The average landlord would prefer to keep the same tenants for as long as possible. Provided that the occupants of a unit pay their rent and don’t cause any major issues, keeping them in a unit is generally more cost-effective than marketing the space to new tenants every couple of years.
However, sometimes there are scenarios in which landlords realize that they need to remove an occupant from a property. Eviction is the legal process through which a landlord can force someone to vacate the property despite a lease. However, New Jersey state law limits the scenarios in which a landlord can force a tenant to vacate the premises. These are the most common legal reasons for a landlord to evict a tenant.
Failing to pay rent
One of the most common reasons to initiate eviction proceedings is that a tenant has fallen behind on rent payments. The terms of the lease may indicate how far behind the tenant must fall for an eviction to occur. Some landlords will take action after a single month of missed rent. Non-payment evictions can also occur when the landlord seeks to increase rent during a lease renewal but the tenant continues to pay the prior amount.
Damaging the unit
Landlords may become aware of tenant activity that has caused damage to the property. Throwing wild parties, getting into physical altercations in a rental unit or smoking inside are all examples of tenant behavior that could cause major damage to a unit that a landlord will have to pay to address.
Becoming a nuisance for others
At multi-unit properties, the impact that one tenant has on others nearby can be reason for a landlord to initiate eviction proceedings. Examples might include when the tenant has a pet as allowed in the release but the animal is loud and prevents neighbors from sleeping. Another example might involve someone who fails to clean their unit, leading to a cockroach infestation that affects not only them but adjacent tenants.
Violating the lease
Leases often include provisions limiting how many people can stay in a unit or the animals that are allowed to live there. When landlords have proof that a tenant has violated those restrictions in a lease, it may be possible to initiate an eviction based on those lease violations.
As presenting proper evidence will be crucial to a successful eviction, landlords need to follow the right process or risk needing to start over again. Understanding the circumstances that may justify an eviction can help landlords navigate a situation with a problem tenant more effectively.