New-Jersey-Eviction-process.jfif

New Jersey

Welcome to the legal pages for the state of New Jersey.

NJ-seal-bad-renters.jfif
Flag-evictions-new-jersey.png

Links to Legal Pages Based on State

Atlantic-city-tenant-blacklist.jpg
  • 2A: 18-53 Removal of tenant in certain cases; jurisdiction

  • 2A:18-54 Notices and summons; substituted service; service by posting

  • 2A:18-55 Discontinuance upon payment into court of rent in arrears; receipt

  • 2A:18-56 Proof of notice to quit prerequisite to judgment

  • 2A:18-57 Judgment for possession; warrant for removal; issuance

  • 2A:18-58 Execution of warrant; use of force

  • 2A:18-59 Review; landlord liable for unlawful proceedings

  • 2A:18-59.1 Terminally ill tenant

  • 2A:18-59.2 Inapplicability of act to hotel, motel or guesthouse rented to transient guest or seasonal tenant or to residential health care facility

  • 2A:18-60 Removal of proceedings into Law Division

  • 2A:18-61 Trail by jury in Law Division

  • 2A:18-61.1 Grounds for removal of tenants

  • 2A:18-61.1a Findings

  • 2A:18-61.1b Permanent retirement from residential use

  • 2A:18-61. 1c 5 year restriction

  • 2A:18-61.1d Maximum authorized rent

  • 2A:18-61.le Rights of former tenants

  • 2A:18-61.1f Local ordinances permitted

  • 2A-18-61.1g Relocation of displaced tenant; violations, penalty

  • 2A:18-61.1h Reimbursement to displaced tenant

  • 2A:18-61.2 Removal of residential tenants; required notice; contents; service

  • 2A:18-61.3 Causes for eviction or non-renewal of lease

  • 2A:18-61.3a Mobile home parks; restrictions on “for sale” signs; prohibition

  • 2A:18-61.4 Waiver of rights by provision in lease; unenforceability 2A:18-61.5 Severability

  • 2A:18-61.6 Owner liability for wrongful evictions

  • 2A:18-61.7 Definitions

  • 2A:18-61.8 Conversion of multiple dwelling into condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership; notice to and rights to tenants

  • 2A:18-61.9 Notice to tenant after master deed or agreement to establish cooperative

  • 2A:18-61.10 Removal of tenant to allow conversion to cooperative or condominium; moving expense compensation

  • 2A:18-61.11 Comparable housing; offer of rental; stay of eviction; alternative compensation; senior citizens and disabled protected tenancy period

  • 2A:18-61.12 Rules and regulations

  • 2A:18-61.16a Rent defined 

  • 2A:18-61.22 Short title

  • 2A:18-61.23 Legislative findings and declarations

  • 2A:18-61.24 Definitions

  • 2A:18-61.25 Protected tenancy status, conversion of dwelling unit of eligible senior citizen or disabled tenant

  • 2A:18-61.26 Administrative agency

  • 2A:18-61.27 Notice to tenants

  • 2A:18-61.28 Eligibility for protected tenancy status

  • 2A:18-61.29 Registration of conversion; approval after proof of notice of eligibility to tenants

  • 2A:18-61.30 Protected tenancy status; applicability after notice of eligibility and filing of conversion recording

  • 2A:18-61.31 Rent increase restrictions

  • 2A:18-61.32 Termination of protected tenancy

  • 2A:18-61.33 Termination upon purchase of unit by senior citizen or disabled tenant

  • 2A:18-61.34 Informing prospective purchaser of act; contract or agreement for sale; clause informing of application of act and acknowledgement by purchaser

  • 2A:18-61.35. Fee

  • 2A:18-61.36 Agreement by tenant to waive rights; deemed against public policy and unenforceable

  • 2A:18-61.37 Severability

  • 2A:18-61.38 Rules and regulations

  • 2A:18-61.39 Liberal construction of act

  • 2A:18-61.40 Short title 2A:18.61.41 Findings, declarations

  • 2A:18-61.42 Definitions

  • 2A:18-61.43 Maximum qualifying income, adjustment

  • 2A:18-61.44 Protected tenancy, qualification, duration

  • 2A:18-61.45 Designation of administrative agency

  • 2A:18-61.46 Notice, etc required of owner seeking to convert, notice to tenants

  • 2A:18-61.47 Determining tenants’ qualifications

  • 2A:18-61.48 Requisites for approval of registration of conversion

  • 2A:18-61.49 Applicability of protected tenancy

  • 2A:18-61.50 Termination of protected tenancy

  • 2A:18-61.51 Tenancy protection terminated by tenant purchase

  • 2A:18-61.52. Costs of conversion no basis for rent increases

  • 2A:18.61.53 Public offering statement; requisites

  • 2A:18-61.54 Municipal fees

  • 2A:18-61.55. Tenant waivers, unenforceable

  • 2A:18-61.56 Actions against qualified tenants, limitations

  • 2A:18-61.57 Removal for good cause

  • 2A:18-61.58 Severability

  • 2A:18-61.59 Rules, regulations

  • 2A:18-61.60 Tenant’s organization permitted to accept billing for utility 

  • 2A:18-61.61 Deduction of certain utility costs from rental payment

  • 2A:18-61.62 Issuance of “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency.”

  • 2A:18-61.63 Effect of issuance of “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency.”

  • 2A:18-61.64 Report of violation, investigation, penalties

  • 2A:18-61.65 Violations considered as consumer fraud

  • 2A:18-66 Judgment; order as to payment; stay of execution

  • 2A:18-67 Docketing small claims judgments

  • 2A:18.69 Costs

  • 2A:18-71. Costs on vacation judgment

  • 2A:18-72. Disposal of remaining personal property abandoned by tenant

  • 2A:18-73. Notice to tenant prior to disposition

  • 2A:18-74 Contents of notice

  • 2A:18-75 Storing abandoned property

  • 2A:18-76. Conditions under which property is considered abandoned

  • 2A:18-77. Tenant’s reimbursement for storage costs

  • 2A:18-78. Disposal of property, options

  • 2A:18-79. Immunity

  • 2A:18-80. Deductions from sale proceeds

  • 2A:18-81. Compliance with act constitutes complete defense

  • 2A:18-82 Noncompliance with act; tenants recovery

  • 2A:18-83 Applicability of act

  • 2A:18-84 Nonapplicability to motor vehicles

trenton-nj-bad-tenants.webp
  • Atlantic County, NJ

  • Bergen County, NJ

  • Burlington County, NJ

  • Camden County, NJ

  • Cape May County, NJ

  • Cumberland County, NJ

  • Essex County, NJ

  • Gloucester County, NJ

  • Hudson County, NJ

  • Hunterdon County, NJ

  • Mercer County, NJ

  • Middlesex County, NJ

  • Monmouth County, NJ

  • Morris County, NJ

  • Ocean County, NJ

  • Passaic County, NJ

  • Salem County, NJ

  • Somerset County, NJ

  • Sussex County, NJ

  • Union County, NJ

  • Warren County, NJ

  • Absecon, NJ

  • Allamuchy, NJ

  • Allendale, NJ

  • Allenhurst, NJ

  • Allentown, NJ

  • Allenwood, NJ

  • Alloway, NJ

  • Alpine, NJ

  • Andover, NJ

  • Annandale, NJ

  • Asbury Park, NJ

  • Atlantic City, NJ

  • Atlantic Highlands, NJ

  • Audubon, NJ

  • Avalon, NJ

  • Avenel, NJ

  • Avon By The Sea, NJ

  • Barnegat Light, NJ

  • Barnegat, NJ

  • Barrington, NJ

  • Bayonne, NJ

  • Beach Haven, NJ

  • Beachwood, NJ

  • Belford, NJ

  • Belleville, NJ

  • Bellmawr, NJ

  • Belmar, NJ

  • Belvidere, NJ

  • Bergenfield, NJ

  • Berkeley Heights, NJ

  • Berlin, NJ

  • Bernardsville, NJ

  • Beverly, NJ

  • Blackwood, NJ

  • Bloomfield, NJ

  • Bloomingdale, NJ

  • Bloomsbury, NJ

  • Bogota, NJ

  • Boonton, NJ

  • Bordentown, NJ

  • Bound Brook, NJ

  • Bradley Beach, NJ

  • Branchville, NJ

  • Bridgeton, NJ

  • Brielle, NJ

  • Brigantine, NJ

  • Browns Mills, NJ

  • Budd Lake, NJ

  • Buena, NJ

  • Burlington, NJ

  • Butler, NJ

  • Caldwell, NJ

  • Califon, NJ

  • Camden, NJ

  • Cape May Court House, NJ

  • Cape May Point, NJ

  • Cape May, NJ

  • Carlstadt, NJ

  • Carteret, NJ

  • Cedar Grove, NJ

  • Cedarville, NJ

  • Chatham, NJ

  • Cherry Hill, NJ

  • Chester, NJ

  • Clark, NJ

  • Clayton, NJ

  • Clementon, NJ

  • Cliffside Park, NJ

  • Cliffwood, NJ

  • Clifton, NJ

  • Clinton, NJ

  • Closter, NJ

  • Collingswood, NJ

  • Colonia, NJ

  • Cranbury, NJ

  • Cranford, NJ

  • Cresskill, NJ

  • Dayton, NJ

  • Deal, NJ

  • Demarest, NJ

  • Dover, NJ

  • Dumont, NJ

  • Dunellen, NJ

  • East Brunswick, NJ

  • East Orange, NJ

  • East Rutherford, NJ

  • Eatontown, NJ

  • Edgewater, NJ

  • Edison, NJ

  • Egg Harbor City, NJ

  • Elizabeth, NJ

  • Elmer, NJ

  • Elmwood Park, NJ

  • Elwood, NJ

  • Emerson, NJ

  • Englewood Cliffs, NJ

  • Englewood, NJ

  • Englishtown, NJ

  • Essex Fells, NJ

  • Estell Manor, NJ

  • Fair Haven, NJ

  • Fair Lawn, NJ

  • Fairfield, NJ

  • Fairton, NJ

  • Fairview, NJ

  • Fanwood, NJ

  • Far Hills, NJ

  • Farmingdale, NJ

  • Flemington, NJ

  • Florence, NJ

  • Florham Park, NJ

  • Fords, NJ

  • Forked River, NJ

  • Fort Lee, NJ

  • Franklin Lakes, NJ

  • Franklin, NJ

  • Freehold, NJ

  • Frenchtown, NJ

  • Garfield, NJ

  • Garwood, NJ

  • Gibbsboro, NJ

  • Gibbstown, NJ

  • Glassboro, NJ

  • Glen Gardner, NJ

  • Glen Ridge, NJ

  • Glen Rock, NJ

  • Glendora, NJ

  • Gloucester City, NJ

  • Great Meadows, NJ

  • Hackensack, NJ

  • Hackettstown, NJ

  • Haddon Heights, NJ

  • Haddonfield, NJ

  • Haledon, NJ

  • Hamburg, NJ

  • Hammonton, NJ

  • Hampton, NJ

  • Harrington Park, NJ

  • Harrison, NJ

  • Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

  • Haworth, NJ

  • Hawthorne, NJ

  • Helmetta, NJ

  • High Bridge, NJ

  • Highland Lakes, NJ

  • Highland Park, NJ

  • Highlands, NJ

  • Hightstown, NJ

  • Hillsdale, NJ

  • Hillside, NJ

  • Ho Ho Kus, NJ

  • Hoboken, NJ

  • Hopewell, NJ

  • Irvington, NJ

  • Iselin, NJ

  • Island Heights, NJ

  • Jersey City, NJ

  • Keansburg, NJ

  • Kearny, NJ

  • Kendall Park, NJ

  • Kenilworth, NJ

  • Keyport, NJ

  • Kingston, NJ

  • Lakehurst, NJ

  • Lakewood, NJ

  • Lambertville, NJ

  • Lavallette, NJ

  • Lebanon, NJ

  • Leonardo, NJ

  • Leonia, NJ

  • Lincoln Park, NJ

  • Lincroft, NJ

  • Linden, NJ

  • Linwood, NJ

  • Little Falls, NJ

  • Little Ferry, NJ

  • Little Silver, NJ

  • Livingston, NJ

  • Lodi, NJ

  • Long Branch, NJ

  • Long Valley, NJ

  • Longport, NJ

  • Lyndhurst, NJ

  • Madison, NJ

  • Magnolia, NJ

  • Manahawkin, NJ

  • Manasquan, NJ

  • Mantoloking, NJ

  • Manville, NJ

  • Maplewood, NJ

  • Margate City, NJ

  • Marlton, NJ

  • Matawan, NJ

  • Mays Landing, NJ

  • Maywood, NJ

  • Medford, NJ

  • Mendham, NJ

  • Merchantville, NJ

  • Metuchen, NJ

  • Middlesex, NJ

  • Midland Park, NJ

  • Milford, NJ

  • Millburn, NJ

  • Milltown, NJ

  • Millville, NJ

  • Monmouth Beach, NJ

  • Monmouth Junction, NJ

  • Montclair, NJ

  • Montvale, NJ

  • Moonachie, NJ

  • Moorestown, NJ

  • Morganville, NJ

  • Morris Plains, NJ

  • Morristown, NJ

  • Mount Arlington, NJ

  • Mount Ephraim, NJ

  • Mountain Lakes, NJ

  • Mountainside, NJ

  • Mullica Hill, NJ

  • National Park, NJ

  • Navesink, NJ

  • Neptune, NJ

  • Netcong, NJ

  • New Brunswick, NJ

  • New Egypt, NJ

  • New Milford, NJ

  • New Providence, NJ

  • Newark, NJ

  • Newfield, NJ

  • Newton, NJ

  • North Arlington, NJ

  • North Brunswick, NJ

  • Northfield, NJ

  • Northvale, NJ

  • Norwood, NJ

  • Nutley, NJ

  • Oakhurst, NJ

  • Oakland, NJ

  • Oaklyn, NJ

  • Ocean City, NJ

  • Ocean Gate, NJ

  • Ocean Grove, NJ

  • Oceanport, NJ

  • Ogdensburg, NJ

  • Old Bridge, NJ

  • Oradell, NJ

  • Orange, NJ

  • Oxford, NJ

  • Palisades Park, NJ

  • Palmyra, NJ

  • Paramus, NJ

  • Park Ridge, NJ

  • Passaic, NJ

  • Paterson, NJ

  • Paulsboro, NJ

  • Peapack, NJ

  • Pemberton, NJ

  • Pennington, NJ

  • Penns Grove, NJ

  • Pennsauken, NJ

  • Pennsville, NJ

  • Perth Amboy, NJ

  • Phillipsburg, NJ

  • Pine Beach, NJ

  • Pitman, NJ

  • Plainfield, NJ

  • Plainsboro, NJ

  • Pleasantville, NJ

  • Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

  • Pomona, NJ

  • Pompton Lakes, NJ

  • Port Monmouth, NJ

  • Port Norris, NJ

  • Port Reading, NJ

  • Port Republic, NJ

  • Princeton Junction, NJ

  • Princeton, NJ

  • Rahway, NJ

  • Ramsey, NJ

  • Raritan, NJ

  • Red Bank, NJ

  • Ridgefield Park, NJ

  • Ridgefield, NJ

  • Ridgewood, NJ

  • Ringwood, NJ

  • Rio Grande, NJ

  • River Edge, NJ

  • Riverdale, NJ

  • Riverton, NJ

  • Rochelle Park, NJ

  • Rockaway, NJ

  • Rocky Hill, NJ

  • Roosevelt, NJ

  • Roseland, NJ

  • Roselle Park, NJ

  • Roselle, NJ

  • Rosenhayn, NJ

  • Rumson, NJ

  • Runnemede, NJ

  • Rutherford, NJ

  • Saddle Brook, NJ

  • Saddle River, NJ

  • Salem, NJ

  • Sayreville, NJ

  • Scotch Plains, NJ

  • Sea Girt, NJ

  • Sea Isle City, NJ

  • Seaside Heights, NJ

  • Seaside Park, NJ

  • Secaucus, NJ

  • Sewaren, NJ

  • Shiloh, NJ

  • Shrewsbury, NJ

  • Somerdale, NJ

  • Somers Point, NJ

  • Somerset, NJ

  • Somerville, NJ

  • South Amboy, NJ

  • South Bound Brook, NJ

  • South Orange, NJ

  • South Plainfield, NJ

  • South River, NJ

  • Spotswood, NJ

  • Spring Lake, NJ

  • Springfield, NJ

  • Stanhope, NJ

  • Stockton, NJ

  • Stone Harbor, NJ

  • Stratford, NJ

  • Strathmere, NJ

  • Succasunna, NJ

  • Summit, NJ

  • Sussex, NJ

  • Swedesboro, NJ

  • Teaneck, NJ

  • Tenafly, NJ

  • Toms River, NJ

  • Totowa, NJ

  • Trenton, NJ

  • Tuckerton, NJ

  • Union City, NJ

  • Union, NJ

  • Ventnor City, NJ

  • Vernon, NJ

  • Verona, NJ

  • Villas, NJ

  • Vineland, NJ

  • Waldwick, NJ

  • Wallington, NJ

  • Wanaque, NJ

  • Waretown, NJ

  • Washington, NJ

  • Watchung, NJ

  • Wayne, NJ

  • Wenonah, NJ

  • West Long Branch, NJ

  • West Milford, NJ

  • West New York, NJ

  • West Orange, NJ

  • Westfield, NJ

  • Westville, NJ

  • Westwood, NJ

  • Wharton, NJ

  • Whitehouse Station, NJ

  • Whitesboro, NJ

  • Wildwood, NJ

  • Williamstown, NJ

  • Wood Ridge, NJ

  • Woodbine, NJ

  • Woodbridge, NJ

  • Woodbury Heights, NJ

  • Woodbury, NJ

  • Woodcliff Lake, NJ

  • Woodstown, NJ

  • Wrightstown, NJ

  • Wyckoff, NJ

  • Hopatcong, NJ

NJ-tenant-screening-service.webp
  • Abandonment 

    A landlord may consider rental property as abandoned by the tenant once rent has not been paid for a set time along with visual evidence of the tenant’s disappearance such as the accumulation of unopened mail, unkempt premises, or statements from neighbors. Usually, the landlord must make a good faith effort to locate the tenant for a reasonable time, usually 30 days, before reclaiming the property and disposing of or selling any of the tenant’s unclaimed possessions. 

  • Assignment of Rent 

    A clause found in trust deeds whereby rent is included as addtional security to the real property described in a trust deed. The clause transfers to the lender the right to collect rental income from the income-producing property if there is a default on the note or other secured obligation that is held by the beneficiary or lender. 

  • Complaint in Unlawful Detainer 

    A formal lawsuit used by a landlord after having given appropriate written notice to a tenant to vacate leased property within a set time based on the tenant’s breach of a material provision of the lease or by nonpayment of rent. It is typically a summary proceeding where the tenant has a shortened period to file a written answer or response to the lawsuit and to appear in court for an eviction hearing within a short period after service of the action or the filing of a response by the tenant. 

  • Contract for Deed 

    Also referred to as a land contract or installment land contract, it is a contract for the sale of real property whereby the seller finances the transaction instead of a third party lender. The seller retains legal title to the property until the contract is satisfied and can more easily cancel the contract and repossess the property should the buyer fail to make the required payments or not fulfill other obligations without the need for foreclosure action or judicial action. 

  • Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment 

    An implied covenant in every residential lease agreement that a tenant has the right to undisturbed use of the rental property including excluding others from the premises, to peace and quiet, and to a safe and clean unit along with essential services such as hot water, heat, plumbing and electricity. A breach of this convenant by a landlord may entitle the tenant to withhold rent until the conditon is remedied or to vacate the property and terminate the lease. 

  • Default Judgment 

    A court issued judgment in favor of the landlord in cases where a tenant fails to respond to a summons and complaint for unlawful detainer or other eviction action, or where the tenant fails to appear at an eviction hearing, and which allows the landlord to request an order that the tenant vacate the premises. A tenant also may receive a default judgment if the landlord fails to appear at the hearing. 

  • Demurrer 

    A legal pleading used by tenants in some eviction cases wherein a party may agree with the underlying facts of a lawsuit but objects to certain allegations or counts in a complaint by arguing that it lacks legal sufficiency, validity or does not contain enough facts to support the opposing party’s cause of action. If sustained by the court, most courts will allow the opposing party to attempt to amend its complaint to cure the deficiency. 

  • Discriminatory Eviction 

    An unlawful eviction based upon a person’s protected status, which includes race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preference, pregnancy, marital status, children or disability. 

  • Eviction 

    A legal or judicial process by which a landlord or landowner forces a tenant to vacate the leased property and terminate the rental agreement for failure to pay rent, to follow certain terms of the lease or who has stayed beyond the expiration of the lease term. 

  • Eviction Notice 

    A written statement that must be properly served or delivered to a tenant that contains certain language required by that jurisdiction, typically including the landlord’s declaration that the tenant has breached a specific material provision of the lease, has failed to pay a specified amount of rent on time, or committed some other substantial breach of the landlord/tenant relationship, and that the tenant must either vacate by a certain date or remedy the breach before a set date or the lease agreement will terminate. It must also state that legal proceedings will commence to expel the tenant from the leased property. 

  • Fair Housing Act 

    The Fair Housing Act is part of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and was designed to eliminate bias and discrimination in renting and in home sales on the basis of a person’s personal characteristics including race, religion, creed, national origin, gender, family status or disability. Suspected violations are reported to fair housing councils in a local area, a state’s department of fair employment and housing or to a private attorney for civil remedies. 

  • Forcible Entry 

    Entry by a landlord upon leased property without the consent of the occupier or tenant. It also refers to a tenant who remains on the property after termination of the lease or after receiving written demand of possession by the landlord. 

  • Forfeiture 

    A concept whereby a landlord may claim that a tenant has forfeited his or her rights under a rental agreement because of nonpayment of rent, violation of a material provison in the lease, or by committing criminal acts on the premises. It is also a concept in land contract cases where the seller declares the buyer to have forfeited the contract if the obligations of the contract are not fulfilled or has engaged in conduct that violates the contract. 

  • Holdover 

    A holdover is a tenant who has remained on leased property after expiration of the rental term, who has used the premises for illegal activity or who has violated a provision of the lease other than nonpayment of rent. Some states use holdover petitions to evict a tenant. 

  • Landlord 

    A person or entity that leases or rents property to another person or organization and is referred to as a lessor. A landlord has certain obligations to the tenant either through a written rental agreement or which are implied or specified by state law. 

  • Lease 

    A written or implied contract with a certain duration that allows a lessee to use or occupy property subject to its terms. 

  • Lease Option 

    A contract wherein the buyer pays the seller of real property money to secure an option to purchase the property at a later time, usually at an agreed future price, and to lease the property for a set rental amount over a predetermined time. The buyer is not obligated to buy the property during the option period and no other person may buy it until the option expires. 

  • Leasehold 

    A form of temporary right to property acquired under a lease or rental agreement for a set time at a certain price or rent. A leasehold is considered personal property. 

  • Low Income Tax Credit Properties 

    An affordable housing program also known as LIHTC for low income renters that permits investors to take a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction or credits pursuant Section 42 of the tax code and which currently accounts for the majority of affordable rental housing in the US. Most tax credit projects are able to qualify for government subsidies at below market interest rates. 

  • Nuisance 

    Any conduct or activity by a tenant that usually must be egregious in nature that materially affects the health or safety of other tenants or other people in the community. This could include unhealthy habits leading to infestations of vermin or insects, foul odors, chronic excessive noise or other conduct that interferes with another person’s right to quiet enjoyment of their property. 

  • Retaliatory Eviction 

    An unlawful eviction based on a tenant’s complaining to the landlord or to a governmental agency, or for participating in or joining a tenant’s union. 

  • Section 8 Housing 

    A federal housing program that provides rental subsidies to qualified, low-income renters and homeowners who must demonstrate that their income is below 50 percent of the applicant’s area median income. A Section 8 housing voucher may be used in any housing authority in the US, regardless of where the recipient received it. 

  • Self-Eviction 

    Unlawful activities or conduct by a landlord or the landlord’s representatives that are designed to forcibly evict or cause a tenant to vacate the leased property without using the judicial process. This includes shutting off the utilities, denying the tenant access to the property, threatening the tenant or creating conditons that make the property unfit to live in. 

  • Sublease 

    A rental agreement between the tenant or lessee and a third party that allows that party, called the sublessee, to use the lessee’s rental unit or property for a set time and who is obligated to the lessee. A lessee is still responsible for paying rent to the lessor or landlord for the duration of the underlying lease term. 

  • Tenancy 

    The period of a tenant’s right to possess and use the property of another under a lease and usually upon payment of rent or the performance of services. 

  • Tenant 

    A person or entity that leases property from another and who is referred to as a lessee, who by paying rent has rights of possession and limited use of the property for a set time, usually pursuant to a written lease or oral agreement. A tenant has certain obligations to the landlord to abide by the terms of the lease. 

  • Trade Fixtures 

    An item or piece of equipment used by a tenant in his or her trade or business that may be removed from the leased business property at the expiration of the lease term. Such fixtures may ordinarily be considered part of the real property and not removeable if not for their business or trade status. 

  • Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act 

    A model code or legislative act that addresses residential landlord and tenant interactions and which has been adopted with many variations by most states. The act was designed to introduce more fairness and uniformity in landlord/tenant laws and to specify the statutory obligations of tenants and landlords.

 

  • Warranty of Habitability 

    An implied obligation by the landlord in every rental agreement to provide and maintain an apartment or unit in a safe and habitable condition. This includes providing running water, electricity, heat and a structurally sound premises. The landlord’s failure to provide these services or essentials may permit a tenant to unilaterally terminate a lease, pay reduced rent, make self-repairs and deduct the costs from the rent or withhold the entire rent until the conditions are remedied. 

  • Writ of Possession 

    A court order granted after an eviction hearing or default whereby the landlord is granted possession of rental property and which advises the tenant to vacate the leased property by a certain date or be subject to forcible removal by the sheriff. A writ is served on the tenant by the sheriff or authorized law enforcement personnel. 

NJ-Passaic-tenant-landlord-dispute.webp

Notice for Termination With Cause

To terminate a tenancy early in New Jersey, a landlord must have cause, or a legal reason. The most common reasons for a landlord to end a tenancy early are when the tenant fails to pay rent, violates the lease or rental agreement, or commits an illegal act on the premises. In most of these cases, the landlord must provide the tenant with notice. The type of notice required (or not required) will depend on the reason for the termination.

  • No notice necessary: The landlord is not required to give the tenant notice if evicting the tenant for failure to pay rent, as long as the landlord does not habitually accept late rent from the tenant. If the tenant fails to pay rent when it is due, the landlord can go directly to court and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant, thus ending the tenancy (see New Jersey Stat. Ann. § 2A:18-61.2).

  • Three-Day Notice to Quit: In certain situations, the landlord can give the tenant a three-day notice to quit. The tenant does not have the right to correct any violations or behavior. The three-day notice must inform the tenant that because of the tenant's specified behavior, the landlord will terminate the lease or rental agreement and begin eviction proceedings against the tenant at the end of three days. The landlord can give the tenant a three-day notice to quit in the following situations:

    • disorderly conduct

    • destruction of the landlord's property

    • conviction for use, possession, or manufacture of an illegal drug, or

    • assaults or threats against the landlord.

 

For a more complete list, see New Jersey Stat. Ann. § § 2A:18-53(c) and 2A:18-61.2(a).

  • Thirty-Day Notice to Quit: The landlord can give the tenant a 30-day notice to quit if the tenant continues to violate the lease or rental agreement, despite repeated warnings, or if the tenant habitually pays rent late. The 30-day notice must inform the tenant that because the tenant either violated the lease or rental agreement or habitually paid rent late, then the landlord will terminate the rental agreement at the end of 30 days and file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant (see New Jersey Stat. Ann. § § 2A:18-61.1 and 2A:18-61.2(b)).

Notice for Termination Without Cause

If a landlord does not have a legal reason to evict a tenant, then the landlord must wait until the end of the tenancy before expecting the tenant to move. However, depending on the type of tenancy, the landlord may still need to provide the tenant with a written notice to move.

Month-to-Month Tenancy

If the landlord wishes to end a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant a written one-month notice. This notice must state that the tenancy will end at the end of the month, and the tenant must move out of the rental unit by that time. At the end of the month, if the tenant has not moved out of the rental unit, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant on the grounds that the tenant is a holdover tenant (see New Jersey Stat. Ann. § 2A:18-56(b)). New Jersey Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy has more information.

Fixed-Term Lease

If the tenant has a fixed-term lease or rental agreement, such as for one year or six months, then the landlord does not need to give the tenant any kind of notice to move, unless the terms of the lease specifically require it. The landlord can expect the tenant to move by the end of the lease term. If the tenant does not move out by the end of the lease term, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant.

Tenant Eviction Defenses

Even though a landlord may feel that an eviction is justified, a tenant may still decide to fight the eviction. This could delay the eviction and increase the costs of the lawsuit. The tenant could have several valid defenses against the eviction, including the landlord failing to follow proper eviction procedures or the landlord discriminating against the tenant.Tenant Defenses to Evictions in New Jersey has more information.

Removal of the Tenant

The only way a landlord can remove a tenant from a rental unit is by winning an eviction lawsuit. Even after winning the lawsuit, the landlord is not the one who will actually remove the tenant. This is done by a law enforcement officer. It is illegal for a landlord to force a tenant to move out of a rental unit, and the tenant can sue the landlord who tries. Illegal Eviction Procedures in New Jersey has more information on illegal evictions.

The landlord may find that the tenant has left personal property at the rental unit after the tenant has moved out. Before disposing of the property, the landlord must first notify the tenant of the property. To do this, the landlord must send the tenant notice through the mail (either certified mail or receipted first class) informing the tenant that the tenant has 33 days to claim the property or the landlord will dispose of it. If the tenant does not claim the property during the appropriate time frame, then the landlord can either sell the property or dispose of it. The landlord can also charge the tenant for the storage costs of the property during this time (see New Jersey Stat. Ann. § § 2A:18-72 through 2A:18-84).

Rationale for the Rules

Landlords must carefully follow all the rules and procedures required by New Jersey law when evicting a tenant; otherwise, the eviction may not be valid. Although these rules and procedures may seem burdensome to the landlord, they are there for a reason. Evictions often occur very quickly, and the end result is serious: the tenant has lost a place to live. The rules help ensure the eviction is justified and that the tenant has enough time to find a new home.

Long-beach-how-to-evict.jpeg

2A:18-61.27. Notice to tenants  

 

The owner of any building or structure who, after the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act, seeks to convert any premises, shall, prior to his filing of the application for registration of conversion with the Department of Community Affairs, notify the administrative agency or officer responsible for administering this amendatory and supplementary act of his intention to so file.  The owner shall supply the agency or officer with a list of every tenant residing in the premises, with stamped envelopes addressed to each tenant and with sufficient copies of the notice to tenants and application form for protected tenancy status.  Within 10 days thereafter, the administrative agency or officer shall notify each residential tenant in writing of the owner's intention and of the applicability of the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act and shall provide him with a written application form.  The agency's or officer's notice shall be substantially in the following form:   

 

“NOTICE”

jersey-city-landlord.webp

What does Evicted mean?

If you have ever been evicted, meaning that a landlord took over possession of where you had been living, you may be surprised to learn that a lot more than that actually gets included in the eviction definition. Read on to learn the full meaning of eviction and what it means for you when facing one, either presently or after the fact.

So, what does Evicted mean? Let’s start with the Legal Dictionary’s definition:

The most basic way to describe eviction is “Dispossession of a tenant by a landlord. An expulsion by the assertion of a paramount title or by process of law. A physical expulsion is not always necessary; any disturbance in or deprivation or loss of possession by the tenant is sufficient to constitute eviction.”

What this means in lay terms is that “eviction” happens when the owner (or a person with another long-term right, such as a master lease) either:

(a) physically removes a tenant and their belongings,

(b) changes the locks, or

(c) uses other means to deny the tenant full use of the property they’d been occupying.

The Legal Dictionary offers an alternative definition that helps explain more about the circumstances that fit the definition of eviction:

“Depriving a person of the possession of his lands or dwelling.” Technically, the dispossession must be by a judgment of law; otherwise, it is considered an “ouster.” However, in modern usage “eviction” is commonly applied to dispossession in any manner. And not every eviction is a legal one.

This is where the terminology can get a little confusing. As you can see from the examples below, not every “eviction” is the result of a legal judgment where a court has granted the landlord the right to retake possession for lawful reasons, such as non-payment of rent.

Some kinds of evictions may be considered unlawful actions by the landlord, and the tenant may then turn the tables. Under some circumstances they may have the right to bring an Unlawful Eviction action against the landlord, rather than the other way around, as might happen under any of the scenarios described below.

Eviction may be total or partial.

  • Total eviction takes place when the possessor is wholly deprived of his rights in the premises.

  • Partial eviction takes place when the possessor is deprived of only a portion of them; as, if a third person comes in and ejects him from the possession of half his land, or establishes a right to some easement (right of way) over it, by a title which they claim to have held first.

A partial eviction may be actual or constructive.

  • Actual eviction is where the tenant and their possessions are physically removed or barred from the property.

  • Constructive eviction is “wrongful interference” that seriously impairs the enjoyment of the premises. For example, in one Massachusetts case the erection by the landlord of a permanent structure, which rendered two rooms in the rented house unfit for use, was held to be a constructive eviction.

However, remember that where an eviction happens AFTER a landlord has gone through a legal eviction process, and obtained a court judgment against the tenant, it is always a lawful eviction — and this kind of legal judgment will show up in a Public Records search during many kinds of background checks.

It often happens that the landlord has a verifiable, valid reason to oust the tenant, such as breaking key terms of the lease, late or non-payment of rent, etc., and this may lead them to pursue a court order for the eviction.

Landlords are required follow a certain process before they can legally enforce a tenant’s physical removal from the premises.

What is included in the eviction process?

State laws set out very detailed requirements to end a tenancy. Different types of termination notices are required for different types of situations, and each state has its own procedures as to how termination notices and eviction papers must be written and delivered (“served”).

A landlord can’t begin an eviction lawsuit without first legally terminating the tenancy. This means giving the tenant written notice, as specified in the state’s termination statute. If the tenant doesn’t move (or reform — for example, by paying the rent or finding a new home for the dog), the landlord may file a lawsuit to evict. (Technically, this is called an unlawful detainer, or UD, lawsuit.)

Step One: The Eviction Letter, or Eviction Notice

Although terminology varies somewhat from state to state, there are three basic types of eviction notices for cited reasons due to tenant misbehavior:

  • Pay Rent or Quit Notices are typically used when the tenant has not paid the rent. They give the tenant a few days (three to five in most states) to pay the rent or move out (“quit”).

  • Cure or Quit Notices are typically given after a tenant violates a term or condition of the lease or rental agreement, such as a no-pets clause or the requirement to refrain from making excessive noise. Usually, the tenant has a set amount of time in which to correct, or “cure,” the violation. A tenant who fails to do so must move or face the possibility of an eviction lawsuit.

  • Unconditional Quit Notices are the harshest of all. They order the tenant to vacate the premises with no chance to pay the rent or correct a lease or rental agreement violation. In most states, unconditional quit notices are allowed only when the tenant has:

    • repeatedly violated a significant lease or rental agreement clause

    • been late with the rent on more than one occasion

    • seriously damaged the premises, or

    • engaged in serious illegal activity, such as drug dealing on the premises.

However, in some states, landlords may use Unconditional Quit Notices for transgressions that would require Pay or Quit Notices or Cure or Quit Notices in other, more tenant-friendly states. In these strict states, landlords may extend second chances if they wish, but no law requires them to do so.

Step Two: Taking the Tenant to Court

 

Even after receiving notice, some tenants won’t leave or fix the lease or rental agreement violation. If the landlord still wants the tenant to leave, they must begin an Unlawful Detainer lawsuit by properly serving the tenant with a court summons and complaint for eviction.

If the landlord wins the case they receive a written court order for the eviction, and usually within 30-60 days the judgment is entered on your public record. This record is then view-able by future landlords, most often as part of the official credit report they run on prospective tenants. It can also diminish your credit score by several hundred points.

Month-to-Month Tenancies: Notice for Termination Without Cause

Landlords may usually use a 30-Day or 60-Day Notice to Vacate to end a month-to-month tenancy when the tenant has not done anything wrong. Many rent control cities, however, do not allow this; they require the landlord to prove a legally recognized reason for eviction (“just cause”) of tenants. Tenants facing such evictions should check with their City’s office that handles housing policy about how and whether rent control works in your city.

How to Stop Eviction

If the tenant decides to mount a defense, it may add weeks — even months — to the process. A tenant can point to mistakes in the notice or the eviction complaint, or improper service (delivery) of either, in an attempt to delay or dismiss the case. If the tenant has complained to the landlord that the rental unit is uninhabitable (overrun with insects, broken plumbing, black mold issues, or essential things like that which affect health or basic usability) and it looks like retaliation, this shifting of blame can sometimes sway a court in the tenant’s favor.

Some Eviction Prevention Tips

As noted above, if there are issues of habitability with the premises, the tenant should be sure to keep a written record of their communications about those with the landlord. If there have been other sources of friction, keep notes about those and how they were handled.

Check with your city about rent control or other ordinances designed to protect tenants from landlord violations.

Newark-NJ-evictions.jpg
New-Jersey-State-Capital-eviction-renters.jpg

2A:18-53.    Removal of tenant in certain cases; jurisdiction  

 Except for residential lessees and tenants included in section 2 of this act, any lessee or tenant at will or at sufferance, or for a part of a year, or for one or more years, of any houses, buildings, lands or tenements, and the assigns, under tenants or legal representatives of such tenant or lessee, may be removed from such premises by the Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part in an action in the following cases:  

  1. Where such person holds over and continues in possession of all or any part of the demised premises after the expiration of his term, and after demand made and written notice given by the landlord or his agent, for delivery of possession thereof. The notice shall be served either personally upon the tenant or such person in possession by giving him a copy thereof or by leaving a copy of the same at his usual place of abode with a member of his family above the age of 14 years.

  2. Where such person shall hold over after a default in the payment of rent, pursuant to the agreement under which the premises are held.

  3. Where such person (1) shall be so disorderly as to destroy the peace and quiet of the landlord or the other tenants or occupants living in said house or the neighborhood, or (2) shall willfully destroy, damage or injure the premises, or (3) shall constantly violate the landlord's rules and regulations governing said premises, provided, such rules have been accepted in writing by the tenant or are made a part of the lease; or (4) shall commit any breach or violation of any of the covenants or agreements in the nature thereof contained in the lease for the premises where a right of re-entry is reserved in the lease for a violation of such covenants or agreements, and shall hold over and continue in possession of the demised premises or any part thereof, after the landlord or his agent for that purpose has caused a written notice of the termination of said tenancy to be served upon said tenant, and a demand that said tenant remove from said premises within three days from the service of such notice. The notice shall specify the cause of the termination of the tenancy, and shall be served either personally upon the tenant or such person in possession by giving him a copy thereof, or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual place of abode with some member of his family above the age of 14 years.  

Amended L. 1966,c.319; L.1974,c.49, s.1; L.1991,c.91,s.64 

 

2A:18-54.  Notices and summons; substituted service; service by posting

 

Where for any reason, any of the notices required by section 2A:18-53 of this title, cannot be served as provided in said section or a summons and complaint cannot be served as in other actions, such notices or summons and complaint may be served upon any person actually occupying the premises, either  personally or by leaving same with a member of his family above the age of 14  years, or when admission to the premises is denied or the tenant or occupant  and all members of his family above the age of 14 years are absent from the  premises, or there is no person actually occupying them, the officer or other  person may post or affix a copy of the same upon the door or other conspicuous  part of such premises.  Such posting shall be deemed to be lawful service.

 

2A:18-55.  Discontinuance upon payment into court of rent in arrears; receipt 

 

If, in actions instituted under paragraph  "b" of section 2A:18-53 of this  title, the tenant or person in possession of the demised premises shall at any  time on or before entry of final judgment, pay to the clerk of the court the  rent claimed to be in default, together with the accrued costs of the  proceedings, all proceedings shall be stopped.  The receipt of the clerk shall be evidence of such payment.

 

The clerk shall forthwith pay all moneys so received to the landlord, his agent or assigns.

 

2A:18-56.  Proof of notice to quit prerequisite to judgment

 

No judgment for possession in cases specified in paragraph  "a." of section  2A:18-53 of this Title shall be ordered unless:

  1. The tenancy, if a tenancy at will or from year to year, has been terminated by the giving of 3 months' notice to quit, which notice shall be deemed to be sufficient; or

  2. The tenancy, if a tenancy from month to month, has been terminated by the giving of 1 month's notice to quit, which notice shall be deemed to be sufficient; or

  3. The tenancy, if for a term other than at will, from year to year, or from month to month, has been terminated by the giving of one term's notice to quit, which notice shall be deemed to be sufficient; and

  4. It shall be shown to the satisfaction of the court by due proof that the notice herein required has been given.

Amended by L.1975, c. 136, s. 1, eff. July 7, 1975

 

2A:18-57.  Judgment for possession; warrant for removal; issuance

 

If no sufficient cause is shown to the contrary when the action comes on for trial, the court shall issue its warrant to any officer of the court, commanding him to remove all persons from the premises, and to put the claimant into full possession thereof, and to levy and make the costs out of the goods and chattels of the person in possession.

 

No warrant of removal shall issue until the expiration of 3 days after entry of judgment for possession, except as provided for in chapter 42 of this Title.   

Amended by L.1979, c. 392, s. 1, eff. Feb. 6, 1980.

2A:18-58.  Execution of warrant; use of force

 

An officer, to whom a warrant is issued by virtue of this article, shall obey the command of and faithfully execute the same, and may, if necessary to the execution thereof, uses such force as may be necessary.

 

 

 

2A:18-59.  Review; landlord liable for unlawful proceedings

 

Proceedings had by virtue of this article shall not be appealable except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.  The landlord, however, shall remain liable in a civil action for unlawful proceedings under this article.

 

2A:18-59.1.  Terminally ill tenants 

 

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the Superior Court may authorize and review one year stays of eviction during which the tenant shall be entitled to renew the lease at its term of expiration, subject to reasonable changes proposed to the tenant by the landlord in written notice, whenever: 

  1. The tenant fulfills all the terms of the lease and removal is sought under subsection a. of N.J.S.2A:18-53 

         where a residential tenant holds over after written notice for delivery of possession; and  

  1. The tenant has a terminal illness which illness has been certified by a licensed physician; and  

  2. There is substantial likelihood that the tenant would be unable to search for, rent and move to a   comparable alternative rental dwelling unit without serious medical harm; and  

  3. The tenant has been a tenant of the landlord for a least two years prior to the issuance of the stay.  

 

In reviewing a petition for a stay of eviction, the court shall specifically consider whether the granting of the stay of eviction would cause an undue hardship to the landlord because of the landlord's financial condition or any other factor relating to the landlord's ownership of the premises.  

L.1983,c.446, s.1; Amended 1991,c.91,s.65.  

 

2A:18-59.2.  Inapplicability of act to hotel, motel or guesthouse rented to transient guest or seasonal tenant or to residential health care facility

 

This act shall not apply to a hotel, motel or other guest house, or part thereof, rented to a transient guest or seasonal tenant, or a residential health care facility as defined in section 1 of P.L. 1953, c. 212 (C.30:11A-1).

L.1983, c. 446, s. 2, eff. Jan. 9, 1984.

 

2A:18-60.  Removal of proceedings into Law Division  

 

At any time before an action for the removal of a tenant comes on for trial, either the landlord or person possession may apply to the Superior Court, which may, if it deems it of sufficient importance, order the cause transferred from the Special Civil Part to the Law Division.

Amended L.1991, c.91.s.66

 

2A:18-61.  Trial by jury in Law Division  

 

A summary action for the removal of a tenant, commenced in the Special Civil Part but transferred to the Law Division shall be tried before a jury, unless a jury is waived.  

Amended L.1991,c.91,s.67.

 

2A:18-61.1  Grounds for removal of tenants

 

No lessee or tenant or the assigns, under-tenants or legal representatives of such lessee or tenant may be removed by the Superior Court from any house, building, mobile home or land in a mobile home park or tenement leased for residential purposes, other than (1) owner-occupied premises with not more than two rental units or a hotel, motel or other guesthouse or part thereof rented to a transient guest or seasonal tenant;  (2) a dwelling unit which is held in trust on behalf of a member of the immediate family of the person or persons establishing the trust, provided that the member of the immediate family on whose behalf the trust is established permanently occupies the unit; and (3) a dwelling unit which is permanently occupied by a member of the immediate family of the owner of that unit, provided, however, that exception (2) or (3) shall apply only in cases in which the member of the immediate family has a developmental disability, except upon establishment of one of the following grounds as good cause:

  1. The person fails to pay rent due and owing under the lease whether the same be oral or written; provided that, for the purposes of this section, any portion of rent unpaid by a tenant to a landlord but utilized by the tenant to continue utility service to the rental premises after receiving notice from an electric, gas, water or sewer public utility that such service was in danger of discontinuance based on non payment by the landlord, shall not be deemed to be unpaid rent. 

  2. The person has continued to be, after written notice to cease, so disorderly as to destroy the peace and quiet of the occupants or other tenants living in said house or neighborhood.

  3. The person has willfully or by reason of gross negligence caused or allowed destruction, damage or injury to    the premises. 

  4. The person has continued, after written notice to cease, to substantially violate or breach any of the landlord's rules and regulations governing said premises, provided such rules and regulations are reasonable and have been accepted in writing by the tenant or made a part of the lease at the beginning of the lease term.

  5. (1) The person has continued, after written notice to cease, to substantially violate or breach any of the covenants or agreements contained in the lease for the premises where a right of reentry is reserved to the landlord in the lease for a violation of such covenant or agreement, provided that such covenant or agreement is reasonable and was contained in the lease at the beginning of the lease term.                   

(2) In public housing under the control of a public housing authority or redevelopment agency, the person substantially violated or breached any of the covenants or agreements contained in the lease for the premises pertaining to illegal uses of controlled dangerous substances, or other illegal activities, whether or not a right of reentry is reserved to the landlord in the lease for a violation of such covenant or agreement, provided that such covenant or agreement conforms to federal guidelines regarding such lease provisions and was contained in the lease at the beginning of the lease term.                                                             

  1. The person has failed pay rent after a valid notice to quit and notice of increase of said rent, provided the increase in rent is not unconscionable and complies with any an all other laws or municipal ordinances governing rent increases.

  2. The landlord or owner (1) seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises because he has been cited by local or State housing inspectors for substantial violations affecting the health and safety of tenants

and it is economically unfeasible for the owner to eliminate the violations; (2) seeks to comply with local or State housing inspectors who have cited him for substantial violations affecting the health and safety of tenants and it is unfeasible to so comply without removing the tenant; simultaneously with service of notice of eviction pursuant to this clause, the landlord shall notify the Department of Community Affairs of the intention to institute proceedings and shall provide the department with such other information as it may require pursuant to rules and regulations.  The department shall inform all parties and the court of its view with respect to the feasibility of compliance without removal of the tenant and may in its discretion appear and present evidence; (3) seeks to correct an illegal occupancy because he has been cited by local or State housing inspectors or zoning officers and it is unfeasible to correct such illegal occupancy without removing the tenant; or (4) is a governmental agency which seeks to permanently retire the premises from the rental market pursuant to a redevelopment or land clearance plan in a blighted area. In those cases where the tenant is being removed for any reason specified in this subsection, no warrant for possession shall be issued until P.L. 1967, c.79 (C.52:31B-1 et seq.) and P.L. 1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.) have been complied with.

  1. The owner seeks to retire permanently the residential building or the mobile home park from residential use or use as a mobile home park, provided this subsection shall not apply to circumstances covered under subsection g. of this section.

  2. The landlord or owner proposes, at the termination of a lease, reasonable changes of substance in the  terms and conditions of the lease, including specifically any change in the term thereof, which the tenant, after written notice, refuses to accept; provided that in cases where a tenant has received a notice of termination pursuant to subsection g. of section 3 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.2), or has a protected tenancy status pursuant to section 9 of the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.30), or pursuant to the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), the landlord or owner shall have the burden of proving that any change in the terms and conditions of the lease, rental or regulations both is reasonable and does not substantially reduce the rights and privileges to which the tenant  was entitled prior to the conversion.

  3. The person, after written notice to cease, has habitually and without legal justification failed to pay rent which is due and owing.

  4. The landlord or owner of a building or mobile home park is converting from the rental market to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership of two or more dwelling units or park sites, except as hereinafter provided in subsection l. of this section. Where the tenant is being removed pursuant to this subsection, no warrant for possession shall be issued until this act has been complied with. No action for possession shall be brought pursuant to this subsection against any senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant with protected tenancy status pursuant to the “Senior Citizens and Disabled Tenancy Act,” P.L. 1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al), or against a qualified tenant under the “Tenant Protection Act of 1992,” P.L. 1991, c.509 (C2A:18-61.40 et al), as long as the agency has not terminated the protected tenancy status or the protected tenancy period has not expired.

  5. (1) The owner of a building or mobile home park, which is constructed as or being converted to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership, seeks to evict a tenant or sublessee whose initial tenancy began after the master deed, agreement establishing the cooperative or subdivision plat was recorded, because the owner has contracted to sell the unit to a buyer who seeks to personally occupy it and the contract for sale calls for the unit to be vacant at the time of closing.  However, no action shall be brought against a tenant under paragraph (1) of this subsection unless the tenant was given a statement in accordance with section 6 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.9);

  1. The owner of three or less condominium or cooperative units seeks to evict a tenant whose initial tenancy began by rental from an owner of three or less units after the master deed or agreement establishing the cooperative was recorded, because the owner seeks to personally occupy the unit, or has contracted to sell the unit to a buyer who seeks to personally occupy it and the contract for sale calls for the unit to be vacant at the time of closing;

  2. The owner of a building of three residential units or less seeks to personally occupy a unit, or has contracted to sell the residential unit to a buyer who wishes to personally occupy it and the contract for sale calls for the unit to be vacant at the time of closing.

  1. The landlord or owner conditioned the tenancy upon and in consideration for the tenant’s employment by the landlord or owner as superintendent, janitor or in some other capacity and such employment is being terminated.

  2. The person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to, or if a juvenile, has been adjudicated delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute an offense under the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987," N.J.S.2C:35-1 et al. involving the use, possession, manufacture, dispensing or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance analog or drug paraphernalia within the meaning of that act within or upon the leased premises or the building or complex of buildings and land appurtenant thereto, or the mobile home park, in which those premises are located, and has not in connection with his sentence for that offense either (1) successfully completed or (2) been admitted to and continued upon probation while completing, a drug rehabilitation program pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-14; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors or harbored therein a person who has been so convicted or has so pleaded, or otherwise permits or permitted such a person to occupy those premises for residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently, except that this subsection shall not apply to a person harboring or permitting a juvenile to occupy the premises if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent upon the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute the offense of use or possession under the said act. No action for removal may be brought pursuant to this subsection more than two years after the date of the adjudication or conviction or more than two years after the person's release from incarceration whichever is the later.

  3. The person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to, or if a juvenile, has been adjudicated delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute an offense under N.J.S.2C:12-1 or N.J.S.2C:12-3 involving assault, or terrorist threats against the landlord, a member of the landlord's family or an employee of the landlord; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors or harbored therein a person who has been so convicted or has so pleaded, or otherwise permits or permitted such a person to occupy those premises for residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently. No action for removal may be brought pursuant to this subsection more than two years after the adjudication or conviction or more than two years after the person's release from incarceration whichever is the later.

  4. The person has been found, by a preponderance of the evidence, liable in a civil action for removal commenced under this act for an offense under N.J.S.2C:20-1 et al. involving theft of property located on the leased premises from the landlord, the leased premises or other tenants residing in the leased premises, or N.J.S.2C:12-1 or N.J.S.2C:12-3 involving assault or terrorist threats against the landlord, a member of the landlord's family or an employee of the landlord, or under the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987," N.J.S.2C:35-1 et al., involving the use, possession, manufacture, dispensing or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance analog or drug paraphernalia within the meaning of that act within or upon the leased premises or the building or complex of buildings and land appurtenant thereto, or the mobile home park, in which those premises are located, and has not in connection with his sentence for that offense either (1) successfully completed or (2) been admitted to and continued upon probation while completing a drug rehabilitation program pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-14; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors or harbored therein a person who committed such an offense, or otherwise permits or permitted such a person to occupy those premises for residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently, except that this subsection shall not apply to a person who harbors or permits a juvenile to occupy the premises if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent upon the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute the offense of use or possession under the said "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987.

  5. The person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to, or if a juvenile, has been adjudicated delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute an offense under N.J.S.2C:20-1 et al. involving theft of property from the landlord, the leased premises or other tenants residing in the same building or complex; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors therein a person who has been so convicted or has so pleaded, or otherwise permits such a person to occupy those premises for residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently.

 

For purposes of this section, (1) "developmental disability" means any disability which is defined as such pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1977, c.82 (C.30:6D-3); (2) "member of the immediate family" means a person's spouse, parent, child or sibling, or a spouse, parent, child or sibling of any of them; and (3) "permanently" occupies or occupied means that the occupant maintains no other domicile at which the occupant votes, pays rent or property taxes or at which rent or property taxes are paid on the occupant's behalf. 

L.1974,c.49,s.2;  Amended 1975, c.311, s.1; 1981, c.8, s.1; 1981, c.226, s.13; 1989, c.294, s.1; 1991, c.91, s.68; 1991, c.307; 1991, c.509, s.19;

1993, c.342, s.1; 1995, c.269; 1996, c.131; 1997,c.228,s.1.L.2000, c.113, s.3

2A:18-61.1a.  Findings 

 

The Legislature finds that: 

  1. Acute State and local shortages of supply and high levels of demand for residential dwellings have motivated removal of blameless tenants in order to directly or indirectly profit from conversion to higher income rental or ownership interest residential use. 

  2. This has resulted in unfortunate attempts to displace tenants employing pretexts, stratagems or means other than those provided pursuant to the intent of State eviction laws designated to fairly balance and protect rights of tenants and landlords. 

  3. These devices have circumvented the intent of current State eviction laws by failing to utilize available means to avoid displacement, such as: protected tenancies; rights to purchase; rent affordability protection; full disclosures relevant to eviction challenges; and stays of eviction where relocation is lacking. 

  4. It is in the public interest of the State to maintain for citizens the broadest protections available under State eviction laws to avoid such displacement and resultant loss of affordable housing, which, due to housing's uniqueness as the most costly and difficult to change necessity of life, causes overcrowding, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, blight, burdens on community services, wasted resources, homelessness, emigration from the State and personal hardship, which is particularly severe for vulnerable seniors, the disabled, the frail, minorities, large families and single parents. 

  5. Such personal hardship includes, but is not limited to:  economic loss, time loss, physical and emotional stress, and in some cases severe emotional trauma, illness, homelessness or other irreparable harm resulting from strain of eviction controversy; relocation search and moving difficulties; anxiety caused by lack of information, uncertainty, and resultant planning difficulty; employment, education, family and social disruption; relocation and empty unit security hazards; relocation to premises of less affordability, capacity, accessibility and physical or environmental quality; and relocation adjustment problems, particularly of the blind or other disabled citizens. 

  6. It is appropriate to take legislative notice of relevant legislative findings adopted pursuant to section 2 of the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L. 1981, c. 226 (C. 2A:18-61.23) and section 2 of the "Prevention of Homelessness Act (1984)," P.L. 1984, c. 180 (C. 52:27D-281), which, with the findings of this section, have relevance to this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act and P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C.

2A:18-61.1 et seq.).

  1. This 1986 amendatory and supplementary act is adopted in order to protect the public health, safety and     welfare of the citizens of New Jersey. 

L. 1986, c. 138, s. 10, eff. Oct. 29, 1986. 

 

2A:18-61.1b.  Permanent retirement from residential use 

 

If an owner seeks an eviction alleging permanent retirement of the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and if, pursuant to land use law, nonresidential use of the premises is not permitted as a principal permitted use or is limited to accessory, conditional or public use, a rebuttal presumption is created that the premises are not and will not be permanently retired from residential use.  Residential premises that are unoccupied, boarded up or otherwise out of service shall not be deemed retired from residential use unless they are converted to a principal permitted nonresidential use.  No tenant shall be evicted pursuant to subsection h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) if any State or local permit or approval required by law for the nonresidential use is not obtained.  Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to require obtaining a certificate of occupancy for the proposed use prior to an eviction.  The detail specified in notice given pursuant to subsection d. of section 3 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2) shall disclose the proposed nonresidential use to which the premises are to be permanently retired. 

L. 1986, c. 138, s. 2, eff. Oct. 29, 1986.    

2A:18-61.1c. 5 year restriction 

 

The Department of Community Affairs shall not approve an application for registration of conversion pursuant to "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L. 1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21 et seq.) for any premises for a period of five years following the date on which any dwelling unit in the premises becomes vacant after notice has been given that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or seeks to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1).  Within five days of the date on which any owner provides notice of termination to a tenant pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1), the owner shall provide a copy of the notice to the Department of Community Affairs. 

L. 1986, c. 138, s. 3, eff. Oct. 29, 1986. 

 

2A:18-61.1d. Maximum authorized rent 

 

In a municipality which has an ordinance regulating rents in effect, if a dwelling unit in the premises becomes vacated after notice has been given that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or seeks to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and if any time thereafter an owner permits the personal occupancy of the premises, the maximum rent authorized for a unit in the premises shall not exceed the rent that would have been authorized for that unit if there had been no vacancy or change of tenancy for the unit.  Increased costs which occur during the period of vacancy, which are solely the result of the premises being vacated, closed and reoccupied and which do not add services or amenities not previously provided, or which add new services or amenities whose costs significantly reduce the affordability of the premises, shall not be used as a basis for any rent increase pursuant to any municipal rent regulation provision, fair return or hardship hearing before a municipal rent board or any appeal from such determination.  Increased costs of new services and amenities create a rebuttal presumption that they significantly reduce the affordability of the premises, if they result in a doubling of the rent increases otherwise permitted by law during the period of vacancy.  Within five days of the date on which any owner provides notice of termination to a tenant pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1), the owner shall provide a copy of the notice to the municipal agency responsible for administering the regulation of rents in the municipality.  The owner's notice to the municipal agency shall also include a listing of the current tenants and rents for each dwelling unit in the premises, unless the owner has previously submitted to the municipal agency a listing which is still current.  

L. 1986, c. 138, s. 4, eff. Oct. 29, 1986. 

 

 

2A:18-61.1e.  Rights of former tenants 

 

If a dwelling unit becomes vacated after notice has been given that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or seeks to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection g. or subsection h. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1) and if at any time thereafter an owner instead seeks to return the premises to residential use, the owner shall provide the former tenant:  

  1. Written notice 90 days in advance of any return to residential use or any agreement for possession of the unit by any other party, which notice discloses the owner's intention to return the unit to residential use and all appropriate specifics;  

  2. The right to return to possession of the vacated unit or, if return is not available, the right to possession of affordable housing relocation in accord with the standards and criteria set forth for comparable housing as defined by section 4 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.7); and  

  3. In the case of a conversion, the right to a protected tenancy pursuant to the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et seq.), or pursuant to the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), if the former tenant would have at the time of the conversion been eligible for a protected tenancy under either of those acts, had the former tenant not vacated the premises.  

 

The 90-day notice shall disclose the tenant's rights pursuant to this section and the method for the tenant's response to exercise these rights. A duplicate of the notice shall be transmitted within the first five days of the 90-day period to the rent board in the municipality or the municipal clerk, if there is no board. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.6), damages awarded shall not be trebled where possession has been returned in accord with this section; nor shall any damages be awarded as provided for in subsection e. of section 3 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.6).  An owner who fails to provide a former tenant a notice of intention to return to residential use pursuant to this section is liable to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500.00 or more than $10,000.00 for each offense, and shall also be liable in treble damages, plus attorney fees and costs of suit, for any loss or expenses incurred by a former tenant as a result of that failure.  The penalty prescribed in this section shall be collected and enforced by summary proceedings pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.).  The Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part, in the county in which the rental premises are located shall have jurisdiction over such proceedings.  Process shall be in the nature of a summons or warrant, shall issue upon the complaint of the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, the Attorney General, or any other person.  No owner shall be liable for a penalty pursuant to this section if the unit is returned to residential use more than five years after the date the premises are vacated or if the owner made every reasonable effort to locate the former tenant and provide the notice, including, but not limited to, the employment of a qualified professional locator service, where no return receipt is obtained from the former tenant.  

 

In any action under this section the court shall, in addition to damages, award any other appropriate legal or equitable relief. 

L.1986,c.138,s.6; Amended 1991,c.509,s.20.  

2A:18-61.1f.  Local ordinances permitted

 

  Nothing contained in this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act shall authorize any civil action to require that dwelling units remain vacant, shall limit any defense or challenge to evictions that is otherwise provided by law or shall prohibit any provision of a local ordinance which is not less restrictive, except as prohibited pursuant to subsection e. of section 3 of P.L. 1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.6).  Except as provided in subsection e. of section 3 of P.L. 1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.6), local ordinances may facilitate the objectives of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act pertaining to premises where tenants have received notice pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1),including, but not limited to, any ordinance intended to:

  1. Require owners to obtain and register tenants' current and forwarding addresses; 

  2. Provide to tenants and former tenants who have received notice of termination pursuant to subsection

g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) basic information on their relevant rights; 

  1. Provide a municipal registry for former tenants to file current addresses for receiving notice; and 

  2. Assist in locating former tenants who become entitled to receive notice pursuant to section 6 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act.  

L. 1986, c. 138, s. 8, eff. Oct. 29, 1986.   

2A:18-61.1g.  Relocation of displaced tenant; violations, penalty

 

  1. A municipality may enact an ordinance providing that any tenant who receives a notice of eviction pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.2) that results from zoning or code enforcement activity for an illegal occupancy, as set forth in paragraph (3) of subsection g. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1), shall be considered a displaced person and shall be entitled to relocation assistance in an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person.  The owner-landlord of the structure shall be liable for the payment of relocation assistance pursuant to this section.  

 

  1. A municipality that has enacted an ordinance pursuant to subsection a. of this section may pay relocation assistance to any displaced person who has not received the required payment from the owner-landlord of the structure at the time of eviction pursuant to subsection a. of this section from a revolving relocation assistance fund established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1987, c.98 (C.20:4-4.1a)  All relocation assistance costs incurred by a municipality pursuant to this subsection shall be repaid by the owner-landlord of the structure to the municipality in the same manner as relocation costs are billed and collected under section 1 of P.L.1983, c.536 (C.20:4-4.1) and section 1 of P.L.1984, c.30 (C.20:4-4.2).  These repayments shall be deposited into the municipality's revolving relocation assistance fund.  

 

  1. A municipality that has enacted an ordinance pursuant to subsection a. of this section, in addition to requiring reimbursement from the owner-landlord of the structure for relocation assistance paid to a displaced tenant, may require that an additional fine for zoning or housing code violation for an illegal occupancy, up to an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person, be paid to the municipality by the owner-landlord of the structure.

 

In addition to this penalty, a municipality, after affording the owner-landlord an opportunity for a hearing on the matter, may impose upon the owner-landlord, for a second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy, a fine equal to the annual tuition cost of any resident of the illegally occupied unit attending a public school, which fine shall be recovered in a civil action by a summary proceeding in the name of the municipality pursuant to “the penalty enforcement law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  The municipal court and the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this section.  The tuition cost shall be determined in the manner prescribed for nonresident pupils pursuant to N.J.S.18A:38-19 and the payment of the fine shall be remitted to the appropriate school district.

 

  1. For the purposes of this section, the owner-landlord of a structure shall exclude mortgages in possession of a structure through foreclosure.  

 

For the purposes of this section, a “second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy” shall be limited to those violations that are new and are a result of distinct and separate zoning code enforcement activities, and shall not include any continuing violations for which citations are issued by a zoning or code enforcement agent during the time period required for summary dispossession proceedings to conclude if the owner has initiated eviction proceedings in a court of proper jurisdiction. 

L.1993,c.342, s.3., Amended L. 1999, c. 425  

 

2A:18-61.1h.  Reimbursement to displaced tenant

 

  1. If a residential tenant is displaced because of an illegal occupancy in a residential rental premises pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection g. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1) and the municipality in which the rental premises is located has not enacted an ordinance pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1993, c.342 (C.2A:18-61.1g), the displaced residential tenant shall be entitled to reimbursement for relocation expenses from the owner in an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person.  

 

  1. Payment by the owner shall be due five days prior to the removal of the displaced tenant.  If payment is not made within this time, interest shall accrue and be due to the displaced residential tenant on the unpaid balance at the rate of 18% per annum until the amount due and all interest accumulated thereon shall be paid in full.  

 

  1. If reimbursement for which an owner is liable is not paid in full within 30 days of removal of the tenant, the unpaid balance thereof and all interest accruing thereon and, in addition thereto, an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced tenant shall be a lien upon the parcel of property on which the dwelling of the displaced residential tenant was located, for the benefit of that tenant.  To perfect the lien, a statement showing the amount and due date of the unpaid balance and identifying the parcel shall be recorded with the county clerk or registrar of deeds and mortgages of the county in which the affected property is located, and upon recording, the lien shall have the priority of a mortgage lien. Identification of the parcel by reference to its designation on the tax map of the municipality  shall be sufficient for purposes of recording.  Whenever the unpaid balance and all interest accrued thereon has been fully paid, the displaced residential tenant shall promptly withdraw or cancel the statement, in writing, at the place of recording.  

 

  1. This section shall not authorize the enforcement of a lien for actual reasonable moving expenses with respect to any real property the title to which has been acquired by a municipality and which has been transferred pursuant to a rehabilitation agreement.  

 

  1. For the purposes of this section, the owner of a structure shall exclude mortgagees in possession of a structure through foreclosure.   

L.1993,c.342, s.4.  

 

2A:18-61.2  Removal of residential tenants; required notice; contents; service.

 

No judgment of possession shall be entered for any premises covered by section 2 of this act, except in the nonpayment of rent under subsection a. or f. of section 2, unless the landlord has made written demand and given written notice for delivery of possession of the premises.  The following notice shall be required:

  1. For an action alleging disorderly conduct under subsection b. of section 2, or injury to the premises under subsection c. of section 2, or any grounds under subsection m., n., o. or p. of section 2, three days' notice prior to the institution of the action for possession;

  2. For an action alleging continued violation of rules and regulations under subsection d. of section 2, or substantial breach of covenant under subsection e. of section 2, or habitual failure to pay rent, one month's notice prior to the institution of the action for possession;

  3. For an action alleging any grounds under subsection g. of section 2, three months' notice prior to the institution of the action;

  4. For an action alleging permanent retirement under subsection h. of section 2, 18 months' notice prior to the institution of the action and, provided that, where there is a lease in effect, no action may be instituted until the lease expires;

  5. For an action alleging refusal of acceptance of reasonable lease changes under subsection i. of section

2, one month's notice prior to institution of action;

  1. For an action alleging any grounds under subsection l. of section 2, two months' notice prior to the institution of the action and, provided that where there is a written lease in effect no action shall be instituted until the lease expires;

  2. For an action alleging any grounds under subsection k. of section 2, three years' notice prior to the institution of action, and provided that where there is a written lease in effect, no action shall be instituted until the lease expires;

  3. In public housing under the control of a public housing authority or redevelopment agency, for an action alleging substantial breach of contract under paragraph (2) of subsection e. of section 2, the period of notice required prior to the institution of an action for possession shall be in accordance with federal regulations pertaining to public housing leases.

 

The notice in each of the foregoing instances shall specify in detail the cause of the termination of the tenancy and shall be served either personally upon the tenant or lessee or such person in possession by giving him a copy thereof, or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual place of abode with some member of his family above the age of 14 years, or by certified mail; if the certified letter is not claimed, notice shall be sent by regular mail.  

L.1974,c.49, s.3; Amended L.1975, c.311, s.2; L.1981, c.8, s.2; L.1986, c.138, s.1; L.1989, c.294, s.2; L.1997,c.228,s.2. 

 

2A:18-61.3.  Causes for eviction or non-renewal of lease

 

  1. No landlord may evict or fail to renew any lease of any premises covered by section 2 of this act except for good cause as defined in section 2.  

  2. A person who was a tenant of a landlord in premises covered by section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1) may not be removed by any order or judgment for possession from the premises by the owner's or landlord's successor in ownership or possession except: 

    1. For good cause in accordance with the requirements which apply to premises covered pursuant to         P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1 et al.); or  

    2. For proceedings in premises where federal law supersedes applicable State law governing removal of occupants; or  

    3. For proceedings where removal of occupants is sought by an authorized State or local agency pursuant to eminent domain or code or zoning enforcement laws and which comply with applicable relocation laws pursuant to the "Relocation Assistance Law of 1967," P.L.1967, c.79 (C.52:31B-1 et seq.), the "Relocation Assistance Act," P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.) or section 3 of P.L.1993, c.342 (C.2A:18-61.1g).  

 

Where the owner's or landlord's successor in ownership or possession is not bound by the lease entered into with the former tenant and may offer a different lease to the former tenant, nothing in P.L.1986, c.138 shall limit that right.  

L.1974,c.49,s.4; Amended L.1986,c.138,s.7; L.1993,c.342,s.2.  

2A:18-61.3a.  Mobile home parks; restrictions on  "for sale" signs; prohibition

 

No mobile home park owner or operator may evict a mobile home resident for posting in or on his mobile home a  "for sale" sign or similar notice of the private sale of the mobile home.  Nor may a mobile home park owner or operator prohibit or unreasonably restrict such posting by any means, including but not limited to, rules and regulations of the mobile home park or written leases or rental agreements between the park owner or operator and mobile home residents. 

L.1983, c. 432, s. 1, eff. Jan. 5, 1984.

 

 

 

 

2A:18-61.4.  Waiver of rights by provision in lease;  unenforceability

 

Any provision in a lease whereby any tenant covered by section 2 of this act agrees that his tenancy may be terminated or not renewed for other than good  cause as defined in section 2, or whereby the tenant waives any other rights  under this act shall be deemed against public policy and unenforceable. 

L.1974, c. 49, s. 5, eff. June 25, 1974.

  

2A:18-61.5.  Severability

 

If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its effect to the section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act directly  involved in the controversy in which said judgment shall have been rendered.  

L.1974, c. 49, s. 7, eff. June 25, 1974.  

2A:18-61.6.  Owner liability for wrongful evictions 

 

  1. Where a tenant vacates the premises after being given a notice alleging the owner seeks to personally occupy the premises under subsection L. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and the owner thereafter arbitrarily fails to personally occupy the premises for a total of at least six months, or arbitrarily fails to execute the contract for sale, but instead permits personal occupancy of the premises by another tenant or instead permits registration of conversion of the premises by the Department of Community Affairs pursuant to "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L. 1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21 et seq.), such owner shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs.

 

  1. If an owner purchases the premises pursuant to a contract requiring the tenant to vacate in accordance with subsection l. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and thereafter arbitrarily fails to personally occupy the premises for a total of at least six months, but instead permits personal occupancy of the premises by another tenant or instead permits registration of conversion of the premises by the Department of Community Affairs pursuant to P.L. 1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21 et seq.), such owner-purchaser shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs. 

 

  1. If a tenant vacates a dwelling unit after notice has been given alleging that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and instead, within five years following the date on which the dwelling unit or the premises become vacant, an owner permits residential use of the vacated premises, the owner shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs of suit. 

 

An owner of any premises where notice has been given pursuant to subsection g. (1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1), who subsequently seeks to sell, lease or convey the property to another, shall, before executing any lease, deed or contract for such conveyance, advise in writing the prospective owner that such notice was given and that the owners of the property are subject to the liabilities provided in this subsection and sections 3 and 4 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act.  Whoever fails to so advise a prospective owner prior to the execution of the contract of sale, lease or conveyance is liable to $10,000.00 for each offense, and shall also be liable in treble damages, plus attorney fees and costs of suit, for any loss or expenses incurred by a new owner of the property as a result of that failure. The civil penalty prescribed in this subsection shall be collected and enforced by summary proceedings pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S. 2A:58-1 et seq.).  The Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part, in the county in which the rental premises are located shall have jurisdiction over such proceedings.  Process shall be in the nature of a summons or warrant, and shall issue upon the complaint of the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, the Attorney General, or any other person. 

 

  1. If a tenant vacates a dwelling unit after receiving from an owner an eviction notice (1) purporting to compel by law the tenant to vacate the premises for cause or purporting that if the tenant does not vacate the premises, the tenant shall be compelled by law to vacate the premises for cause; and (2) using a cause that is clearly not provided by law or using a cause that is based upon a lease clause which is contrary to law pursuant to section 6 of P.L. 1975, c. 310 (C. 46:8-48); and (3) misrepresenting that, under the facts alleged, the tenant would be subject to eviction, the owner shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs.  An owner shall not be liable under this subsection for alleging any cause for eviction which, if proven, would subject the tenant to eviction pursuant to N.J.S. 2A:18-53 et seq. or P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.). 

 

In any action under this section the court shall, in addition to damages, award any other appropriate legal or equitable relief.  For the purposes of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.), the term "owner" includes, but is not limited to, lessee, successor owner and lessee, and other successors in interest. 

 

  1. An owner shall not be liable for damages pursuant to this section or section 6 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act or subject to a more restrictive local ordinance adopted pursuant to section 8 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act if: 

    1. Title to the premises was transferred to that owner by means of a foreclosure sale, execution sale or bankruptcy sale; and 

    2. Prior to the foreclosure sale, execution sale or bankruptcy sale, the former tenant vacated the      premises after receiving eviction notice from the former owner pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1); and 

    3. The former owner retains no financial interest, direct or indirect, in the premises.  The term "former owner" shall include, but not be limited to, any officer or board member of a corporation which was the former owner and any holder of more than 5% equity interest in any incorporated or unincorporated business entity that was the former owner; and 

 

 

  1. The former tenant is provided notice and rights in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of         this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act. 

L. 1975, c. 311, s. 3, eff. Feb. 19, 1976.  Amended by L. 1986, c. 138, s. 5, eff. Oct. 29, 1986. 

 

2A:18-61.7.  Definitions

 

As used in this act:

  1. "Comparable housing or park site" means housing that is (1) decent, safe, sanitary, and in compliance with all local and State housing codes;  (2) open to all persons regardless of race, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status or sex; and (3) provided with facilities equivalent to that provided by the landlord in the dwelling unit or park site in which the tenant then resides in regard to each of the following: (a) apartment size including number of rooms or park site size, (b) rent range, (c) apartment's major kitchen and bathroom facilities, and (d) special facilities necessary for the handicapped or infirmed;  (4) located in an area not less desirable than the area in which the tenant then resides in regard to each of the following:  (a) accessibility to the tenant's place of employment, (b) accessibility of community and commercial facilities, and (c) environmental quality and conditions;  and (5) in accordance with additional reasonable criteria which the tenant has requested in writing at the time of making any request under this act.

  2. "Condominium" means a condominium as defined in the  "Condominium Act," P.L.1969, c. 257 (C. 46:8B-1 et seq.).

  3. "Cooperative" means a housing corporation or association which entitles the holder of a share or membership interest thereof to possess and occupy for dwelling purposes a house, apartment or other structure owned or leased by said corporation or association, or to lease or purchase a dwelling constructed or to be constructed by said corporation or association.

  4. "Mobile home park" means any park, including a trailer park or camp, equipped to handle mobile homes sited on a year-round basis.

L.1975, c. 311, s. 4, eff. Feb. 19, 1976.  Amended by L.1981, c. 8, s. 3, eff.  Jan. 26, 1981.

2A:18-61.8.  Conversion of multiple dwelling into condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership; notice to and rights to tenants

 

Any owner who intends to convert a multiple dwelling as defined in P.L.1967, c. 76 (C. 55:13A-1 et seq.), other than a hotel or motel, or a mobile home park into a condominium or cooperative, or to fee simple ownership of the several dwelling units or park sites shall give the tenants 60 days' notice of his intention to convert and the full plan of the conversion prior to serving  notice, provided for in section 3 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2).  A duplicate of the first such 60-day notice and full plan shall be transmitted to the clerk of the municipality at the same time. In the notice of intention to convert tenants shall be notified of their right to purchase ownership in the  premises at a specified price in accordance with this section, and their other  rights as tenants under this act in relation to the conversion of a building or  park to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership.  A tenant in occupancy at the time of the notice of intention to convert shall have the exclusive right to purchase his unit, the shares of stock allocated thereto or the park site, as the case may be, for the first 90 days after such notice that  such purchase could be made during which time the unit or site shall not be  shown to a third party unless the tenant has in writing waived the right to  purchase.

L.1975, c. 311, s. 5, eff. Feb. 19, 1976.  Amended by L.1981, c. 8, s. 4, eff.  Jan. 26, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.9.  Notice to tenant after master deed or agreement to establish cooperative

 

Any owner who establishes with a person an initial tenancy after the master deed or agreement establishing the cooperative was recorded shall provide to  such person at the time of applying for tenancy and at the time of establishing any rental agreement a separate written statement as follows:

 

"STATEMENT”

 

THIS BUILDING (PARK) IS BEING CONVERTED TO OR IS A CONDOMINIUM OR COOPERATIVE (OR FEE SIMPLE OWNERSHIP OF THE SEVERAL DWELLING UNITS OR PARK SITES).  YOUR TENANCY CAN BE

TERMINATED UPON 60 DAYS’ NOTICE IF YOUR APARTMENT (PARK SITE) IS SOLD TO A BUYER WHO SEEKS TO PERSONALLY OCCUPY IT. IF YOU MOVE OUT AS A RESULT OF RECEIVING SUCH A NOTICE, AND THE LANDLORD ARBITRARILY FAILS TO COMPLETE THE SALE, THE LANDLORD SHALL BE LIABLE FOR TREBLE DAMAGES AND COURT COSTS.”

 

The parenthesized words shall be omitted or substituted for preceding words where appropriate.  Such statement shall also be reproduced as the first clause in any written lease provided to such person. 

L.1975, c. 311, s. 6, eff. Feb. 19, 1976.  Amended by L.1981, c. 8, s. 5, eff.  Jan. 26, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.10.  Removal of tenant to allow conversion to cooperative or condominium; moving expense compensation

 

Any tenant receiving notice under section 3 g. of P.L.1974, c. 49 who is not evicted for any cause under this act other than under section 3 g. shall receive from the owner moving expense compensation of waiver of payment of 1 month's rent.  

L.1975, c. 311, s. 7, eff. Feb. 19, 1976.

 

2A:18-61.11.  Comparable housing; offer of rental; stay of eviction; alternative compensation;  senior citizens and disabled protected tenancy period

 

  1. Tenants receiving notice under section 3 g. of P.L.1974, c. 49 may request of the landlord within 18 full months after receipt of such notice, and  the landlord shall offer to the tenant, personally or through an agent, the  rental of comparable housing or park site and a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent such comparable housing or park site.  In any proceeding under subsection 2 k. of P.L.1974, c. 49 instituted following the expiration of notice required under section 3 g. of P.L.1974, c. 49, the owner shall prove that a tenant was offered such comparable housing or park site and provided such reasonable opportunity to examine and rent such housing or park site as requested pursuant to this section.  The court shall authorize 1-year stays of eviction with reasonable rent increases until such time as the court is satisfied that the tenant has been offered comparable housing or park site and  provided a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent such housing or park site  as requested pursuant to this section.  However, in no case shall more than five such stays be granted.

  2. The court shall automatically renew any 1-year stay of eviction in any case where the landlord failed to allege to the court within 1 year of a prior stay that the tenant was offered a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent comparable housing or park site within such prior year.

  3. However the court shall not authorize any further stays at any time after one such stay has been authorized when the owner has also provided a tenant with hardship relocation compensation of waiver of payment of 5 months' rent.

  4. On or after the effective date of the  "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L. 1981, c. 226 (C. 2A:18-61.22 et seq.), notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, where the court has jurisdiction pursuant to that subsection, whether by virtue of the authorization by the court of a stay of eviction or by virtue of any other proceedings required or instituted pursuant to P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.) or P.L.1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.6 et seq.), or in any action for declaratory judgment, the court may invoke some or all of the provisions of the   "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act" and grant to a tenant,  pursuant to that amendatory and supplementary act, a protected tenancy period  upon the court's determination that:

    1. The tenant would otherwise qualify as a senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant pursuant to that     amendatory and supplementary act, except that the building or structure in which the dwelling unit is located was converted prior to the effective date of that amendatory and supplementary act; and

    2. The granting of the protected tenancy period as applied to the tenant, giving particular  consideration to whether a unit was sold on or before the date that the amendatory and supplementary act takes effect to a bona fide individual purchaser who intended personally to occupy the unit, would not be violative of concepts of fundamental fairness or due process. Where a court declines to grant a protected tenancy status, it shall nevertheless order such hardships stays as authorized by subsections a. and b. of this section until comparable relocation housing is provided.  The hardship relocation compensation alternative of subsection c. of this section shall not be applicable in this situation.  

L.1975, c. 311, s. 8, eff. Feb. 19, 1976.  Amended by L.1981, c. 8, s. 6, eff.  Jan. 26, 1981;  L.1981, c. 226, s. 14, eff. July 27, 1981.

NJ-county-map-evictions.jfif

2A:18-61.12.  Rules and regulations

 

In accordance with the  "Administrative Procedure Act"  (P.L.1968, c. 410, C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), the Department of Community Affairs shall adopt rules and regulations setting forth procedures required to be followed by landlords in providing tenants a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent comparable housing and setting forth procedures and content for information required to be disclosed to tenants regarding such procedures, the rights and responsibilities of tenants under this act, and the plans and proposals of landlords which may affect any tenant in order to maximize tenants' ability to exercise rights provided under this act.  Any rules and regulations adopted under this section shall only be applicable to tenants and owners of a building or mobile home park which is being, or is about to be converted from the rental market to a condominium, cooperative or to fee simple ownership of the several dwelling  units or park sites, or to any mobile home park being permanently retired from  the rental market. 

L.1975, c. 311, s. 9, eff. Feb. 19, 1976.  Amended by L.1981, c. 8, s. 7, eff.  Jan. 26, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.16a.  Rent defined

 

"Rent" means the amount currently payable by the tenant to the landlord pursuant to lease or other agreement, without regard to any modification thereof by any authorized board or agency, or any court.   

L.1981, c. 495, s. 4.

 

2A:18-61.22.  Short title

 

This amendatory and supplementary act shall be known and may be cited as the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act.” 

L. 1981, c. 226, s. 1, eff. July 27, 1991.   

2A:18-61.23.  Legislative findings and declarations

 

The Legislature finds that research studies have demonstrated that the forced eviction and relocation of elderly persons from their established homes and communities harm the mental and physical health of these senior citizens, and that these disruptions in the lives of older persons affect adversely the social, economic and cultural characteristics of communities of the State, and increase the costs borne by all State citizens in providing for their public health, safety and welfare.  These conditions are particularly serious in light of the rising costs of home ownership, and are of increasing concern where rental housing is converted into condominiums or cooperatives which senior citizens on fixed limited incomes cannot afford, an occurrence which is becoming more and more frequent in this State under prevailing economic circumstances.  The Legislature, therefore, declares that it is in the public interest of the State to avoid the forced eviction and relocation of senior citizen tenants wherever possible, specifically in those instances where rental housing market conditions and particular financial circumstances combine to diminish the ability of senior citizens to obtain satisfactory comparable housing within their established communities, and where the eviction action is the result not of any failure of the senior citizen tenant to abide by the  terms of a lease or rental agreement, but of the owner's decision  advantageously to dispose of residential property through the device of  conversion to a condominium or cooperative.

 

The Legislature further finds that it is in the public interest of the State to avoid the forced eviction and the displacement of the handicapped wherever possible because of their limited mobility and the limited number of housing units which are suitable for their needs.

 

The Legislature further declares that in the service of this public interest it is appropriate that qualified senior citizen tenants and disabled tenants be accorded a period of protected tenancy, during which they shall be entitled to the fair enjoyment of the dwelling unit within the converted residential structure, to continue for such time, up to 40 years, as the conditions and circumstances which make necessary such protected tenancy shall continue.

 

The Legislature further finds that the promotion of this public interest is possible only if senior citizen tenants and disabled tenants are protected during this period from alterations in the terms of the tenancy or rent increases which are the result solely of an owner's decision to convert. 

L.1981, c. 226, s. 2, eff. July 27, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.24. Definitions  

 

As used in this amendatory and supplementary act:

  1. "Senior citizen tenant" means a person who is at least 62 years of age on the date of the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of which he is a tenant, or the surviving spouse of such a person if the person should die after the owner files the conversion recording and the surviving spouse is at least 50 years of age at the time of the filing; provided that the building or structure has been the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or the spouse for at least one year immediately preceding the conversion recording or the death or that the building or structure is the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or the spouse under the terms of a lease for a period of more than one year, as the case may be;  

  2. "Disabled tenant" means a person who is, on the date of the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of which he is a tenant, totally and permanently unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, including blindness, or a person who has been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in any branch of the United States Armed Forces and who is rated as having a 60% disability or higher as a result of that service pursuant to any federal law administered by the United States Veterans' Act; provided that the building or structure has been the principal residence of the disabled tenant for at least one year immediately preceding the conversion recording or that the building or structure is the principal residence of the disabled tenant under the terms of a lease for a period of more than one year. For the purposes of this subsection, "blindness" means central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of correcting lens.  An eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less;  

  3. "Tenant's annual household income" means the total income from all sources during the last full calendar year for all members of the household who reside in the dwelling unit at the time the tenant applies for protected tenant status, whether or not such income is subject to taxation by any taxing authority;  

  4. "Application for registration of conversion" means an application for registration filed with the Department of Community Affairs in accordance with "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act,"

    1. L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.);  

  5. “Registration of conversion" means an approval of an application for registration by the Department of Community Affairs in accordance with "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act,"

    1. L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.);  

  6. "Convert" means to convert one or more buildings or structures or a mobile home park containing in the aggregate not less than five dwelling units or mobile home sites or pads from residential rental use to condominium, cooperative, planned residential development or separable fee simple ownership of the dwelling units or of the mobile home sites or pads;  

  7. "Conversion recording" means the recording with the appropriate county officer of a master deed for condominium or a deed to a cooperative corporation for a cooperative or the first deed of sale to a purchaser of an individual unit for a planned residential development or separable fee simple ownership of the dwelling units;  

  8. "Protected tenancy period" means, except as otherwise provided in section 11 of this amendatory and supplementary act, the 40 years following the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant.  

L.1981,c.226, s.3; Amended 1981, c.445, s.1; 1983,c.389,s.1; 1990,c.110,s.1;  1990,c.111,s.1.  

 

2A:18-61.25.  Protected tenancy status; conversion of dwelling unit of eligible senior citizen or disabled tenant

 

Each eligible senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant shall be granted a protected tenancy status with respect to his dwelling unit whenever the building or structure in which that unit is located shall be converted.  The protected tenancy status shall be granted upon proper application and qualification pursuant to the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act.  

L.1981, c. 226, s. 4, eff. July 27, 1981.

  

2A:18-61.26.  Administrative agency

 

The governing body of the municipality may authorize a municipal board, agency or officer to act as its administrative agency for the purposes of this amendatory and supplementary act or may enter into a contractual agreement with a county office on aging or a similar agency to act as its administrative agency for purposes of this amendatory and supplementary act. In the absence of such authorization or contractual agreement, this amendatory and supplementary act shall be administered by a municipal board whose principal responsibility concerns the regulation of residential rents or, if no such  board exists, by the municipal clerk.    

L.1981, c. 226, s. 5, eff. July 27, 1981.  

2A:18-61.27. Notice to tenants  

 

The owner of any building or structure who, after the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act, seeks to convert any premises, shall, prior to his filing of the application for registration of conversion with the Department of Community Affairs, notify the administrative agency or officer responsible for administering this amendatory and supplementary act of his intention to so file.  The owner shall supply the agency or officer with a list of every tenant residing in the premises, with stamped envelopes addressed to each tenant and with sufficient copies of the notice to tenants and application form for protected tenancy status.  Within 10 days thereafter, the administrative agency or officer shall notify each residential tenant in writing of the owner's intention and of the applicability of the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act and shall provide him with a written application form.  The agency's or officer's notice shall be substantially in the following form:   

 

“NOTICE”

 

THE OWNER OF YOUR APARTMENT HAS NOTIFIED_________________________________________________ OF HIS  

                                                                                                  (insert name of municipality)

INTENTION TO CONVERT TO A CONDOMINIUM OR COOPERATIVE.  THE LEGISLATURE HAS PROVIDED THAT, IF YOU ARE A SENIOR CITIZEN, 62 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, OR DISABLED, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A PROTECTED TENANCY PERIOD.  PROTECTED TENANCY MEANS THAT YOU CANNOT BE EVICTED BECAUSE OF THE CONVERSION. YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE:

  1. IF YOU ARE 62, OR WILL SOON BE 62, OR IF YOU ARE DISABLED; AND

  2. IF YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR APARTMENT FOR AT LEASE ONE YEAR OR IF THE LEASE ON YOUR APARTMENT IS FOR A

PERIOD OF MORE THAN ONE YEAR; AND

(3)  IF YOU HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS LESS THAN__________________________________________________________

                               (insert current income figure for county as established by Section 7c. of this amendatory and supplementary act.) 

IF YOU WISH THIS PROTECTION, SEND THE APPLICATION FORM BY________________________________________

                                                                                                                         (insert date 60 days after municipality’s mailing)

                             TO THE__________________________________________________________________________________        

                                                                            (insert name and address of administrative agency).

       FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL_______________________________________________________________          

                                                                                              (insert phone number of administrative agency),

       OR___________________________________________ IF YOU DO NOT APPLY YOU CAN BE EVICTED BY YOUR             

                                  (insert phone number of Department of Community Affairs).

       LANDLORD UPON PROPER NOTICE”

 

The Department of Community Affairs shall not accept any application for registration of conversion for any building or structure unless included in the application is proof that the agency or officer notified the tenants prior to the application for registration.  The proof shall be by affidavit or in such other form as the department shall require.  

L.1981, c.226, s.6; Amended L.1987, c.287, s.1; L.1990, c.110, s.2.  

 

2A:18-61.28. Eligibility for protected tenancy status  

 

Within 30 days after receipt of an application for protected tenancy status by a tenant, the administrative agency or officer shall make a determination of eligibility.  It shall send written notice of eligibility to each senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant who:  

  1. Applied therefore on or before the date of registration of conversion by the Department of Community       Affairs; and  

  2. Qualifies as an eligible senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant pursuant to this amendatory and        supplementary act; and  

  3. Has an annual household income that does not exceed an amount equal to three times the county per     capita personal income, as last reported by the Department of Labor and Industry on the basis of the U.S.   

Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis data, or $50,000.00, whichever is greater; and

  1. Has occupied the premises as his principal residence for at least one year or has a lease on the premise for a period longer than one year. 

 

The department shall adjust the county per capita personal income to be used in subsection c. of this section if there is a difference of one or more years between (1) the year in which the last reported county per capita personal income was based and (2) the last year in which the tenant's annual household income is based.  The county per capita personal income shall be adjusted by the department by an amount equal to the number of years of the difference above times the average increase or decrease in the county per capita personal income for three years, including in the calculation the current year reported and the three immediately preceding years.  

 

The administrative agency or officer may require that the application include such documents and information as may be necessary to establish that the tenant is eligible for a protected tenancy status under the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act and shall require such application to be submitted under oath.  The Department of Community Affairs may by regulation adopt forms for application for protected tenancy status and notification of eligibility or ineligibility or adopt such other regulations for the procedure of determining eligibility as it determines are necessary. 

L.1981,c.226, s.7; Amended L.1987,c.287,s.2; L.1990,c.110,s.3.  

 

2A:18-61.29.  Registration of conversion; approval after proof of notice of eligibility to tenants

 

No registration of conversion shall be approved until the Department of Community Affairs receives proof that the administrative agency or officer has made determinations and notified all tenants who applied for protected tenancy status within the initial 60-day period of their eligibility or lack of eligibility.  The proof shall be by affidavit or in such other form as the department may require.

 

The department may grant registrations of conversion for applications pending on the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act upon the  implementation of a procedure whereby any eligible tenant may make application  for protected tenancy status in a manner comparable to that specified in  sections 6 and 7 of this amendatory and supplementary act.    

L.1981, c. 226, s. 8, eff. July 27, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.30.  Protected tenancy status; applicability after notice of eligibility and filing of conversion recording

 

Protected tenancy status shall not be applicable to any eligible tenant until such time as the owner has filed his conversion recording.  The protected tenancy status shall automatically apply as soon as a tenant receives notice of eligibility and the landlord files his conversion recording.  The conversion recording shall not be filed until after the registration of conversion.  

L.1981, c. 226, s. 9, eff. July 27, 1981.  

2A:18-61.31. Rent increase restrictions

 

In a municipality which does not have a rent control ordinance in effect, no evidence of increased costs which are solely the result of the conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and which do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall be used as a basis to establish the reasonableness of a rent increase under section 2f. of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1). 

 

In a municipality which has a rent control ordinance in effect, a rent increase for a tenant with a protected tenancy status, or for any tenant to whom notice of termination pursuant to section 3g. of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2) has been given, shall not exceed the increase authorized by the ordinance for rent controlled units.  Increased costs which are solely the result of a conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and which do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall not be passed directly through to these tenants as surcharges or pass-through on the rent, shall not be used as the basis for a rent increase, and shall not be used as a basis for an increase in a fair return or hardship hearing before a municipal rent board or on any appeal from such determination.  

L. 1981, c. 226, s. 10; Amended by L. 1987, c. 287, s. 3. 

 

2A:18-61.32. Termination of protected tenancy 

 

The administrative agency or officer shall terminate the protected tenancy status immediately upon finding that:  

  1. The dwelling unit is no longer the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant; or  

  2. The tenant's annual household income, or the average of the tenant's annual household income for the current year, computed on an annual basis, and the tenant's annual household income for the two preceding years, whichever is less, exceeds an amount equal to three times the county per capita personal income, as last reported by the Department of Labor and Industry on the basis of the U.S.

Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis data, or $50,000.00, whichever is greater.  

 

The department shall adjust the county per capita personal income to be used in subsection b. of this section if there is a difference of one or more years between (1) the year in which the last reported county per capita personal income was based and (2) the last year in which the tenant's annual household income is based.  The county per capita personal income shall be adjusted by the department by an amount equal to the number of years of the difference above times the average increase or decrease in the county per capita personal income for three years, including in the calculation the current year reported and the three immediately preceding years.  

 

Upon the termination of the protected tenancy status by the administrative agency or officer, the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant may be removed from the dwelling unit pursuant to P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1 et al.), except that all notice and other times set forth therein shall be calculated and extend from the date of the expiration or termination of the protected tenancy period, or the date of the expiration of the last lease entered into with the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant during the protected tenancy period, whichever shall be later.  

 

If the administrative agency determines pursuant to this section that a tenant is no longer qualified for protected tenancy under this act, the administrative agency shall proceed to determine the eligibility of that tenant under the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), or, in any case in which the administrative agency is not the same as the agency administering that other act in the municipality, refer the case to the appropriate administrative agency for such determination.  If the tenant is found to be eligible under the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), his protected tenancy status shall be continued.  The protected tenancy status of the tenant shall remain in full force pending such determination.  

L.1981,c.226,s.11; Amended L.1987,c.287,s.4; L.1991,c.509,s.23.  

 

2A:18-61.33.  Termination upon purchase of unit by senior citizen or disabled tenant

 

In the event that a senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant purchases the dwelling unit he occupies, the protected tenancy status shall terminate immediately upon purchase.  

L.1981, c. 226, s. 12, eff. July 27, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.34.  Informing prospective purchaser of act; contract or agreement for sale; clause informing of application of act and acknowledgment by purchaser

 

Any public offering statement for a conversion as required by “The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21 et seq.), shall clearly inform the prospective purchaser of the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act, including, but not limited to, the provisions concerning eviction, rent increases and leases. Any contract or agreement for sale of a converted unit shall contain a clause in 10-point bold type or larger that the contract is subject to the terms of this amendatory and  supplementary act concerning eviction and rent increases and an acknowledgement  that the purchaser has been informed of these terms.   

L.1981, c. 226, s. 15, eff. July 27, 1981.

  

2A:18-61.35.  Fee

 

A municipality is authorized to charge an owner a fee which may vary according to the size of the building to cover the cost of providing the services required by this amendatory and supplementary act. 

L.1981, c. 226, s. 16, eff. July 27, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.36.  Agreement by tenant to waive rights; deemed against public policy and unenforceable

 

Any agreement whereby the tenant waives any rights under P.L.1981, c. 226 (C. 2A:18-61.22 et seq.) on or after the effective date of this 1983 amendatory  act shall be deemed to be against public policy and unenforceable. 

L.1981, c. 226, s. 17, eff. July 27, 1981.  Amended by L.1983, c. 389, s. 2, eff. Dec. 2, 1983.

 

2A:18-61.37.  Severability

 

If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this amendatory and supplementary act is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its effect to the section, subsection, paragraph, sentence  or other part of this act directly involved in the controversy in which said  judgment shall have been rendered.    

L.1981, c. 226, s. 18, eff. July 27, 1981.

 

2A:18-61.38.  Rules and regulations

 

The Department of Community Affairs is authorized to adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act.  

L.1981, c. 226, s. 19, eff. July 27, 1981.  

2A:18-61.39.  Liberal construction of act

 

This amendatory and supplementary act shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.

L.1981, c. 226, s. 20, eff. July 27, 1981.  

2A:18-61.40. Short title

 

This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992."  

L.1991,c.509,s.1.  

 

2A:18-61.41. Findings, declarations

 

The Legislature finds that the provision and maintenance of an adequate supply of housing affordable to persons of low and moderate income in this State has been and is becoming increasingly difficult as a result of economic and market forces which require special public actions or subsidies to counteract.  One particularly acute result of this has been the continual increase in the number of displaced or homeless persons who, lacking permanent shelter, require special assistance from public services in this State and in surrounding states in order to remain alive.  The Legislature has in the past taken various actions, and is currently considering several measures, to increase the supply of affordable housing in the State.  At the same time, it is necessary to protect residential tenants, particularly those of advanced age or disability, or lower economic status, from the effects of eviction from affordable housing in recognition of the high costs, both financial and social, to the public of displacement from affordable housing and of homelessness. 

The Legislature has in the past through various enactments recognized that the eviction of residential tenants pursuant to the process of conversion of residential premises to condominiums or cooperatives exacerbates homelessness and makes more difficult the maintenance of an adequate supply of low and moderate income housing.  The Legislature, therefore, declares that it is in the public interest to establish a tenant protection program specifically designed to provide protection to residential tenants, particularly the aged and disabled and those of low and moderate income, from eviction resulting from condominium or cooperative conversion.   

L.1991,c.509,s.2.  

 

2A:18-61.42. Definitions  

 

As used in this act:

    "Administrative agency" means the municipal board, officer or agency designated, or the county agency contracted with, pursuant to section 6 of this act.  

    "Annual household income" means the total income from all sources during the last full calendar year, or the  annual average of that total income during the last two calendar years, whichever is less, of a tenant and all members of the household who are residing in the tenant's dwelling unit when the tenant applies for protected tenancy, whether or not such income is subject to taxation by any taxing authority.  

    "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Community Affairs.

    "Conversion" means conversion as defined in section 3 of "The Planned Real Estate Development Full  Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-23).  

    "Conversion recording" means the recording with the appropriate county officer of a master deed for a  condominium or a deed to a cooperative corporation for a planned residential development or separable fee simple ownership of the dwelling units.  

    "County rental housing shortage" means a certification issued by the Commissioner of Community Affairs that there has occurred a significant decline in the availability of rental dwelling units in the county due to conversions; provided, however, that the commissioner shall not issue any such certification unless during the immediately preceding 10 year period:  

  1. The aggregate number of rental units subject to registrations of conversion during any three consecutive           years in the county exceeds 10,000; and  

  2. The aggregate number of rental units subject to registrations of conversion in at least one of those three years exceeds 5,000.  

    "Department" means the Department of Community Affairs.

    "Index" means the annual average over a 12-month period beginning September 1 and ending August 31 of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), All Items Series A, of the United States Department of Labor (1957-1959 = 100), for either the New York, NY-Northeastern New Jersey or the Philadelphia, PA-New Jersey region, according as either shall have been determined by the commissioner to be applicable in the locality of a property undergoing conversion.  

    "Protected tenancy period" means, except as otherwise provided in section 11 of this act, all that time following the conversion recording for a building or structure during which a qualified tenant in that building or structure continues to be a qualified tenant and continues to occupy a dwelling unit therein as his principal residence.             "Qualified county" means:  

  1. Any county with a population in excess of 500,000 and a population density in excess of 8,500 per square                mile, according to the most recent federal decennial census; or  

  2. Any county wherein there exists a county rental housing shortage.     "Qualified tenant" means a tenant who is a resident in a qualified county and:

    1. Applied for protected tenancy status on or before the date of registration of conversion by the       department, or within one year of the effective date of this act, whichever is later;  

    2. Has occupied the premises as his principal residence for at least 12 consecutive months next                 preceding the date of application; and  

    3. Has an annual household income that does not at the time of application exceed the maximum        qualifying income as determined pursuant to section 4 of this act, except that this income        limitation shall not apply to any tenant who is age 75 or more years or is disabled within the meaning of section 3 of P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.24).  

    "Registration of conversion" means an approval of an application for registration by the department in accordance with "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.).  

    "Tenant in need of comparable housing" means a tenant who is not a qualified tenant under this act and is not eligible for protected tenancy under the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.). 

L.1991,c.509,s.3.    

2A:18-61.43. Maximum qualifying income, adjustment

 

As of the effective date of this act, maximum qualifying income for the purpose of determining qualified tenant status as defined in section 3 of this act shall be  in the case of a household comprising one person, $31,400; two persons, $38,500; three persons, $44,800; four persons, $50,300; five persons, $55,000; six persons, $58,900; seven persons, $62,000; eight or more persons, $64,300.  In the case of any application for protected tenancy filed more than one year from the effective date of this act, and upon any occasion when termination of a previously granted protected tenancy is sought pursuant to section 11 of this act upon the grounds set forth in paragraph (2) of subsection a. of that section, these figures shall be adjusted by the percentage change, if any, in the applicable index that has occurred since the effective date of this act.

L.1991,c.509,s.4.  

2A:18-61.44. Protected tenancy, qualification, durations 

 

Each qualified tenant shall be granted a protected tenancy status with respect to his dwelling unit upon conversion of the building or structure in which the unit is located.  The protected tenancy status shall be granted upon proper application and qualification pursuant to the provisions of this act.  

  1. Each qualified tenant in need of comparable housing shall be entitled to remain in his dwelling unit upon conversion of the building or structure in which the unit is located until the owner of the building or        structure has complied with the provisions of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.7 et al.).

  2. Each qualified tenant in need of comparable housing shall be entitled to remain in his dwelling unit upon       conversion of the building or structure in which the unit is located until the owner of the building or structure has complied with the provision of P.L. 1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.7 et al.)

L.1991,c.509, s.6.

 

2A:18-61.45.  Designation of administrative agency  

 

Each municipal governing body in a qualified county shall designate a municipal board, agency or officer to act as its administrative agency for the purposes of this act or may enter into a contractual agreement with an appropriate county to act as its administrative agency for purposes of this act.  In the absence of such authorization or contractual agreement, this act shall be administered by the board, agency or officer administering the provisions of the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.) in the municipality.  

L.1991,c. 509, s.6.  

2A:18-61.46.  Notice, etc required of owner seeking to convert, notice to tenants

 

The owner of any building or structure in a qualified county who seeks to convert any premises shall notify the administrative agency of that intention prior to filing the application for registration of conversion with the department.  The owner shall supply the administrative agency with a list of every tenant residing in the premises, with stamped envelopes addressed to each tenant and with sufficient copies of the notice to tenants and application form for protected tenancy status.  Within 10 days thereafter, the administrative agency shall notify each residential tenant in writing of the owner's intention and of the applicability of the provisions of this act and shall provide him with a written application form.  The agency's notice shall be substantially in the following form:  

 

                                                                                       “NOTICE”

 

THE OWNER OF YOUR APARTMENT HAS NOTIFIED____________________________________ OF HIS INTENTION TO

                                                                                                       (insert name of municipality)

CONVERT TO A CONDOMINIUM OR COOPERATIVE.  UNDER STATE LAW YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A PROTECTED TENANCY.    

PROTECTED TENANCY MEANS THAT YOU CANNOT BE EVICTED BECAUSE OF THE CONVERSION.

YOU MAY BE QUALIFIED:

 

 

  1. IF YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR APARTMENT FOR A YEAR AND

  2. IF YOUR HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS LESS THAN __________________________________OR YOU ARE DISABLED                         

                                                         ( insert current maximum qualifying income established under section 3 of this act)

OR AT LEAST 75 YEARS OLD. IF YOU THINK YOU MAY QUALIFY, SEND IN THE APPLICATION FORM BY

______________________________________ TO THE _______________________________________________      

(insert date 60 days after municipality’s mailing)                                          (insert Name and address of administrative agency)

EVEN IF YOU DO NOT QUALIFY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN IN YOUR APARTMENT UNTIL YOUR LANDLORD HAS

COMPLIED WITH LAWS  REGARDING THE OFFER OF COMPARABLE HOUSING.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL ________________________________________ OR  ______________________________________________.  

                        (insert phone number of administrative agent)                                    (insert phone number of Department of Community Affairs)

 

The department shall not accept any application for registration of conversion for any building or structure unless included in the application is proof that the administrative agency notified the tenants prior to the application for registration.  The proof shall be by affidavit or in such other form as the department shall require.  

 

In any municipality where the administrative agency is the same as the agency administering the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.), the notices required under that act and this act may be combined in a single mailing. 

L.1991,c.509, s.7.     

2A:18-61.47.   Determining tenants’ qualifications 

 

Within 30 days after receipt of an application for the protected tenancy status authorized under the provisions of this act, the administrative agency shall make a determination of qualification.  It shall send written notice of qualification to each tenant who is a resident of the qualified county and:  

  1. applied on or before the date of registration of conversion by the department, or within one year from the      effective date of this act, whichever is later; and,  

  2. has an annual household income that does not exceed the maximum amount permitted for qualification,      or is exempt from that income limitation by reason of age or disability; and,  

  3. has occupied the premises as his principal residence for at least 12 consecutive months next proceeding the date of application.  

 

The administrative agency shall likewise send a notice of denial, with reasons therefore, to any tenant whom it determines not to be qualified.  That notice shall inform the tenant of his right to remain in his dwelling unit until the owner shall have complied with the requirements of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.7 et al.) and shall include an explanation of the meaning of "comparable housing" as used in that act.  The owner shall be notified of those tenants who are determined to be qualified and unqualified.  

 

The administrative agency may require that the application include such documents and information as may be necessary to establish the tenant is qualified for a protected tenancy status under the provisions of this act and shall require that such documentation and information be submitted under oath. The commissioner may by regulation adopt uniform forms to used in applying for protected tenancy status, for notifying an applicant of qualification or denial thereof, and conveying to a denied applicant the information concerning his rights to continued tenancy and offer of comparable housing; he may also adopt such other regulations for the procedure of determining qualification as he deems necessary or expedient to the proper effectuation of the provisions and purposes of this act.  

L.1991,c.509, s.8.     

2A:18-61.48.  Requisites for approval or registration of conversion

 

No registration of conversion for a building or structure located in a qualified county shall be approved until the department receives proof that the provisions of section 8 of this act have been complied with, and that notification as required in that section has been made to all tenants who filed application for protected tenancy status on or before the application deadline prescribed in the notice given pursuant to section 7 of this act. The proof shall be by affidavit or in such form as the department may require.  

L.1991,c.509, s,9.  

 

2A:18-61.49.  Applicability of protected tenancy

 

The protected tenancy status authorized under the provisions of this act shall not be applicable to any qualified tenant until such time as the owner has filed his conversion recording.  The protected tenancy status shall automatically apply as soon as a tenant receives notice of qualification and the landlord files his conversion recording.  The conversion recording shall not be filed until after the registration of conversion.

L.1991,c.509, s.10.  

 

2A:18-61.50.  Termination of protected tenancy 

 

  1. The administrative agency shall terminate the protected tenancy status authorized under the provisions of this act immediately upon finding that:  

    1. the dwelling unit is no longer the principal residence of the tenant, or

    2. the tenant's annual household income exceeds the maximum amount permitted for qualification. 

  2. Upon presentation to the administrative agency of credible evidence that a tenant is no longer qualified for protected tenancy status under this act, the administrative agency shall proceed, in accordance with such       regulations and procedures as the department shall adopt and prescribe for use in such cases, to       investigate and make a determination as to the continuance of that status.   

  3. Upon the termination of the protected tenancy status by the administrative agency, the tenant may be removed from the dwelling unit pursuant to P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1 et al.), except that all notice and other times set forth therein shall be calculated and extend from the date of the expiration or termination of the protected tenancy period, or the date of the expiration of the last lease entered into with the tenant during the protected tenancy period, whichever shall be later.  

  4. Any protection afforded to a person under the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.) shall remain in full force and effect.  If the administrative agency determines that a tenant is no longer qualified for protected tenancy under that act, the administrative agency shall proceed to determine the eligibility of that tenant under the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), or, in any case in which the administrative agency is not the same as the agency administering the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992" in the municipality, shall refer the case to the appropriate administrative agency for such determination.  If the tenant is found by such determination to be eligible, his protected tenancy status shall be continued.  The protected tenancy status of the tenant shall remain in full force pending such determination.   

L.1991,c.509, s.11.  

 

2A:18-61.51.  Tenancy protection terminated by tenant purchase  

 

In the event that a qualified tenant purchases the dwelling unit he occupies, the protected tenancy status afforded under the provisions of this act shall terminate immediately upon purchase. 

L.1991,c.509, s.12.    

2A:18-61.52.  Costs of conversion no basis for rent increases  

 

  1. In the case of a municipality subject to the provisions of this act that does not have a rent control ordinance in effect, no evidence of increased costs that are solely the result of the conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall be used as a basis to establish the reasonableness of a rent increase under subsection f. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1).  

 

  1. In the case of a municipality subject to the provisions of this act that has a rent control ordinance in effect, a rent increase for a qualified tenant with a protected tenancy status, or for any tenant to whom notice of termination pursuant to subsection g. of section 3 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.2) has been given, shall not exceed the increase authorized by the ordinance for rent-controlled units.  Increased costs that are solely the result of a conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall not be used as a basis for an increase in a fair-return or hardship hearing before a municipal rent board or on any appeal from such determination.  

L.1991,c.509, s.13.     

2A:18-61.53.  Public offering statement; requisites  

 

In the case of a building or structure located in a qualified county, the public offering statement for a conversion as required by “The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.), shall clearly inform the prospective purchaser of the provisions of this act regarding the protection of qualified tenants and tenants in need of comparable housing.  Any contract or agreement for sale of a converted unit shall contain a clause in 10-point bold type or larger that the contract is subject to the terms of this act concerning such tenant protection and an acknowledgement that the purchaser has been informed of these terms.  

L.1991,c.509,s.14.    

2A:18-61.54.  Municipal fees  

 

A municipality located in a qualified county is authorized to charge an owner a fee which may vary according to the size of the building to cover the cost of providing the services required by this act. 

L.1991,c509, s.15.  

 

2A:18-61.55.  Tenant waivers, unenforceable

 

Any agreement whereby the tenant waives any rights under this act shall be deemed to be against public policy and unenforceable.   

L.1991, c.509, s.16.    

2A:18-61.56.  Actions against qualified tenants, limitations  

 

For one year from the effective date of this act, no action for removal of a qualified tenant shall be instituted, no judgment shall be entered against a qualified tenant based upon a previously instituted action, and no qualified tenant shall be removed from his dwelling unit by a landlord, on the basis of the conversion of the premises.  The owner of any residential premises located in a qualified county who, prior to that date, has registered those residential premises for conversion or applied for such registration shall comply with the provisions of this act, and the tenants residing in those premises shall be entitled to the protections extended under this act as if the registration or application for registration had not so occurred prior to that date.  However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to any residential unit for which a conversion was registered prior to March 4, 1991 if the unit was sold to a bona fide individual purchaser prior to that date and that purchaser intends to personally occupy the unit as his principal residence.   

L.1991,c.509, s.17.  

 

2A:18-61.57.  Removal for good cause  

 

Nothing in this act shall be deemed to prevent a court from removing a tenant, qualified tenant or tenant in need of comparable housing from a dwelling unit located in a qualified county for good cause shown not to be related to conversion of the building or structure to a condominium or cooperative. 

L.1991,c.509,s.18.  

 

2A:18-61.58.  Severability

 

If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its effect to the section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act directly involved in the controversy in which the judgment shall have been rendered.  

L.1991,c.509,s.24

 

2A:18-61.59.  Rules, regulations 

 

The commissioner is authorized to adopt, in accordance with the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this act, including but not limited to, the prescribing of administrative and notification procedures which integrate the procedural requirements of this act with those of P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.) in order to facilitate the efficient administration of both acts.   

L.1991,c.509, s.25.  

 

2A:18-61.60.  Tenants’ organization permitted to accept billing for utility

 

Whenever an electric, gas, water or sewer public utility has provided written notice to tenants residing in rental premises of a proposed discontinuance of service and the tenants so notified have indicated a desire to continue service, but the utility has determined that it would not be feasible to bill each tenant individually for the service, the utility shall permit a tenants’ organization representing each tenant of the rental premises to accept billing for the utility including the periodic billing for current charges, and a statement of any arrearage which is unpaid by the landlord for service previously supplied by the utility, and shall continue providing the service to the premises provided that payment is received.

L.2000, c.113, s.1

 

2A:18-61.61.  Deduction of certain utility costs from rental payment

 

Whenever a tenants’ organization agrees to accept billing for a utility service, the tenants comprising the membership of the organization accepting and paying such billing shall be permitted to deduct from each of their respective rental payments to the landlord of the premises an amount corresponding to the tenant’s contribution towards the currently due utility payment and the arrearage, if any, owed by the landlord, provided that any contribution by a tenant to the arrearage shall not exceed 15 percent of the tenant’s rental payment which would have been payable to the landlord, but for the contribution.

L.2000, c.113, s.2

 

2A:18-61.62.  Issuance of “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency.”

 

The Governor shall be empowered, whenever declaring a state of emergency, to determine whether the emergency will, or is likely to, significantly affect the availability and pricing of rental housing in the areas included in the declaration.  If the Governor determines that unconscionable rental practices are likely to occur unless the protections       afforded under P.L.2002, c. 133 (C.2A:18-61.62 et al.) are invoked, the Governor may issue a “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency” at any time during the declared state of emergency.           

L.2002, c.133 s.1, 

2A:18-61.63.  Effect of issuance of “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency.”

 

Whenever the Governor declares a state of emergency within certain areas of the State, and issues a “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency,” the following shall apply:

  1. Within a zone which includes the area declared to be in a state of emergency and, if so indicated in the Notice of Rent Protection Emergency extending a distance not to exceed 10 miles in all directions from the outward boundaries thereof, there shall be a presumption of unreasonableness given to a notice of increase in rental charges provided subsequent to the date of the declaration by a landlord to a tenant occupying premises which are utilized as a residence, when the proposed percentage increase in rent is greater than twice the rate of inflation as indicated by increases in the CPI for the immediately preceding nine month period.  For the purposes of this section, “CPI” means the annual average over a 12-month period beginning September 1 and ending August 31 of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), All Items Series A, of the United States Department of Labor (1957-1959  = 100), for the New York, NY-Northeastern New Jersey region.

  2. Within a zone which includes the area declared to be in a state of emergency and, if so indicated in the Notice of Rent Protection Emergency extending a distance not to exceed 10 miles in all directions from the outward boundaries thereof, there shall be a limitation on the amount of rent which may be charged a tenant undertaking a new lease for residential premises during the duration of the declaration of a “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency” made pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2002, c. 133 (C.2A:18-61.62).  The amount of rent which may be charged shall be limited to the product of the fair market rental value of the premises prior to the emergency conditions and two times the rate of inflation as determined by the increase in the CPI for the immediately preceding nine month period.  For the purposes of this section, “CPI” means the annual average over a 12-month period beginning September 1 and ending August 31 of the Consumer price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), All items Series A, of the United States Department of Labor (1957-1959 = 100), for New York, NY-Northeastern New Jersey region.

  3. In the event that a landlord believes that the limitations on increases in rental charges imposed by a “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency” prevent the landlord from realizing a just and reasonable rate of return on the landlord’s investment, the landlord may file an application with the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety for the purpose of requesting permission to increase rental charges in excess of the increases otherwise authorized under the “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency”.  In evaluating such an application, the director shall take into consideration the purposes intended to be achieved by P.L.2002, c. 133 (C.2A:18-61.62 et al.) and the “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency” and the amount of rental charges required to provide the landlord with a just and reasonable return.  The Director shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L. 1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to effectuate the purpose of this act.

  4. The provisions of subsections a. and b. of this section will serve to supplement, not replace, any existing local, State, or Federal restrictions on rent increases for any dwelling units in residential buildings located within the zone described in subsections a. and b. of this section, and will only apply to those dwelling units where they cause a lowering of the maximum allowable rent increase or of the maximum reasonable rent increase.

  5. The provisions of subsections a. and b. of this section shall cease to apply upon the expiration of the state of emergency, or upon the rescission of the either the declaration of the state of emergency or the “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency.”

L.2002,c. 133, s. 2.

 

2A:18-61.64.  Report of violation, investigations, penalties

 

  1. A tenant or prospective tenant may report a violation of the provisions of P.L. 2002, c.133 (C.2A:18-61.62 et al.) to the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.  The director shall investigate any complaint within 10 days of receipt o the complaint. 

  2. If the director determines that a violation of this act has occurred:

    1. a penalty may be assessed against the landlord in an amount equal to six times the monthly rental sought to be imposed upon a tenant in contravention of the “Notice of Rent Protection Emergency”; or 

    2. any penalties for violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et al.) may be sought by the director.

  3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections a. and b. of this section, a tenant shall have the right to petition a court of competent jurisdiction to terminate a lease containing a provision in violation of the provisions of P.L.

2002, c. 133 (C.2A:18-61.62 et al.).

L.2002, c.133, s. 3. 

 

2A:18-61.65.  Violations considered as consumer fraud

 

Any violation of P.L.2002, c. 133 (C. 2A:18-61.62 et al.) shall be considered a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, P.L.1960,c.39(C.56:8-1 et seq.).

L.2002, c.133, s. 4 

 

2A:18-66.  Judgment;  order as to payment;  stay of execution

 

The court may either order the judgment paid to the prevailing party or into court for the use of the prevailing party at a certain date or by specified installments, and may stay the issue of execution and other supplementary process during compliance with its order.  Such stay shall at all times be subject to be modified or vacated.

 

2A:18-67.  Docketing small claims judgments  

 

Judgments recovered in the division of small claims of the Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part may be docketed as judgments in the Special Civil Part proper are docketed.  

Amended L.1991, c.91, s.69.  

 

 

2A:18-69.  Costs

 

The actual cash disbursements of the prevailing party for any fees paid to the clerk and witness and officers' fees shall be allowed as costs.

 

2A:18-71.  Costs on vacation of judgment

 

When a judgment is vacated, the court, in its discretion may award costs not exceeding $10, for or against either party and enter judgment and issue execution therefor.

 

2A:18-72.  Disposal of remaining personal property abandoned by tenant 

 

A landlord of commercial or residential property, in the manner provided by P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-72 et al.), may dispose of any tangible goods, chattels, manufactured or mobile homes or other personal property left upon a premises by a tenant after giving notice as required by section 2 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-73), only if the landlord reasonable believes under all the circumstances that the tenant has left the property upon the premises with no intention of asserting any further claim to the premises or the property and:

  1. A warrant for removal has been executed and possession of the premises has been restored to the 

      landlord; or

  1. The tenant has given written notice that he or she is voluntarily relinquishing possession of the premises.

             

The provision of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-72 et al.) shall not apply to the disposal of tenant property left on nonresidential rental property if there is a lease in effect which has been duly executed by all parties which contains specific terms and conditions for the disposal of tenant property.

L.1999, c.340,s. 1: Amended L.2001, c.51.

 

2A:18-73. Notice to tenant prior to disposition

 

To dispose of a tenant’s property under this act, a landlord shall first give written notice to the tenant, which shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested or by receipted first class mail addressed to the tenant, at the tenant’s last known address (which may be the address of the premises) and at any alternate address or addresses known to the landlord in an envelope endorsed “Please Forward.”

 

“Receipted first class mail” for purposes of this section means first class mail for which a certificate of mailing has been obtained by the sender but does not include certified or registered mail.

 

When the property subject to disposal is a manufactured or mobile home, a copy of the notice required pursuant to this section shall also be sent to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles and to any lienholders with security interests in the property which has been recorded with the Division of Motor Vehicles.

L.199.c.340,s.2.

               2A:18-74. Contents of notice                

 

The notice required under section 2 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C2A:18-73) shall state as follows:

  1. That the property is considered abandoned and must be removed from the premises or from the place of safekeeping, if the landlord has stored the property as provided in section 4 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:1875), by a date as follows;

    1. for all property other than manufactured or mobile homes not less than 30 days after delivery of the notice, all not less than 33 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first, or

    2. for property which consists solely of manufactured or mobile homes, not less than 75 days

after the delivery of the notice, or not less than 78 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first, or the property will be sold or otherwise disposed of; and

  1. That if the abandoned property is not removed:

    1. The landlord may sell the property at a public or private sale; or

    2. The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property if the landlord reasonable        determines that the value of the property is so low that cost of storage and conducting a public   sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale; or

    3. The landlord may sell items of value and destroy or otherwise dispose of the remaining property.

  2. That in the case of a residential tenant, if the tenant claims the property within the time provided in the        notice, the landlord must make the property available for removal by the tenant without payment by the        tenant of any unpaid rent.

L.1999,c.340, s.3

 

2A:18-75. Storing abandoned property 

 

After notifying a tenant as required by section 2 and 3 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-73 et seq.) a landlord shall store all goods, chattels, manufactured or mobile homes and other personal property of the tenant in a place of safekeeping and shall exercise reasonable care for the property, except that the landlord may promptly dispose of perishable food and shall allow an animal control agency or humane society to remove any abandoned pets or livestock.  A landlord may store a tenant’s manufactured dwelling or residential vehicle on the space previously rented, elsewhere on the premises or in a safe location off the premises.  A landlord shall be entitled to reasonable storage charges and costs incidental to storage.  A landlord may store property in a commercial storage facility, in which case the storage cost shall include the actual storage charge plus the reasonable cost of removal of the property to the place of storage.

L.1999,c.340, s.4.

 

2A:18-76.  Conditions under which the property is considered abandoned

 

  1. If a tenant responds in writing or orally to the landlord, on or before the day specified in the required notice, that the tenant intends to remove the property from the premises, or from the place of safekeeping if the landlord has stored the property as provided in section 4 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-75), and does not do so within the time specified in the notice or within 15 days after the written response, whichever is later, the tenant’s property shall be conclusively presumed to be abandoned.

 

  1. If a lienholder responds in writing to the landlord concerning a security interest in any manufactured or mobile home, and the lienholder indicates an intent to remove the property from the premises, or from the place of safekeeping, or to pay rent as a condition of leaving the property on the premises, but fails to remove the property or make rental payments within the time specified in the notice or within 15 days after the written response, whichever is later, then the landlord may proceed as if the lienholder had not responded.

 

  1. If no response is received from a tenant or lienholder within the time period provided under section 3 of P.L.1999,

c.340 (C2A:18-74), then the tenant’s property shall be conclusively presumed to be abandoned.

L.1999,  c.340, s.5.  

2A:18-77.  Tenant’s reimbursement for storage costs 

 

Upon removal of his property, a tenant shall reimburse the landlord for the reasonable cost of storage for the period the property was in the landlord’s safekeeping, including the reasonable cost of removal of the property to a place of storage.  A landlord shall not be entitled to reimbursement for storage and removal costs which are greater than the fair market value of such costs in the locale of the rental property.  A landlord shall not be responsible for any loss to a tenant resulting from storage of property in compliance with this act unless the loss was caused by the landlord’s deliberate or negligent act or omission.

L.1999.c,340, s.6.

 

2A:18-78.  Disposal of property, options

 

Property that has been conclusively presumed to be abandoned may be disposed of in any of the following ways: a.  The landlord may sell the property at a public or private sale;

  1. The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property if the landlord reasonably determines that the value of the property is so low that the cost of storage and conducting a public sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale; or

  2. The landlord may sell certain items and destroy or otherwise dispose of the remaining property, in accordance with subsections a. and b. of this section.

 

A public or private sale authorized by this section shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of 12A:9-601 et seq. of the “Uniform Commercial Code” .

L.1999, c.340, s.7 ; Amended L.2001, c.117,s.24.

 

 

 

 

2A:18-79.  Immunity

 

Nothing in P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-72 et al.) shall diminish the right of a landlord of a nonresidential property to use distraint when authorized by law.

L.1999, c. 340, s. 7

 

2A:18-80.  Deductions from sale proceeds

 

A landlord may deduct from the proceeds of any sale the reasonable costs of notice, storage and sale and any unpaid rent and charges not covered by a security deposit.  After deducting these amounts, the landlords shall remit to the tenant the remaining proceeds, if any, together with an itemized accounting. If the tenant, after due diligence, cannot be found the remaining proceeds shall be deposited into the Superior Court and, if not claimed within 10 years, shall escheat to the State.

L.1999,c.340, s.11.

 

2A:18-81.  Compliance with act constitutes complete defense

 

Compliance in good faith with all the requirements of this act shall constitute a complete defense in any action brought by a tenant against a landlord for loss or damage to personal property disposed of pursuant to this act.

L.1999,c.340,s.12.

 

2A:18-82.  Noncompliance with act; tenant’s recovery

 

If a landlord seizes and retains a tenant’s personal property without complying with this act, the tenant shall be relieved of any liability for reimbursement to the landlord for storage and removal costs and shall be entitled to recover up to twice the actual damages sustained by the tenant.

L.1999, c.340, s.13

2A:18-83.  Applicability of act

 

This act shall not be applicable to any unclaimed property which must be disposed of in accordance with the “Uniform Unclaimed Property Act,” P.L.1989, c.58 (C.46:30B-1 et seq.).

L. 1999, c. 340, s. 14   

2A:18-84.  Nonapplicability to motor vehicles

 

This act shall not be applicable to abandoned motor vehicles.

L.1999, c. 340, s. 15