Under NJ law, one can only file a complaint for eviction against a person who is lawfully a tenant, namely, somebody who is leasing an apartment/house/room or similar such dwelling, pursuant to a contractual agreement (oral or written), in exchange for a set rate fee (a certain amount of money per month, bi-monthly, etc....).
The problem with this, though, is that property owners often have people living on their property who are not, technically, tenants. Property owner may have a live-in partner (boyfriend/girlfriend), a parent, friend or even adult child living with them. When the relationship between the property owner and these "tenants" irrevocably breaks down, property owners are often at a loss as to what they can do to gain control of their property.
NJ law has a special procedure called "ejectment" which was created specifically for situations like this. Throughout all my years as a NJ landlord-tenant attorney, I've participated in countless ejectment actions and know all the nuances, subtleties and complexities that can make or break ejectment complaints, whether complex or simple.
In recent years, there has been an uptick in the filing of ejectment actions throughout the state as well as nation. This is due to the fact that the economy is still in the throes of recession, and countless recent college graduates are finding themselves unemployed and living back at home with their parents. The vast majority of the time, this is temporary and the situation is resolved when the young adult finds work and is able to move out. Sometimes, though, the young adult sinks into a state of laziness and apathy, living off of their parents and refusing to find gainful employment. Many parents put up with this situation for a number of months, if not years, only to find the situation getting progressively worse, with increasing tension. Oftentimes, parents find themselves strangers in their own home. Sometimes, alcohol and drug addiction exacerbate the situation and contribute to the worsening conditions faced by parents.
If you own property in South Jersey and have a long-term guest who refuses to abide by the rules, who has worn out their welcome and refuses to leave after your polite requests, then an ejectment may be necessary to reclaim your property. Contact my office at 856-873-3730 so that we can discuss your options in-depth.