When a tenant falls behind on rent, it is the responsibility of the landlord to take action. This should include sending a notice to quit and also contacting an attorney. If you are a landlord who is struggling with late rent payments, continue reading to get some preliminary advice on exactly what to do. We will discuss why it is important to send a notice to quit and what landlords can do to avoid losing income from delinquent tenants.
Landlords’ Due Diligence
Landlords should always check the lease to verify how late the rent actually is. In some cases, tenants may be only a few days behind on rent and a phone call may suffice in getting them back on track. However, in other cases tenants may be months behind on rent and eviction proceedings will need to take place. It is important for both the landlord and tenant to have direct communication about late rent payments. In some cases, tenants may be struggling financially or going through personal issues that are preventing them from making timely rent payments. If this is true, then eviction proceedings may not be necessary and other solutions may be reached.
Once the grace period is reached, if the eviction is just for the nonpayment of rent, no notice is required and the landlord can file an eviction complaint immediately. If there are other reasons to evict, they will all require some type of notice. This document will inform the tenant that they must leave the property within a certain number of days according to the NJ Anti Eviction Act. If eviction proceedings are necessary after this point, it is important for landlords to contact an attorney who can help with the eviction process. Landlords should be aware that, even if they win an eviction case in court, there is always a chance the tenant may file for bankruptcy protection and stay the eviction. In these cases, landlords will need relief from the bankruptcy to proceed. A landlord may never use self help like turning off utilities or changing the locks without permission of the court.
How Long Do Evictions Take?
Evictions are running about four to eight weeks from sending the Notice to Quit and having a tenant removed. However, in some cases they can take up to six months or even longer. This is why it is important for landlords to take early action and begin eviction proceedings as soon as possible once it is verified that rent payments are late. By doing so, landlords can avoid losing income from delinquent tenants.
Keep in mind that eviction proceedings can be tedious. However, the rent a landlord could lose from delinquent tenants can also add up to large amounts of lost income as well. This is why it is important for landlords to take action early on when rent payments are late. If you do have to file a complaint for eviction you will have them removed within the next two months from your last rent check. This should give you enough time to find a new tenant and get them moved in.
If the tenant does manage to get current, at least then they know that, in the future, you mean business. Taking these preliminary steps will help protect landlords from losing rent income from delinquent tenants.
Contact us today to learn more about landlords’ rights and eviction proceedings.