I am having a heck of a time finding any answer to this question. Not even the anti-eviction law addresses this. As required, I sent a new lease to the tenant in my single-family home in Ocean County more than 60 days ahead of the expiration of current lease. A clause in the lease states he has 15 days to respond or it will be assumed he has rejected the lease and his tenancy will end at the expiration of the current least. A month and a half later, as the final 30 days of his current lease approached, I sent, via certified mail, a nonrenewal notice due to his lack of response and therefore rejection of new lease.
It was THEN that he signed and returned the new lease. I informed him the deadline passed and I am now looking to sell the property. He enlisted a lawyer who claims I am violating NJ anti-eviction law by not accepting the signed lease.
Does NJ law support this? Can a tenant sit on a lease renewal indefinitely and sign whenever they see fit?
I'm not an attorney, and never played one on TV - but seems to me if he signed the original lease with the 15-day clause in it, then he accepted that provision and therefore must abide by it. You need to get your own attorney involved.
I don't believe there are any NJ-mandated timeframe guidelines. When I fill out a lease contract, the landlord dictates the renewal timing terms and I put those into the contract.
What does the original lease say?
At this point as Dan mentioned, its time to get your attorney involved, since they have theirs.
Please keep us posted as to what your attorney advises you to do!
Does anybody know a decent real estate lawyer in Ocean County?