Buying a condo with tenants. How do I evict?

I am in the process of purchasing a condo with tenants. I had initially agreed to
have the sellers evict them before closing but since they have been dragging this
process out I recently agreed to close with the tenants still there before my
commitment letter expires.

I would like to know my options once I close. Can I give them just 30 days
notice? Their lease expired a year ago and since then they have been paying month
to month. I have been doing research online and it seems like they can get 30
days notice since this will be my primary residence.

Can anyone with experience in NJ let me know if this is valid?

Asked on May 31, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

What you propose is not valid. In New Jersey, month-to-month really only means that the tenant in a single-family home (e.g. a condo) can give the landlord 30 days notice that he/she is vacating...but it is not reciprocal, and a landlord cannot give a tenant 30 days notice to vacate, even when the lease expires. Rather, so long as the tenant keeps paying the rent and does not otherwise do anything consituting good cause for eviction (e.g. disorderly conduct; grossly negligently or willfully damaging the landlord's propertyl; etc.), he or she can pretty much stay there forever, even on a month-to-month or expired lease.
There are ways to get the tenant out: the most straightforward for you is that if you have a signed contract to purchase the unit and intend to occupy it personally (NOT replace with a family member of yours or a different tenant), you can give them long notice--I believe it is either two- or three-months notice--to vacate, then, if they don't, file an eviction action in court.
New Jersey landlord-tenant law is very technical: minor errors result in the landlord's case being dismissed. For example: two-months notice is really "two full months plus however many days are left in the month you are currently in" notice. If you give too little notice, you'd have to start over. You are strongly advised to retain a landlord-tenant attorney to evict them for you.


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