How to get a squatter out fast?

We own a house in a bad area. My husband allowed his cousin to stay at the home temporarily until we got a renter. This was in order to prevent the house from looking

abandoned and therefore being broken into. Within a short time, we rented 2/3 rooms and

asked him to leave or pay 100/week for 3rd room. He barely paid less than $1,000 in 2 years, no receipts. However, since it was his cousin, we kept listening to his lies of

Asked on April 21, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The quickest way is through landlord-tenant court. There is always a lease--even an oral or verbal one. You write that he was supposed to pay $100/week: that makes him a tenant. Landlord-tenant court is the *fastest* legal process in New Jersey. Total up how much rent he owes you, at $100/week. File an eviction complaint against him for all the money he owes--it should be around $9,000+. You'll get a court date in 2 - 4 weeks, depending on which county you are in. Unless he pays all the rent due and owing that day in court, you'll get a judgment for possession in your favor, and can file for a warrant of removal to get a court officer lock him out withing 8 - 24 days (depending on county: 8 days is the legal minimum, but the busier, more urban counties get a little backed up). 
Once someone has paid rent, even sporadically, they are a tenant: the police will not remove a tenant. The only way to get a tenant out is through landlord-tenant court but it is faster than any other court process I have seen in NJ.

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