Clementon, NJ asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey

Q: Nj Eviction. Landlord is harassing me and told me I was formally evicted without a judge’s signature.

I was ordered by the court, not the judge, to have my balance paid by 4/15/24 or another court meeting would take place to start the eviction process. The landlord has been harassing me for weeks and requesting me to turn my keys. Today was the day for the payment but when the landlord called, she didn’t ask about the payment but demanded I return the keys. I have been out of work for 3 days due to covid. When I asked for 4 more days, until this Friday, she said you have been formally evicted and hung up the call. We haven’t seen the judge yet, nor had the judge signed off on anything. I believe she wants me to leave with no contest because she has another person she wants to occupy the space.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on the information you provided, it seems that your landlord is acting improperly and potentially violating your rights as a tenant in New Jersey. Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Eviction process: In New Jersey, a landlord cannot evict a tenant without going through the proper legal process, which includes filing a complaint in court, attending a hearing before a judge, and obtaining a judgment for possession.

2. Harassment: Your landlord's actions, such as demanding that you return your keys and claiming you have been formally evicted without a judge's order, could be considered harassment and are not legally permissible.

3. Court order: If the court ordered you to pay your balance by 4/15/24, and you failed to do so, the landlord would still need to go through the proper legal channels to proceed with the eviction process. They cannot simply declare that you have been evicted without a judge's signature.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your rights:

1. Document all interactions with your landlord, including dates, times, and the content of any conversations or communications.

2. Seek legal assistance from a local tenants' rights organization or legal aid society. They can provide guidance on your specific situation and help you navigate the legal process.

3. Attend any court hearings and present your case, including any evidence of your landlord's harassment or improper actions.

4. If possible, try to pay the outstanding balance as soon as you can to demonstrate your good faith effort to fulfill your obligations as a tenant.

Remember, your landlord must follow the proper legal process to evict you, and they cannot harass you or force you to leave without a court order signed by a judge.

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