common. Depending on the reason for eviction, your landlord could pursue legal action immediately or serve a notice to quit three to 30-days before filing a landlord-tenant complaint in court. 
The most common types of evictions in New Jersey are:
  • Failure to pay rent: If you fail to pay rent, a landlord can take immediate legal action. No written notice is required before filing an eviction lawsuit unless the tenant is in federally subsidized housing. If so, the landlord must provide a 14-day notice before filing a suit. However, you have three business days to pay the full amount due and avoid eviction, even if the landlord wins in court. 
  • Continuously late rent: If you continually pay rent late, a landlord can serve a notice to cease as a warning. If it continues, a landlord must send a 30-day notice. 
  • Disorderly conduct: The landlord must first serve the tenant a notice to cease. If the tenant continues being disorderly, the landlord must provide a three-day notice before filing. 
  • Damage or destruction to the property: Requires a three-day notice. 
  • Violation of the lease or landlord’s rules and regulations: Must provide the tenant with a notice to cease. If the tenant continues to violate the lease, the landlord can file for eviction. Requires 30 days' notice.
In New Jersey, a landlord must have good cause for eviction, and it must be in a written notice to the tenant unless you’ve failed to pay rent. If your landlord fails to provide written notice or the court determines the eviction is without good cause, your landlord cannot legally evict you or fail to renew your lease. 
Regardless of your cause of eviction, if your landlord has provided a three to 30-day written notice, they have the right to file an eviction lawsuit. If a warrant for removal is issued, only a Special Civil Part Officer can remove you or your property from the premises. 
Key Takeaway The only time a landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in New Jersey without written notice is for unpaid rent—otherwise, most good causes require a three to 30-day notice. 

A timeline of eviction in New Jersey

Even if your landlord can file an eviction lawsuit immediately, filing a complaint takes time. If a landlord has to serve you a written notice, it can take even longer. 
If you are on the verge of eviction in New Jersey, here’s how long the process normally takes:
StepHow long it typically takesWhat to expect
Written notice from landlord0-30 daysYour landlord must provide a written notice to quit. If you've failed to pay rent, no notice is required
Summons and Complaint3-30 daysYour landlord will serve you with a court summons after filing a lawsuit.
Hearing10-30 days after the summonsThe court will rule on the case based on the landlord’s information and your response. If you fail to appear, the judge may rule in favor of the landlord. If the landlord fails to appear, the case is dismissed
Eviction3 days after the hearingUnless you pay rent in full, obtain an order for orderly removal, or file a hardship stay, the landlord will be issued a warrant of removal. Only a Special Civil Part Officer has the right to evict a tenant, and you will have three business days to leave the property
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Evictions in New Jersey are complicated, and even if your landlord serves you with a written notice, you likely have a few months before a decision is finalized. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take action. It’s vital as a tenant that you know your rights and the steps of eviction to avoid it at all costs. 

How to resist eviction in New Jersey

Eviction can make you feel powerless, especially if you’ve fallen on hard times. But don’t forget that tenants have rights in New Jersey, too! If your landlord is trying to evict you, here’s what you can do:
  • Address the cause: One of the easiest ways to avoid eviction is by addressing the issues your landlord has. Borrow money, don’t have parties, pay your rent on time, or try any other way to address your landlord’s concerns to avoid eviction.
  • Know your rights as a tenant: Eviction proceedings can be a lengthy process, but you must know your rights. If your landlord is trying to evict you without good cause, the case could be dismissed. It’s also illegal for your landlord to turn off the utilities or change the locks. 
  • Argue habitability: If your landlord hasn’t maintained the property and you are withholding rent due to their inaction, you can use this as a defense. For example, if your landlord refuses to make repairs to furnished appliances or a heating or plumbing system.
  • Recognize discrimination: Renters in New Jersey have rights. If you feel the eviction is due to your race, sexual orientation, lawful income, familial status, and more, your eviction case could be dismissed. 
If you’re facing an eviction lawsuit, any of the above reasons are a valid defense. If you win the court case, you’ll avoid eviction, and your landlord may have to pay monetary damages. 

How to save money on New Jersey car and renters insurance

Struggling to afford your monthly expenses is stressful, and unpaid rent is one of the most common reasons for evictions. With the cost of living rising, it’s understandable everyone wants to save wherever they can. 
A great way to save on your car and renters insurance expenses is with Jerry. A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and helps to cancel your old policy. You can sign-up in less than 45 seconds and be on your way to major savings. 
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