We Broke Up but She Refuses to Move Out: NJ Eviction Laws

nj eviction

Renting an apartment, condominium or house is a great option for people who aren’t ready to buy a home yet. If you signed your rental agreement as the only tenant, what happens if you meet someone and get into a serious relationship? Most landlords are with your significant other moving in with you, as long as they are informed ahead of time.

It’s such a fun time – moving in together, setting up house and talking about the future of your relationship. Will you get married? Have kids? Perhaps the two of you even take drives, hunting for your ideal NJ town as you consider growing a family together. What type of house would the two of you buy if you got married? Do you want a yard or a pool? Two-car garage or one?

Many relationships that begin just that way go on to enjoy happy marriages, producing one or several offspring, growing older together and watching children meet milestone after milestone. However, what if your ending isn’t of the happy variety?

Of course, not all relationships work out – even when you’ve gone so far as to move in together. In fact, the act of moving in together can sometimes be the straw that breaks the camel’s back; cohabitating is a great way to find out if you’re really compatible.

So, here you are: sharing your rented space with your significant other, and things go south. It’s beyond a fight – the relationship is over and beyond repair. Ideally, since you are the lessee and your girlfriend or boyfriend moved in with you, they would yield to your rights to the apartment and move out.

Sometimes, especially if you had a seemingly ‘perfect’ romantic relationship, breaking up is hard to do. Let’s be honest: breaking up is always difficult, but certain people may be less willing to let go without a fight, making an already challenging situation seemingly futile.

What can you do if your significant other (S.O.) decides to make breaking up impossible?

Your name is on the lease. Your relationship has ended, but your S.O. refuses to move out. Without physically picking her up and carrying all of her stuff to the curb (we specifically do not recommend this strategy) – how can you get your space back so that you can move on?

The bad news is, your relationship didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped and dreamed it would. The good news is, you’re not going to be stuck living with an ex forever, even if they throw a fit and resist moving out of your place.

Can I take legal action to remove my ex from my home?

You can! Ding! Ding! Ding! The fact that you solely leased the property and your S.O. is not named on the lease means you can file an Ejectment Action. In New Jersey, eviction law states that an Ejectment is appropriate when a (non-tenant) roommate to whom you are not married refuses to leave. Since they have no legal rights to remain living there, an Ejectment Action is the only recourse.

Because of the intense emotions surrounding kicking out an ex or loved one (Ejectment Actions can also be used to remove other friends or family members who refuse to leave), they have a high potential for contention. It is important that you are aware of this so that you remain calm and distance yourself from any action(s) that may prompt your S.O. to file a complaint against you for domestic violence. If this occurs, you may find yourself jointly kicked out of the rental.

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