What is Landlord-Tenant Law?
Landlord-tenant law governs the rental of commercial and residential property. It is comprised primarily of state statutory and common law. The landlord-tenant relationship is founded on duties proscribed by law or an individual lease. When a dispute arises between the landlord and tenant as it relates to the rental property and the dispute cannot be resolved among the parties, they should seek the intervention of an attorney.
Why is a Lawyer Necessary?
If you are a plaintiff/landlord - You have invested a considerable sum of money in purchasing your real estate property. When your tenant fails to pay timely rent, neglects the premises, etc. you must expend additional funds to meet mortgage, tax and repair payments. Therefore, you will want an attorney to intervene, so that the matter is resolved in a professional and timely manner.
If you are a defendant/tenant - You have invested time, effort and money moving into your rental property. You have made your accommodations attractive, comfortable and suited to meet your needs. When there is a problem at the property, whether it is structural, plumbing, electrical, etc. and your landlord fails to correct it, you need to take action to make sure your rights are protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a plaintiff/landlord:
- Can I have the tenant evicted for non-payment of rent? Yes. An eviction action can be initiated for tenant's failure to pay rent due and owing, which is in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(a).
- Neighbors and/or other tenants in the building complain of the tenant making noise and playing loud music late at night. What recourse do I have? The tenant can be evicted for being disorderly, which is in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(b).
- The lease does not allow for sublease of the rental property, but the tenant did sublease it. What steps can I take legally? Your tenant can be evicted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(e).
- If the tenant breaches a provision of the lease, can I accelerate all the rent to become due? No, however, the tenant can be evicted for breach of agreement pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(e).
- The tenant caused damage to the rental property in excess of the security deposit amount. Can I sue the tenant for the additional amount of the repairs? Yes. In addition, the tenant can be evicted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(c).
- The tenant pays rent late every month? What can I do get the rent paid on time? You can take action to have the tenant evicted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(j).
- The tenant has refused to pay rent after receiving a reasonable increase? What can I do? You can have the tenant evicted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(f).
If you are a defendant/tenant:
- Can I withhold rent until my complaint is corrected by the landlord? No.
- It's been more than thirty days since I moved out of the rental unit and the landlord has not returned my security deposit? What are my rights? File suit for two times the amount of the wrongfully withheld security deposit.
- The landlord withheld my security to pay for the repair of damages to the rental property which he claims I caused, when I did not cause same. How can I recover my security deposit? Same as #2.
- The property was sold to a new landlord and I have not been advised of the banking institution where my security deposit is being held. Is the landlord required to provide me with the name of the bank? Yes.