2A:50-70 - Notice to tenants, protection from eviction
2A:50-70 Notice to tenants, protection from eviction.
2. a. A person who takes title, as a result of a sheriff's sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure, to a residential property containing one or more dwelling units occupied by residential tenants, shall provide notice to the tenants, in both English and Spanish, no later than 10 business days after the transfer of title, in accordance with the provisions of subsection c. of this section. The notice shall be in the following form:
NOTICE TO TENANTS
THE FORMER OWNER OF . . . . . . . . . . . . (insert property address) HAS LOST THE PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF A FORECLOSURE. FROM THE TIME YOU RECEIVE THIS AND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, YOU SHOULD PAY RENT TO ......(insert name and address of person to whom rent is due). PLEASE SEND RENT BY ......(insert method of transmission) ON THE ......(insert day) OF EACH MONTH.
WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS, THE NEW JERSEY ANTI-EVICTION ACT, N.J.S.A.2A:18-61.1 ET SEQ., PROTECTS YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN IN YOUR HOME. FORECLOSURE ALONE IS NOT GROUNDS FOR EVICTION OF A TENANT. YOU ARE PROTECTED BY THIS LAW EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A WRITTEN LEASE.
THE NEW OWNER CANNOT EVICT YOU WITHOUT "GOOD CAUSE," AS DETERMINED BY A COURT. EXAMPLES OF "GOOD CAUSE" ARE FAILURE TO PAY RENT, WILLFULLY DAMAGING THE PREMISES, OR PERSONAL OCCUPANCY BY THE NEW OWNER OF THE HOUSE OR APARTMENT THAT YOU NOW LIVE IN.
A RESIDENTIAL TENANT IN NEW JERSEY CAN BE EVICTED ONLY THROUGH A COURT PROCESS. ONLY A COURT OFFICER WITH A COURT ORDER MAY REMOVE YOU FROM THE PREMISES, AND ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEFEND YOURSELF IN COURT.
INDIVIDUALS CAN BE SUBJECT TO BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR TRYING TO FORCE YOU TO LEAVE YOUR HOME IN ANY OTHER MANNER, INCLUDING SHUTTING OFF UTILITIES OR OTHER VITAL SERVICE OR FAILING TO MAINTAIN THE PREMISES. YOU MAY, HOWEVER, ACCEPT FINANCIAL COMPENSATION FOR LEAVING VOLUNTARILY IF THE NEW OWNER OFFERS SUCH COMPENSATION.
IF SOMEONE IS PRESSURING YOU TO LEAVE, CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY.
b. (1) The notice required pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be printed in no less than 14 point bold point type, on paper at least eight and one-half inches by 11 inches in size, and shall contain contact information, including the name, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the new owner or a person authorized to act on behalf of the new owner.
(2)The Department of Community Affairs shall prepare and make available for distribution, both in print and in an easily printable format on the department's Internet website, a notice in English with a Spanish translation that may be used by the new owner or person authorized to act on behalf of the new owner to satisfy the notice requirements of this section.
c. (1) In buildings containing 10 or fewer dwelling units, the new owner shall make a good faith effort to obtain the names of all tenants occupying the property for which a notice is required pursuant to subsection a. of this section. The notice shall be addressed to tenants by name; provided, however, that in the event a good faith search fails to identify the tenant by name, the new owner shall address the notice required pursuant to subsection a. of this section to "Tenant." The new owner shall post the notice prominently on the front door of each tenant's unit and send the notice to each tenant via certified and regular mail.
(2)In a residential property containing more than 10 dwelling units, the new owner shall provide notice to tenants occupying the property for which notice is required pursuant to subsection a. of this section by causing a copy of the notice to be conspicuously displayed in a prominent place in a common area of each residential building or structure on the property. If there is no common area, the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous location in each building or structure on the premises, including, but not limited to the walls of the front vestibule or any foyer or hallway near the main entrance of the building or structure.
d.Any person taking title to the residential property as a result of a sheriff's sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure, or that person's agent or employee, shall provide a copy of the notice as set forth in subsection a. of this section with the initial and final written or verbal communication to a tenant for the purposes of inducing a tenant to vacate the property in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of P.L.2009, c.296 (C.2A:50-71).
e.Service on any tenant of a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose a mortgage on any residential property by any person, or the initial written or verbal communication by a foreclosing creditor to a tenant in a residential property subject to ongoing foreclosure proceedings, or any written or verbal communication that seeks to induce the tenant to vacate the property prior to the transfer of the property through sheriff's sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure, shall include a copy of the notice regarding residential tenant rights during foreclosure as required by the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey, as adopted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
f.Any person, or that person's agent or employee, who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the same civil remedies as are provided for in subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.6), or, at the tenant's sole discretion, damages in the amount of $2,000 per violation, plus attorney's fees and costs. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the liability, either civil or criminal, of a person, or a person's agent or employee, who violates any other law or regulation.
L.2009, c.296, s.2.