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Legalease
Legalease, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  15 yrs residential & commercial leasing experience.
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Mary, I am a NJ landlord and wanted to confirm during

Customer Question

Hi Mary,
I am a NJ landlord and wanted to confirm during the eviction process whether I can charge TRA and/or Section 8 tenants (1) a late fee, (2) a court filing fee and (3) attorney's fees, as part of the eviction process.
Also, do you represent landlords in evictions in Essex County, as we have had a challenging time finding competent counsel for these efforts.
Thank you,
Andy
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello Andy --
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First, the right to charge all of these fees and attorneys fees at eviction must be set forth in the lease contract you signed with them at the beginning of the tenancy. The right to charge any of these things is not a foregone conclusion in any eviction case -- you have the right to request these items "to the extent permitted by state and federal laws" and then the judge can award any or none of these things at the discretion of the judge. Usually the court will permit the filing fees without issue but late fees and attorneys costs are not generally awarded against such tenants unless there is some underhanded actions done by the tenants (like hiring a lawyer themselves and dragging the eviction out for any reason or no reason).
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So, while I wish I could give you a definitive yes or no answer here, there are none available in this situation. In many cases the court declines attorney fee awards in many cases because it is within their rights to do so and attorney fee awards are not usually part of the damages award in most cases unless the stature actually provides for those attorney fees to be paid. However, do not let my answer discourage you from requesting such costs and fees because the court will consider it depending upon what happened in the case and to your relationship with this tenant.
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While I did practice in NYC and norther NJ a few years ago I am currently in Massachusetts and have no plans to head south anytime soon. I thank you for the inquiry, though.
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THANKS. Please let me know if you have further questions on this matter. If not, can you please press a positive rating under this ANSWER box so I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Andy--
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I note that you viewed the answer posted above a while ago and have not yet pressed a positive rating in the ratings section below. I truly am not paid anything for the time spent assisting you tonight unless you press a positive rating below (we do not recieve paychecks and are paid only when the customer presses a positive rating at the completion of the session). Pressing a positive rating will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just ANswer to pay me for my time --
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Please let me know if you have any follow up questions on these matters and I am happy to answer them.
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MARY
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Andy -
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Are there any further questions that I can answer for you on these matters? If so, I am happy to answer any additional questions that you might have. You requested my services specifically the other night and so I am wondering if perhaps you would like me to put you in touch with another attorney in your area ? Unfortunately, we are not permitted to give you the referral information of any attorney in particular because of liability issues (it is a Just Answer rule and not my rule).
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If you are having trouble with the ratings buttons below the ANSWER box, if you let me know that and which rating you wanted to press in a response box then I can pass the comment along to customer service to process the rating and submit a request that I am paid for my time. Again, your cost for this question does not increase by participating in the ratings section -- the only thing that happens is that Just Answer will then pay me for my time. If you do not press a positive rating I will never be paid for assisting you. It is a fickle little system, but there you have it......... I just find it unusual that you would request me specifically to answer your question the other night, to the exclusion of all other experts, and then not want to be certain I am paid for that time spent assisting you. In fact, I have never had a situation where a customer has specifically requested that I answer their question and then NOT pressed at least the "OK Service" button afterwards so that I would be paid --
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MARY
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