Landlords in New Jersey often find themselves needing to collect damages from a tenant. It can be a difficult process, but it’s important to follow the proper steps in order to ensure that you are successful. The first step is to evict the tenant. Make sure that the tenant is properly moved out of the rental property and that you have gained possession of it. Then, you can begin to calculate the damages. Be sure to understand what needs to be done with any remaining funds once the collection process is complete. By following these steps, you can collect damages from a tenant in New Jersey. landlord, new jersey, damages, tenant, eviction.
Make Sure the Tenant Is Out, Then Gain Possession of the Property
The process of evicting a tenant in New Jersey is governed by state law. The landlord must first give the tenant a written notice of their intention to terminate the lease agreement. The landlord must then file a complaint with the court and have the tenant served with a summons and complaint. The tenant will then have an opportunity to appear in court and defend themselves against the landlord’s claims. If the landlord is successful, they will be granted an order of possession from the court.
Next Step: Calculate the Damages
Once the tenant vacates the property, the landlord can then change the locks and take control of the property. You will need to add up any unpaid rent, late fees, attorneys’ fees and property damage (if applicable). Then net out the security deposit. It is very important for a landlord to keep track of all of their expenses during an eviction, so that they can properly collect these damages from the tenant. I always recommend keeping good records, including copies of any court filings, letters sent to and from the tenant, rent receipts, pictures of damage done to the property, etc. This will help make the process much smoother. If there are still funds remaining after this calculation, you must return these funds to the tenant.
What to Do with Remaining Funds?
Once a tenant moves out, you have 30 days to refund their security deposit. If you need to deduct any money for repairs, you must provide a letter to the tenant with an itemized list of the damages and the cost of repairs. The remaining balance of the deposit must then be mailed to the tenant’s last known address. By following the requirements of the Rent Security Deposit Act, you can help protect yourself from financial damages caused by your tenants.
Failure to send this letter is not only an absolute requirement, failure to send may subject the landlord to damages in the amount of money wrongfully withheld!
The most important thing for landlords to remember is that they must return any portion of the security deposit that is not used for repairs or other damages. The tenant is entitled to this money, and the landlord cannot keep it. Collecting damages from a tenant in New Jersey can be a difficult process, but it is important to follow the proper steps. By doing so, you can ensure that you are successful in your efforts. If you have any questions about how to collect money owed from an evicted tenant, please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to help you with your case.