New Jersey Landlord-Tenant 101: Post-Judgment Issues

So far, we’ve touched on pre-tenancy issues, how to handle a security deposit and problems surrounding the eviction process (grounds, notices, and defences). We’ll finish with questions about we buy homes bc what happens after judgment for possession is entered for the landlord.

Once a Complaint seeking possession is filed by a landlord, there can only be one of two possible results: ownership of the premises stays with the tenant; or, the property is awarded to the landlord. (An award of money damages is not permitted and must be maintained separately.) The first step for a landlord in gaining possession is to secure a “judgment for possession.” A judgment for property can be entered as follows: upon tenant default; by consent of the parties; following a trial; or, upon tenant breach of a settlement agreement.

Upon tenant default (failure to appear), and with limited exceptions (landlord acquired title from tenant or gave tenant an option to purchase) which first require adequate proofs in open court, judgment for possession may be entered directly by the clerk of the court upon submission of appropriate affidavits from the landlord and landlord’s attorney. A conviction for possession by consent must be written, signed by the parties, presented to the judge for approval and may require judicial review in open court. It also requires appropriate affidavits from the landlord and attorney. A judgment for possession after trial will have addressed all issues covered by the oaths to the satisfaction of the judge. In a report for the property upon tenant breach of a settlement agreement affidavits are also used, and the landlord must apply to the court for enforcement.

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