Dorothy Secol, CLA
  Home About Us Services News Resources  
Independent Paralegal Services for Attorneys



Your client has signed a contract to sell real property and the closing date is approaching. Everything is running smoothly except for one minor problem. The purchaser intends to occupy the property and there is a tenant in possession on a month to month basis with no written lease. What are the steps to take in order to have the property vacant in time for the closing?

A Notice to Quit must be served in all instances upon the tenant in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(l). If you have a commercial tenant in possession and no more than 2 rental units, a one month notice will suffice. A residential tenant is entitled to treble damages plus attorney’s fees and costs in the event that the purchaser-owner does not personally occupy the unit for a total of 6 months or rents the property to another tenant or converts the property. (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.6 a,b).

In the event the tenant does not willingly vacate the premises, a summary dispossess action is filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Special Civil Part. In the event the tenant is being evicted for non-payment of rent, a Notice to Quit does not have to be served. In the event the tenant is being disorderly and disruptive, a Notice to Cease must be served prior to instituting the eviction action. The Notice to Quit must be in writing, must terminate the tenancy and demand possession of the property. The Notice must comply with N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.2. The effective date of the Notice to Quit depends upon the grounds for eviction and usually runs a calendar month or on anniversary date of the tenancy. The seller should not accept rent after termination date in Notice as the acceptance of the rent voids the Notice to Quit.

Before instituting any action for possession, sellers should be aware that they are responsible for filing a registration statement with the municipality and/or the Department of Community Affairs, except for owner occupied 2 family units. Single family or 2 unit non-owner occupied properties must be filed with the municipality. For the contents of the registration statement, see N.J.S.A. 46-8-28. The registration statement must be served on each tenant and is a prerequisite to the entry of a judgment for possession. The Court can postpone the entry of judgment for possession for up to 90 days to allow compliance.

The seller should also be aware of the Security Deposit Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 et seq. The Act only applies to residential tenants and is limited to l-l/2 months rent. Upon closing of title, notice should be sent to the tenant advising that the security deposit was assigned to the purchaser, advising that all future rent payments should be made to the purchaser, giving the purchaser’s full name and address.

More News >>


Home  |  About Us  |  Services  |  News  | Resources

  Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
  Copyright ©2009 by Dorothy Secol, CLA.