Can I Evict a Tenant for Domestic Violence in New Jersey?
It is an unfortunate truth that landlords sometimes have to deal with tenants who conduct illegal activity or engage in inappropriate behavior. Domestic violence, for example, is not as uncommon as one would hope, and it can have an impact that radiates out from the victim directly to numerous other parties—including those who rent to individuals involved in such situations.
If you are a landlord involved in these circumstances, you may find yourself wondering, “Can I evict a tenant for domestic violence in New Jersey?” Fortunately, New Jersey lawmakers had the foresight to address this issue in the state laws governing renting and leasing property.
Breaking the Lease
New Jersey law includes provisions to protect domestic violence victims from unnecessarily putting themselves at risk. Tenants are made aware of these provisions through the Truth in Renting notice that all landlords are required to give to tenants in New Jersey.
Victims of domestic violence may break a lease in writing in order to protect themselves from further harm. They are required to submit proof of the event but will not be penalized for breaking the lease early. They do have to pay the rent until the thirtieth day of the current term of their lease. However, a number of issues can arise for both you and your tenant.
Removing Offenders from Property
Just as victims are able to break a lease because of domestic violence, aggressors may face legal eviction. At the very least, domestic violence is considered criminal activity and disorderly conduct.
Depending on the situation, the tenant may be served with a notice to cease, followed by a notice to quit, and then an eviction. Because there are a number of details that must be covered when it comes to tenants and domestic violence, it’s best that you have experienced eviction lawyers to help you proceed.
Nonpayment of Rent
Another option is to use nonpayment of rent as grounds for eviction. The tenant may face an order for protection which prohibits him or her from coming near the victim. This may mean the tenant is unable to return to the residence in a legal manner. If so, the tenant may be unable to pay the rent.
Likewise, the victim may not be able to pay rent, which can complicate the situation even more. Our lawyers can make sure you are completing the process legally and safely, and we can give you advice based on your personal situation.
Experienced Eviction Lawyers in New Jersey
Dealing with tenants as a landlord can be complicated enough, but it becomes even more complex when domestic violence or any other type of criminal activity is involved. Don’t risk incorrectly evicting your tenant by overlooking important legal procedures. A failed eviction could end up becoming extremely expensive for you.
Let our experienced attorneys at Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC navigate the process on your behalf so that you get the best possible outcome for you and your rental property. Please call our office at 1-800-531-6442 or complete the form at the bottom of this page to schedule a free case evaluation.