Is your rental property registered? If not, you may have some big problems on the horizon. Not registering your property as a rental is a violation of the law in most of New Jersey, but even the legal penalties may be the least of your worries. It is incredibly difficult to manage the behavior of tenants who are living in unregistered units. You may have trouble enforcing any rental agreements, or removing them from the property if they are no longer meeting their obligations.
Our attorneys can assist you with registering properties. In the meantime, you may want to review the information that we’ve included for you below. We’ll help you get started on the registration, help you understand the risks of managing unregistered properties, and provide you with options if you’re already dealing with unregistered tenants.
Registering Your Unit
Registering your rental unit should not be too difficult, though there aren’t any standardized steps to follow that can work for anyone in New Jersey. This is because, in additions to state laws, registrations are governed by local and municipal laws. In New Jersey, municipalities have broad freedom to set their own rules for registration, so the requirements can change a lot from town to town.
When it comes to registering in most towns, you’ll be responsible for a hefty registration fee (which is why some landlords are reluctant to register), though that fee is likely less than the penalty for failing to register. Beyond the fee, you’ll be responsible for making disclosures about the property, and these need to be honest.
Risks of Unregistered Units
The risk of running an unregistered unit cannot be overstated. At the least, you’ll be on the hook for a fine as high as $500 if your unit is discovered. Your unit will have to be revealed if you want to try to begin eviction proceedings against someone living there, and by that time, you’re going to be dealing with a more serious problem: These tenants can’t be evicted by the law.
Without registration, you can’t get a judgement of possession from a court, and that is one of the necessary steps of an eviction. You simply can’t move forward with the eviction until you are capable of claiming possession.
Responding to Problems with Registration
You may have already found yourself in a bad situation with tenants who are staying at an unregistered property. While it’s true that you can’t use a normal eviction against these tenants, there are still ways that you can regain control of your property. One of the first things you should do is begin the process of getting the property properly registered.
If you’d like help with any part of the eviction process, you can learn more by requesting a free consultation with one of our landlord attorneys. We can help you reclaim control of your property, even when you’re stuck in situations without leases or registrations.