Need Eviction Help non tenant saying shes not leaving!

37 Replies

HELP!!  So I have a tenant who let someone stay with him, but did not tell me about the person staying beyond the terms of the lease - 2 weeks.  It turns out that person is ready to play the system and when I went to the door to speak with my tenant, she answered.... I was like who are you...??  She said I live here... I said no you do not this apartment is leased to the true tenant.  .She immediately was like you cannot evict me unless it goes through the courts.  Mind you my tenant already gave me notice he is leaving..

I called the police... and stepped away from the door as this person is obviously nuts and I was feeling rage.  Police came, I filed a report, in which this person said that I trespassed...uh its my HOUSE!  The police knew she was crazy but took both sides and is filing a report.

Now I'm like WTF.  I call my tenant who is apparently staying at his fathers, and I'm like WTF  - he's like they moved out... uh ... didn't you notice the old dude sleeping in the living room with this crazy person??  He says hes sorry, but now I'm stuck... stressed and had to pull down my ads on rerenting the apartment.  Time to take action.

Got the lease...ok I can get him on not paying the utilities, having people not on the lease and not paying for the increment, and changing the locks...yeah they did that [email protected]

Call first lawyer....75$ just to give me advice...what?  I want an eviction, not a consultation that I should hire you.  I would gladly pay if we can start the process rather than you jerk me over 75$  - next.

So I need to wait till Monday to find another attorney.  I told my tenant I'm going to be suing him for this whole thing, but I'm stressed because I have this risk in my house and I have NO rights.

I think you even need to be registered as a landlord before I can even serve a notice to quit.

For this scenario I cant find anything out there.  Anyone know of good NJ Union City eviction lawyers, or what steps I needs to take?  How long is this going to be?  How much?  The process doesn't stress me more then the fact that this person is so evil that they would steal from me (rent, home, heat) and is just going to walk away with no issues...I mean this person should go to jail just like stealing from a store.  Steal someone's car and its theft.  Steal months in a property and its nothing?

I need help in next steps.  I have struck out with lawyers that can be effective and just execute.  I guess I have to put my faith somewhere.  Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Wow man, I feel for you.  This kind of thing has happened to me a couple of times.

I can't offer you any advice on the specifics of New Jersey, but I think it is very important that you understand this:  the world contains some unsavory people just the same way as it contains viruses and lightening bolts.  They're part of reality.  You got stuck by one of them, but its not going to destroy your business and its not going to destroy you.

What CAN destroy you, and CAN destroy your business, is to let yourself get caught up in their drama.  To let yourself get baited into an argument or a fight, or just to let yourself be driven crazy by this.  Hire a lawyer, let the lawyer do their job, and make a rational determination on whether the courts will enable you to collect any money from the tenant or the parasite he stuck you with.  Just look at it like numbers on a balance sheet, because letting it upset you will not make you one penny richer or one iota better off in any way.  

Think of it another way:  that dude and his parasite/squatter friend are really losing at the game of life.  The most satisfying punishment for what they are doing to you is the crappy life they're going to have to lead, caused by their irresponsibility and bad behavior.  They're already getting their justice, and you don't have to lift a finger for that to happen.

Ok @MIchael G. , you may not like this advice, but you need to hear it.  You need to hire an attorney and let them run this thing.  You are out of your element.  I cannot help you in NJ law and your state is very TENANT friendly.  Yes you need to include your tenant you had a lease with in the suit, and the new squatter.  Your attorney cannot change the way the law is he can only explain what the law is and explain how you must proceed to win.  You cannot control when someone does a horrible thing to you.  you can control how you let it affect you and your outlook on life.  Do the smart thing and listen to the professional.

This may not be what you hoped for, but it is what you signed up for when you became a landlord.  This kind of stuff happens.  It is frustrating and scary.  But you do have rights.  Find an attorney and get the ball rolling on an eviction.  Yes, they're stealing.  Clearly the person in your property knows the system and is going to work it.  You can try to go after the tenant for your losses, but this is like getting blood from a turnip.  Focus on the eviction and getting possession of your property.  You're in business, this is part of the business.

Shut off utilities. Theyll be gone immediately. If they try to sue you theyll have to prove they have a lease with you.

Calm down woman.  Like above guy said its part of the DEAL.   Think when you sell and pocket your $200,000

Get a proper attorney not a $75 guy.   Be prepared to pay a cupple of thousand.   Sounds like the Crazies are gearing up for battle.

@MIchael G.

You may have noticed that they never, ever talk about this during seminars where they tell you that investing in rental property is a wonderful stress-free passive strategy that you can handle in your spare time. But they're always careful to tell you to get a property manager, and gloss over the cost of that. The gurus usually stress that it's to avoid getting early-morning calls about clogged toilets or some baloney like that. It's not. The gurus say that so they don't EVER have to explain evictions.

Yes, you are being robbed by grifters. In a fair and just world, you would be able to walk into your house with a shotgun and tell them to get out in thirty seconds or take a blast in the belly. In a fair world, when you call the police they would show up, grab these excuses for people, and throw them bodily out the door. It's not a fair and just world. The parasites are milking the system and leeching off you, and the law allows them certain ridiculous and unfair liberties it allows no other blatant lawbreakers.

Right now, you are in a world of rage and anger. Part of it is because you haven't been here before and you don't know what to do. You need to learn the ins and outs of eviction procedure in your area quickly. You need to follow that eviction procedure to the letter. In order to do this quickly and thoroughly in your hour of need, you need to talk to a lawyer and pay an unfair price that you, as the wronged party here, definitely shouldn't have to pay. You will need to wait and bide your time and in the end, you will almost never get any satisfaction out of this bitter pill.

Again, this whole bit was pretty much hidden away from you or at least heavily minimized if you went the traditional path of learning about real estate investing. This is the nasty part. You need to get through it one step at a time. It's as much of a learning experience, albeit an emotionally charged one, as learning how to put up ads or calculate a property comp.

You're going to take a hit now. One that really stings. It breaks quite a few people in this business. It may not go half as badly as the worst-case scenario. But you should prepare for a struggle that will last months with types who have more in common with vermin than they do with decent human beings. They will not be doing legal things. You will have to.

You've taken a very good first step, asking for help to find a good eviction lawyer. You WILL find one in your area if you go about it methodically and do your best to divorce the problem from your emotions and how obviously unfair this all is to anyone who has ever been in your shoes. This is why you're going to win out in the end, despite the hit you'll take and the overbearing stress of this whole procedure. Your grifters are going to try to manipulate the system and succeed in small steps here and there. You are going to proceed carefully and inexorably. And when it's done, you'll be better prepared for next time. You'll have paid the unfair price of doing business, and won't have to pay it as thoroughly ever again.

Good luck, Michael.

thanks for the replies. I’ll check my toxic masculinity on the person who called me woman....yeah that’s a thing now... and the guy who said to shut the utilities - man this crazy person knows the system and called the health department on me because the tenant who is responsible for the utilities didn’t pay the bill. Guess what, as landlord you are ultimately responsible .. tenant calls health department you get an abatement against your property..if you do not turn the heat one you need to pay for alternate housing and the city will go after you for people that are not even on your lease!!!. fun stuff.  Get informed on self evict and how it can screw the landlord to those types of emotional actions.  Trust me first instinct is the grab them by the throats and toss them down the stairs but that’ll just get them everything else I own.  Best thing to do is smile walk away and call your lawyer... if you have one...  for the heat I took ownership right away and turned the heat on in my name...then the told the tenant to get this person out of his apartment in which he said she’s gone... go to paint the railing a week later and she’s still there. 

I am fortunate enough that this doesn’t kill me and have been running 4 apartments for over 10 years and was waiting for this bullsh4t...but unfortunately became lazy and didn’t have the process ready to strike.  Not to mention the original tenant was like family but now the cord is cut.  He apologizes constantly for allowing crazy into the home but all it does is mean that she is getting him sued.  I booted the 75$ lawyer from the beginning because I’m not interested in small change what if’s and advisement. I need a killer In this one whose like I do this everyday know the judges and this is where we start... send me x y z and a check. Let’s get to work on Monday.  I think finding that type of lawyer has been a big frustration itself.  Even the 75$ person (mind you I wasn’t. Looking at legal zoom or cheap law) just threw that up and I’m like lady I’ll pay you just give me the damn action plan.

There are some real bad people in the world whose miserable life gets off on causing people pain For a few months free rent.  Losers.  Thanks folks for the replies!

All right, Michael! Monday's YOUR day.

@jamesk thanks for the reply. Yes they do not mention this..or they just give you that soft back of the mind it may happen thought. It’s all black and white till you have some psycho who tries to get into your head...

Monday it is indeed.  Now... finding my killer lawyer... erp. Avvo...?? :)

You had options prior to involving the police and a lawyer however you now only have the option of hiring a lawyer to evict. She is a professional tenant and you will need to play it through to completion.

Actually you do have a option which is the card I would choose to play. Assuming you still have the original tenant (your friend) he simply has to sub let the unit, with your agreement, to another tenant that you place. The tenant (possibly multiple persons) I would place in the unit would have her out within the week and they then simply move out to allow you to re-rent. Hiring that tenant/friend would be far less costly and quicker than hiring a lawyer and should you end up in court your original tenant would testify he sublet the place...he owes you after all.

If you do not have the grit to go that route then your first step, along with lawyer, is to enter the unit (with proper legal notice) with a friend(s) and a good camera. Document everything and if you believe the locks are changed take along a lock smith enter and change the locks.

If the tenant has a day job post the entry for when they are at work. If they take time off and block your entry continue issuing notices till they can no longer take off work. 

I have been in this biz for thirty years. As previously said, it is part of the deal. As someone else said as well, You are out of your element. Hire a good attorney well versed in tenant law and step back. Yes, it will cost you some bucks. but ,"This too will pass". About two years ago I purchased a two family and inherited both tenants. One is just fine. The other was a leach that the previous owner evicted TWICE and let back into the apartment because he did not want a vacancy.! He made my life miserable. I was eventually able to evict him as well. It cost me thousands considering lost rent, legal fees, painting, other repairs and other costs. It was worth every dime! I was able to raise the rent $150/month as the leach was paying below market rent. The new tenant is a pleasure. They pay on time and give me no grief. Yes, it was expensive, but what dollar amount do you put on stress? Every month when I get the rent (on time and in the full amount) I smile and sigh contentedly. I no longer have that S.O.B. and the angst  he caused me in my life. AHHHH ! :)

Although I like your creativity, my tenant is an incompetent mess.  That strategy requires someone of sound mind with an attention to detail.  Mind you this guy had this parasite move in and did nothing but sleep.

I think the best route, although pricey is the legal route.  I'm not concerned about the cost, more about the liability of having such a person who is capable of causing major damage as a liability.

Reading up on this I believe it falls under the Legal Detainer law.  Basically a family member or relative who sleeps on the couch now claims ownership to the property but was never part of an agreement between landlord / tenant. 

That being said, I will tell everyone what the lawyer says tomorrow. 

Does anyone have a NJ guide to bad tenants - might be a best seller if it includes timelines, forms, and methods should a landlord need to begin the process the right way. 

1) Notice to Cease

2) Notice to quit

3) certified Leases

4) filing resources

5) timeline from late payment to squatter

I would pay 20$ for it.   Start it up!

I live in a very tenant-friendly state as well, but even here a squatter or 'unwelcome roommate' doesn't have tenant rights until 30 days.  Prior to 30 days, they are just trespassing.

Personally, my friend Big Tony goes over to see if there's a problem in these types of situations.  There usually isn't.

Definitely consult with a professional.  As about whether they are just trespassing or not.  Just an idea @MIchael G.

"That strategy requires someone of sound......."

I have a few less that what you may call "reputable" friends that gladly assist me in similar situations. It is always nice to have help with situations where the law will not take responsibility and do the right thing.

Sometimes in business it is necessary to engage a strong arm where their is a short fall in strong laws. Criminals need to be dealt with in creative ways.

What’s  Vito’s number :)  

 My tenant (Real one) just called and said he is taking the lease to the police today stating she is criminal trespassing as she is not a tenant. He is saying they are going down now to remove her and if she doesn’t leave he is going to charge her.  Now if I believe this can occur... who knows.  I’ll post when I find out.

@MIchael G.  

Hi Mike, I am CA Realtor, not an attorney, and I do not know much about NJ Real Estate Law or Landlord-Tenant Laws. I am not providing any legal advice, but  I do feel for your situation and felt I could give you some direction.  

You are in a Tenant at Sufferance situation:

A tenant at sufferance is the situation when a tenant of real estate continues to occupy the premises without the landlord's consent after the original lease or rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant has expired. A tenant in this situation is also referred to as a holdover tenant.

As others have suggested, definitely hire a Real Estate Attorney.  They will know NJ Eviction Law.  You can also read about it here,  You certainly have grounds for eviction, even if the squatter is not the Lessee (Tenant).  You can find out more about the NJ grounds for eviction here,  

Attorney's initial consulting fees are worth it, in my opinion, and you can always negotiate to have those deducted from their retainer fee.

Listen to Rick Stein above!  


Updated over 1 year ago

The content of this forum post or any forum post should not be construed as legal, business or tax advice and visitors to this post or any post of Nina Grayson should seek specific advice from qualified professional people before undertaking any action following information read, received, understood, or used from this post or any post herein made by Nina Grayson.

Evictions are annoying, but a fact of life when it comes to apartments. You can have a rock solid tenant screening method, fancy clauses in your lease, and even a great line of communication with your tenants, but all of that can never account for how weird people are.

If you have the time to invest, it is always helpful to form relationships with local businesses like locksmiths, plumbers, or near by small businesses. They can sometimes be the best informants.

For instants, 2 years ago my family had a tenant that did not want to leave their apartment. They paid on time, so we decided to renew the lease with them, but raise rent $20, because they have been there for years, and we needed to keep up with the market rate. We posted a notice on their door as per our local laws (and certified mailed them a copy), but we never heard back from them. I guess they did not like that we were raising rent, so they thought they would take control by trying to get the locks changed.

Luckily, we had a very good relationship with the 3 major locksmiths in the area and all three of them turned the tenant's business down and immediately contacted us. Long story short, we asked the tenant to leave, gave them our standard 30 days notice, and found a new tenant. In the past, the neighbor dental business right next to our building has also informed us of strange tenant behavior that has saved our butts while we were not around to notice.

While this advice might not help you now, maybe it is something to think about for the future. Or maybe this is something that you have already started! 

Will this crazy squatter answer the door? If so, meet them at the door with hundred dollar bills and a new lock set and a pre printed agreement that says they are moving out on that day. Have them sign, move their belongings out and hand you the keys. Change the locks immediately.
Take a friend with you and record them agreeing to move out and handing you the keys and signing the form.
Yes, it is going to suck handing this low life some real cash but you are going to hand it to them in lost rent, lawyers fees and not counting the stress of wondering if this person is destroying your property.
Pay them and cut bait and get this behind you.

Question for you all who have dealt with this type of situation - are you reporting the unlawful squatter to the credit bureaus or is that even possible since they don't have a rental agreement?  Just curious if there is anything that can be done to make it difficult for these type of people to take advantage of their future landlords if they are looking to sign a lease.

@Robin Searle  By continuing to involve yourself in a situation like this, you are asking for it to come back to you later. Maybe they find a legal loophole or decide to attack your business on Social Media or continue to drag you into their problems. Like @Michael Jones said "cutting bait" is the way to go. Although that can sometimes be easier said then done.

If it does end up in court, it will show up on their record regardless.

"are you reporting the unlawful squatter to the credit bureaus"

I do not report them to anyone, Not the police, lawyers or other tenants.

I operate on a don't ask, don't tell bases with these types of situations with criminals of this sort. The fewer people that know about it the less likely the individual will have any grounds to come back at me in court. 

All threaten, none have yet tried since they all would rather move on to their next sucker. 

ok folks.  So going to the police didn’t help because she was invited in so is not criminal trespassing.  Got in touch with a lawyer who didn’t ask for money but said tell me the story and let’s create a plan.  First I need to eveict the tenant.  Timeline 4-6 weeks. Then ejection of squatter... another 4-6 weeks. Then I asked if the tenant and I mutually ended the tenancy today can we start the ejection.  He said well... yes.  Mmkay. What do I need?

1) created a letter of lease violation that the tenant will sign asking for earlier termination of the lease.  Done

2) create a letter of mutual termination in which he will take all property out by wed and returns possession to me. Done

Pay the lawyer 2500. Done

Tell the tenant who said this was his fault and says he’s going to pay the 2500 tomorrow to my account.  We will see..  it I know he has the cash so...could be good

Found out for ejection you do not need to register as a land lord but to evict guess what bp’ers. You need to be registered otherwise they can delay any eviction process!!

Here is the legal description of effort my lawyer is going to perform:

A. Initial Payment. The Law Firm will begin work on the Client's case upon

receipt of $2500.00 which includes the drafting and filing of an Order to Show Cause, Verified Complaint, and up to two (2) court appearances and the filing of the Writ of Possession with the Constable. Should any additional Court appearances be required, there will be an additional cost of $500.00 per appearance.

I’ll keep posting as this progresses.  Hopefully my experience will help soothe those who have a similar experience. 

Glad you have a plan but not sure it needed to be this complicated. My wife is a social worker in Hudson County and hears this from the other side all the time, and they never win. We just discussed this scenario regarding my only legacy tenant, a guy on SSI whose girlfriend moved in.  I was concerned what would happen if something happened to him, like an OD. 

NJ is not quite as tenant friendly as people think. For example, if you go to eviction court and they turn up without the back rent, it's over right then. No stories about poor maintenance or pests will be heard.  And there's no backsies on notice, holdovers can be charged double rent.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here