Here’s What You can Expect
Few things can be more stressful for a landlord or tenant than a dispute regarding the premises or the lease. A dispute can mean a landlord is not receiving important income and that a tenant may lose the roof over their head. If a landlord and tenant are unable to reach a resolution on their own through negotiation or mediation, they will need to go to New Jersey landlord/tenant court to settle the matter.
If you have a court date in landlord/tenant court, you should consult with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney as soon as possible. Court proceedings can be intimidating and confusing and, in order to protect your interests, you should have a lawyer on your side who has a thorough understanding of landlord-tenant laws in New Jersey.
Preparing for Your Day in Court
You should never show up in court without being properly prepared to support your own arguments but to also challenge the assertions of the other party. For example, if you are a landlord claiming that a tenant has not paid rent in months and you therefore deserve an eviction, you cannot simply tell the court and expect the judge to believe you. Instead, you should have gathered and organized financial records and other proof of bookkeeping, along with the lease agreement to show the tenant has breached the agreement. On the other hand, if you are a tenant claiming the property is uninhabitable, you will need proper photos of the property and/or witnesses present to testify to the condition of the unit. Your attorney can help you arrive at court fully prepared.
The Hearing Process
Both the landlord and the tenant will get to present their arguments to the court along with any supporting evidence. Each party will also get the opportunity to challenge the evidence and arguments of the other party. An experienced landlord-tenant attorney will be familiar with all court hearing procedures to ensure the best possible results in your case.
Decisions by the Court
It is important to understand that a landlord/tenant judge cannot issue a judgment for money to be paid as this type of court has limited jurisdiction. Instead, the court can order an eviction, can order a landlord to repair the property, or can otherwise order parties to comply with the lease agreements. If you want to seek unpaid rent, you will need to file a separate claim in civil court.
Call to Consult with an Experienced NJ Real Estate Attorney
An experienced landlord-tenant lawyer at the New Jersey Law Office of John L. Schettino can walk you through every step of your landlord-tenant dispute and will fight to protect your rights. Please call us today for more information at 201-498-9768.