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Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.
Is the tenant behind on the rent?
Are they in breach of the lease in some way?
What is your legal question I can help with tonight?
Ok, stating she wants to leave wouldn't be a violation of the lease. So if she is current on the rent, you can't terminate her tenancy, even if you want to rent to someone else or move in yourself.
She has to be in breach of the contract before you can terminate the lease unless you and she both agree, in a separate written contract, to end the lease and have her vacate on a specific date. Texts don't count as a contract in court..
So unless your lease states she can terminate the tenancy with XX days notice, then legally she can't do so.
As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...
I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...
Yes, I understand that, NJ has pretty strict rules about terminating a tenancy and you have to have "just cause" to terminate.
1) non-payment of rent, 2)disorderly conduct disturbing other tenants, 3) damage or destruction of the landlord's property, 4) violation of landlord's rules and regulations, 5)violation of lease agreement, 6) violation of a public housing lease provision prohibiting illegal use of drugs, 7) not paying a rent increase, 8) housing or health code violation requiring eviction, 9) landlord removes the property from residential use, 10) not accepting changes in the lease, 11) habitually paying rent late, 12) units converted to condominium or cooperative, 13) owner move-into unit, 14) tenant loses job that included the unit, 15) conviction of a drug offense, 16) conviction of assaulting, attacking or threatening landlord, 17)engaging in drug activity, theft, assaults or threats against landlord and 18)conviction of theft.
Yes, being a landlord in NJ is a tough job....tough job anywhere.. So you just need to always tell her "no" when she asks and cries about not being able to afford the rent and that you will have to sue her if she breaks the lease for the rent until you find a new tenant.
Don't adopt tenant problems... I learned that long ago...