If you are a landlord in the state of New Jersey, chances are you have had to deal with a tenant who habitually pays rent late. This can be a real pain, as it takes up your time and energy to try and get them to pay on time. In some cases, you may even feel like it’s not worth it and would rather evict them. In this blog post, we will discuss what constitutes habitual lateness and how you can go about evicting a tenant for this reason.
In order for a tenant to be considered habitually late, they must have failed to pay rent on time on more than one occasion. If the tenant has only been late once or twice, even if it was within a short period of time, they are not considered habitually late and cannot be evicted under these grounds. Additionally, the law requires that you give the tenant a notice to quit before beginning eviction proceedings. This notice must state that the tenant has habitually failed to pay rent on time and that they have a certain number of days to remedy the situation or face eviction. If the tenant does not pay rent on time within this given period, then you can proceed with filing for eviction.
A landlord can proceed with eviction if the tenant has failed to pay rent within the given period of time outlined in the notice to quit. If you are unsure whether or not your tenant meets these criteria, it is best to speak with an experienced New Jersey eviction lawyer.
There are two important items you need in order to perfect an eviction of a habitually late tenant. First, you must have good records of when the tenant paid rent. This may seem like a no-brainer but if the courts get involved, you will need to show a pattern of late payments.
You must perfect the notice requirement, meaning the tenant has to actually get the notice. This is best served by delivering it by certified mail. You must first send a notice to cease after a late payment, which gives the tenant an opportunity to correct the violation. Thereafter send a 30 day notice to quit after another late payment.
This notice must state that the tenant has habitually failed to pay rent on time and that they have a certain number of days to remedy the situation or face eviction. If the tenant does not pay rent on time within this given period, then you can proceed with filing for eviction.
After both of these notices are sent and the tenant continues to be late you may then file an eviction complaint for habitual lateness. The court will set a hearing date and the landlord must prove their case with the records they have kept as well as any other evidence they have gathered. If the landlord is successful, then the court will issue an eviction order.
As you can see, evicting a tenant for being habitually late is not an easy process. It requires patience and careful record-keeping on the part of the landlord. However, if done correctly it can be a successful way to get rid of a troublesome tenant. For more information or assistance with this process, please contact one of our experienced New Jersey landlord-tenant lawyers today.