The New Jersey eviction process is not complicated, but you need to follow it precisely in order to effectively remove a tenant from your property. These are four property management tips for landlords to keep in mind when they’re filing an eviction in New Jersey.
Implement a Standard Rent Collection Process
If you don’t have a standard rent collection process with good tenant communication, you will run into problems when you’re evicting. You won’t know how much they owe, and you won’t be able to convince the courts that they actually owe the balance that you come up with. You need a consistent process in place, so if you don’t have one, get one together.
File Your Eviction Early
Tenants will get lazy about paying their rent, and they don’t always make payments on time. if they see that you are lax, they will become lax as well and take advantage of you. That gives you poor cash flow. You won’t have the money from the tenants to pay your bills. So file early. Go to the court website, download the documents, fill them out and file them with the court. It’s easy, but if you have any doubts, consult with a landlord tenant attorney. A legal expert can walk you through the process and handle the eviction for you.
Prepare for Court
Once they get to court, the only defense that a tenant has is that they did in fact pay rent. But you wouldn’t be there if they had paid their rent, so they don’t have much of a defense. The judge cannot force you to make a deal with the tenants. If they just need more time to pay, you can enter into a payment plan, but you don’t have to. When you can document that the tenant hasn’t paid, the judge will issue an eviction. If the tenant doesn’t show up, you will get a default judgment. Some landlords will agree to a payment plan. It depends on how far behind the tenant is and what kind of tenant that person has been. Make a plan if you want. A consent judgement is where you set up a payment plan and then you can still force them out if it’s not followed.
Getting the Tenants Out of Your Property
For the next step, you’ll need the sheriff. Sometimes the tenants leave voluntarily, but if they don’t, you’ll need to show up with your locksmith and the sheriff on the date the court assigns. If the tenants are not there, you can go in and change the locks. If the tenants are in the house, the sheriff will force them to leave. You can change the locks, and it becomes your property again. If the tenants leave personal items behind, you can make voluntary arrangements to get their stuff out. If not, you have to hold it for 30 days and then you can do whatever you want.
That’s the basic process of eviction in New Jersey. We’ll talk next about how to handle the security deposit and any of that personal property that was left behind. If you have any questions, please contact us at Realty Solutions.