Landlord’s ‘Self – Help’ Evictions Are Illegal

The relationship between a landlord and tenant can easily bring about legal differences and complications.  In efforts to protect a tenant’s rights from being abused by a landlord on a power trip, New Jersey has enacted legislation that requires landlords to follow specific rules and procedures when evicting a tenant.  As such, N.J. State. Ann. § 2C:43-8 strictly prohibits landlords from engaging in any “self-help” methods of eviction, such as shutting off utilities, changing the locks, or barricading or removing entryways.

Various repercussions may result from a landlord’s attempts at any “self-help” eviction.  For example, a landlord will be considered a “disorderly person” if they wrongfully take it upon themselves to evict a tenant, and thus will be subject to time in jail for a criminal offense.  In addition, the tenant can seek damages against the landlord for wrongful eviction.

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The Law Offices of Adam M. Kotlar serves Camden County, Gloucester County, Burlington County, Bucks County as well as the cities of Haddonfield, Huntingdon Valley, Feasterville, Pennsauken, Cherry Hill, Southampton & Levittown in New Jersery & Pennsylvania.