New Jersey Landlord/Tenant Move In
New Jersey landlord/tenant law can be complicated. Changes enacted by the legislature and the courts have made both the renting and eviction process much more difficult. If you do not have appropriate provisions in your lease or do not follow the right procedure in Court, you can find yourself in a troublesome relationship with little recourse. Matthew R. Schutz, Esq., brings 25 years of experience in negotiating leases, handling troublesome landlords and tenants and ensures all parts of the rental process goes smoothly. I have represented both sides of the transaction and fully understand the issues of concern to both landlords and tenants.
There are several phases in the landlord tenant relationship that one has to pay attention to. Tenant selection and move in are very important. This article focuses on that aspect.
Screening and lease drafting help avoid trouble down the road. It can also help with subsequent enforcement actions should things go south. When meeting a prospective tenant one should always take an application, if you decide you are interested in leasing to the prospect. There are many forms available. The application you use should identify the prospect, his current residence and landlord and should question previous rental and landlord history. There should also be questions about prior landlord tenant and criminal matters, family and non family references, including contact information, and banking information.
Where possible credits checks should be made and all information in the application should be vetted. Make sure that all information requested is provided. It is in the interest of both parties to see that this is done. If the tenant does not answer certain inquiries, it raises questions. You may charge a small fee to do the credit check and verify the information in the application.
Assuming the application checks out, the next step is drawing up the lease. While its terms are subject to negotiation there should be clauses discussing rents, term of lease, security, attorney’s fees, late payments, conditions on which the landlord will have access, damages for disruptions of service, and notice to the parties as well as other events which may occur.
At the time of execution of the lease, the landlord should collect the first month’s rent and security deposit. The checks tendered should be photocopied, in the event post lease enforcement is necessary. It may also be a good time to discuss electronic payment of the rent.
Follow these steps and you are on the road to a happy landlord/tenant relationship.