I’m a New Jersey landlord with a difficult tenant. I’ve given the tenant the proper New Jersey termination notice, but he still won’t leave. What next? What is the New Jersey eviction process?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 13, 2020

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If you have already properly served the tenant with any one of the available New Jersey termination notices and the tenant still will not leave, you may begin a lawsuit by filing a complaint with the New Jersey Superior Court, Special Civil Part in the county of the premises (a filing fee may apply). A copy of the complaint will be served on the tenant by a Court Officer. At trial, after considering all the evidence brought by both you and the tenant, the judge will decide whom to grant possession of the property and what costs will be awarded. If the landlord wins, it will be 3 days before further action can be taken, but the landlord should not wait longer than 30 days. If the tenant does not leave, the landlord may then request that the court issue a warrant for possession, which will then be served on the tenant by a Court Officer, giving the tenant 3 additional days to vacate. If the tenant does not leave, the landlord may then arrange for a Court Officer to evict or lock out the tenant. There will be a fee for this action. Following the eviction, the landlord must let the tenant remove personal belongings from the premises. A landlord cannot keep a tenant’s belongings, but may arrange for their storage. If at any time you think you are in over your head, you can always seek the advice and counsel of a New Jersey evictions attorney.

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