Tenants are strongly protected from eviction without cause in New Jersey. If you want to remove a tenant for any reason that isn’t a lease violation, you’ll often need to wait for quite a while and make sure that you follow the steps perfectly. This is certainly the case when it comes to removing tenants when you’re selling a property.
If you’re concerned about the challenges of removing tenants without cause, you’re not alone. We have worked with many landlords who have had difficulty convincing tenants to leave on time. In the worst situations, a stubborn tenant can mean a deal on your property falling through. The best way to lower the risk of a problem is to follow the right legal steps, and to talk to an eviction attorney when you need answers.
Evicting Tenants When Selling a Property
Step One: Give the Correct Notice
You must always provide the proper notice to your existing tenants when you are preparing to sell a property. In New Jersey, the required notice to vacate needs to give them not fewer than 60 days to leave the property.
The time period for the notice must begin after you have made the initial property deal. This is important because it means that you cannot ask a tenant to leave based on the chance that you may want to sell the building in the near future. You must have already signed the building over and included the right terms in the contract to be able to issue the 60-day notice.
Step Two: Verify the Contract Requires an Unoccupied Unit
If the contract does not require that the unit be delivered unoccupied, the buyer may be responsible for assuming the lease agreement with the existing tenant. It is common for contracts to include this clause, but you need to need to verify absolutely that an empty unit is required. You cannot remove the tenant through the 60-day notice to vacate unless that requirement is stipulated in the contract.
Step Three: Take Action if the Tenants Refuse to Vacate
You can begin finalizing your sale once the notice to vacate has been delivered. If the tenant refuses to leave by the end of the time limit, you have proper grounds for an eviction by the court. This will often mean going to landlord-tenant court. If you haven’t tried to take any shortcuts, you probably won’t have much to worry about.
Talk to a Lawyer about Tenant & Landlord Rights
Our attorneys can help you understand a tenant’s rights when a landlord sells a property in New Jersey. It’s important to have experience on your side, because an eviction can take far longer than 60 days if it isn’t done in the manner the law requires. You can get answers to all of your questions when you contact us about a consultation. We’re available for advice, or to represent you in landlord-tenant court.