I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Because of affordable housing issues in New Jersey, the law in your state unfortunately does not allow a landlord to refuse to renew a tenant's lease without what is called just causing - meaning a legal reason for terminating the tenancy. That means you have to be able to establish that the tenant owes rent, is disturbing other tenant's or neighbors rights to quiet enjoyment of the area, has constantly violated your rules for the premises, or committed some other lease violation AND the lease gives you a right to terminate for violations. Before a tenant can be evicted for disorderly conduct, you must've given notice to cease his behavior. Continual late payment of rent is also a grounds for refusing to renew the lease, or if you wanted to permanently remove the property from the rental market, or if the tenant committed a crime on the premises. Here is more information:
You can evict him for violating the lease, but he first must be given three day's notice to cure the breach and then an additional month's notice before you can terminate the lease. If you refuse to renew the lease without first giving the appropriate notices, the tenant may have grounds to sue you for damages - or worse, a court order letting him back into the property.
The law does NOT apply to owner-occupied premises with two or three units, but does apply to single-family dwellings and apartment buildings or complexes with more than 3 units.
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