Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

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Latest post Fri, Dec 21 2012 6:43 AM by calgaryimmigration. 12 replies.
  • Fri, Dec 14 2012 12:35 PM

    • BaThak
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    Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    I have a tenant who has missed paying rent for three months now (April, November and now December).  At this point he does not answer my calls or reply to my emails.  I live on the west coast, so going down to personally meet him is a bit hard...  I finally employed a lawyer and eviction papers are being filed today.  

    My question is, if I get a judgement of possession, how do I get the money he owes me.. Since the amount (assuming he will not pay in Jan either) will be around 10K, I will have to file in the Special Civil court to recover back rent.    

    Can that be done as soon as the judgement for possession is received or can that be done even prior to that ?  How does the civil action to recover back rent work?  If he does not show up will the judge enter defualt judgement there as well?  What if the judge finds for me, but he refuses to pay or does not respond ?

    Advice will be appreciated ..

  • Fri, Dec 14 2012 12:41 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    Suggestion from a retired LL:

    Get him OUT first.  Get a judgement for the maximum amount that fits. Try to get it worded such that  collection costs/fees are added to amount due and add interest.

    How to collect from a certified deadbeat is unrewarding task much of the time --but NJ does allow for wage executions and I've used that route a few times in NJ   but if you see 40 cents on dollar you will be in a minority....



  • Fri, Dec 14 2012 12:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    I'm finding it a bit unfathomable that you didn't discuss this with the real estate attorney who presumably does landlord-tenant work on a regular basis.  (If pursuing eviction and money at the same time in a NJ eviction is not possible -- though I'm not sure that's the case -- you don't have to wait to sue him for money. 

    If someone doesn't show up in court, yes, a court may award a default judgment.

    "What if the judge finds for me, but he refuses to pay or does not respond ?"

    Then naturally you pursue collection by way of going after wages, assets, etc.

    My advice is to ... talk with the lawyer you hired.

  • Fri, Dec 14 2012 12:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    It didn't occur to you to ask your lawyer these questions?  A judgment of possession won't entitle you to any money.  You need a money judgment.  I don't know whether you can get that at the same time you get the judgment of possession, but your lawyer should know that.  Once you get a money judgment, you can try and enforce it by, e.g., garnishing the former tenant's wages and/or levying on his bank account(s).

     

     

     

  • Fri, Dec 14 2012 1:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    BaThak:
    Can that be done as soon as the judgement for possession is received or can that be done even prior to that ?

    I think you can sue for money owed you any time, but you might want to wait until you know what the total will be (so you don't have to do it twice).  That won't happen until after he has moved out, you have inspected the place for damage (and changed the locks), and you have signed a lease with a new tenant (or the old lease has expired).  If he is leaving before the end of his lease, he is probably liable for rent until you move a new tenant in.

    Have you asked your lawyer about this?

     

  • Fri, Dec 14 2012 2:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    BaThak:
    I have a tenant who has missed paying rent for three months now (April, November and now December).  

    Can't imagine why any landlord would wait 3 to 4 months before starting eviction for non-payment unless, of course, they are clueless amateurs.

    BaThak:
     I live on the west coast, so going down to personally meet him is a bit hard...

    Then I suggest you give serious thought to unloading the property as fast as you can after you get out from under this tenant. Being an absentee landlord located across the country is absolutely the worst way of owning a rental property and is virtually guaranteed to prove quite costly, especially if you let late rent slide for several months.

    BaThak:
    Can that be done as soon as the judgement for possession is received or can that be done even prior to that ?

    There's actually two questions in there.

    1 - An action for possession and an action for back rent are two different things. Some states allow both to be filed as part of the same action. Others. require a subsequent action for rent once you have successfully evicted the tenant and regained possession. Your lawyer can tell you how that works in NJ. Once you get a writ of possession there might still be a bit of a time lag until the sheriff puts the tenant out.

    2 - When you get a judgment for back rent, you have to wait for the appeal period to expire before you can start collection procedures. That's often 30 days in most places. Your lawyer can tell you how long it is in NJ.

    BaThak:
     How does the civil action to recover back rent work?

    It doesn't. You do. All a judgment does is allow you to collect. It doesn't do it for you. The two main options open to you are wage garnishment and bank account levy. For either or both you have to file papers with the court that have to be served on the employer or bank and there are some time delays with each.

    BaThak:
     If he does not show up will the judge enter defualt judgement there as well?

    Yes.

    BaThak:
    What if the judge finds for me, but he refuses to pay or does not respond ?

    Then you have the unfortunate task of engaging in collection procedures which involve more court filings and fees. The downside is that the tenant could be a deadbeat with no money or could file bankruptcy and you never see a nickel.

    Again, you're supposed to figure out all this stuff before you chose to be a landlord. Failing to do so can result in disastrous financial consequences.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sat, Dec 15 2012 9:45 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    Caution: As plaintiff your physical presence may be required in NJ court and I'll bet a street smart defendant  can make you make 1-2 added trips ----be sure to think ahead...



  • Sat, Dec 15 2012 12:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    Drew:
    As plaintiff your physical presence may be required in NJ court and I'll bet a street smart defendant  can make you make 1-2 added trips

    Yet another consequence of being an absentee landlord.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Mon, Dec 17 2012 1:43 PM In reply to

    • BaThak
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    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    Thanks for all your advice.  I will be talking to my lawyer soon -

  • Mon, Dec 17 2012 3:09 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    And I think NJ allows for a wayward tenant to 'cure" a late payment  by paying the arrears  and restart the whole drill----so long as its cured before the case is heard

    And in NJ you are required by law to keep renewing the lease absent a current breech or owner seeks to move in.  Of course you can hike the rents but not so much as to read like an economic eviction.



  • Mon, Dec 17 2012 3:21 PM In reply to

    • BaThak
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    • NJ
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    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    What if I want to sell the house ?  Is there no way to terminate the lease ?

  • Mon, Dec 17 2012 3:44 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Getting back rent after eviction - NJ

    NOT via the front door --the lease runs with new owner and new owner has the joy --or the need to move back in  --one of the exceptions that works --but if you seek an owner occupant willing to pay a higher price you best sort out how to deliver it empty  as many investors look only to cash flow.



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