Facing Eviction?? Know your Rights!
Under New Jersey law, a tenant cannot be evicted from their residence by anyone other than a special court officer with a legal court order issued by a Superior Court judge. An eviction becomes legal only after the landlord has sued the tenant for eviction in the Superior Court and won. This order must be carried out by a special court officer in possession of a form called an “execution of warrant for possession.” Moreover, the special court officer is required to immediately give a copy of this new form to both the landlord and the tenant (or a member of the tenant’s family), and also to post it on the door of the residence.
An eviction conducted under any other circumstances is illegal. This means that the landlord, his or her employees, or a police officer cannot legally evict you from your home. If the landlord shuts off your utilities in order to get you to leave, or locks or evicts you out of your residence, this is referred to as a “Self Help Eviction.” If this happens to you, please contact our Office so that we may assist in you exercising your rights. The police are legally obligated to make sure you get safely back to your rental unit if you are unlawfully evicted.
Certain actions on the part of the landlord constitute a disorderly persons offense under New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-11.1). Specifically, the following actions are considered illegal: (1) The landlord uses or threatens violence to make a tenant leave; (2) The landlord says or does things to scare a tenant into leaving; (3) The landlord removes a tenant’s property from his or her unit; (4) A tenant lets the landlord in peacefully, and then the landlord forces the tenant out; (5) The landlord padlocks or changes the locks to the premises; (6) The landlord shuts off any vital utilities, including but not limited to gas, electricity, and heat; and (7) The landlord tries anything else to remove a tenant.
If you think your landlord may be trying to illegally evict you, contact us at 908-424-1011.