Emergency Entry to Tenant’s Property in New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, landlords aren’t permitted to just walk into a tenant’s apartment or house anytime they want. Instead, they must give the tenant notice that they need access to the rental unit first. When this notice is given in a reasonable amount of time, the tenant should comply.

When something has gone wrong with this process, a representative from the Bureau of Housing Inspection may need to enter the premises with or without notice. The exception is when the landlord needs emergency entry to tenant’s property in New Jersey. These situations can vary, however, making a complete understanding of the laws involved essential to avoiding problems.

Right of Entry

The landlord’s right to enter the property is known as the “right of entry” in New Jersey. The laws governing the right of entry outline the limits of when a landlord can and cannot enter a property. It also addresses emergency situations and unhealthy conditions. As a landlord, it’s crucial that you are aware of your rights when it comes to accessing the property you rent out.

Emergency Entry

Landlords have an obligation to keep their rental properties safe for their tenants and those who reside near them. Because of this, there are emergency situations that would allow the landlord to enter without prior notice.

Some of the potential situations that might allow a landlord to enter a tenant’s home include the following:

  • Electrical issues that are causing a hazard to the tenant or those who reside near the dwelling
  • Water leaks that can cause expensive damage to the property if not addressed immediately
  • When an inspection has not been carried out because the tenant has been uncooperative

What Is an Unlawful Detainer?

Even though you own the property, you can’t just take it back whenever you want to—even if the court has approved an eviction and the eviction date has passed. New Jersey does not allow landlords to forcibly remove tenants. However, when a resident has been evicted and still has not left the property, it is called an unlawful detainer, which can be addressed in court.

The court may then give the landlord permission to enter the premises with the police in order to remove the tenant from the property. Under no circumstances should the landlord take it upon himself or herself to do this without the court’s permission or police assistance.

Note that any tenant who engages in illegal behavior will owe twice the amount of normal monthly rent for the full period of time that it took to gain emergency entry to the tenant’s property.

Risks of Not Having an Experienced Eviction Lawyer

Don’t risk making a mistake that could end up costing you. Whether you need permission to access a tenant’s property or you need emergency entry, it’s crucial that you check with an experienced eviction lawyer first.

Our attorneys at Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC can navigate the process on your behalf and make sure you take the correct steps throughout the proceedings. Please call us or fill out our online form at the bottom of this page.

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