Can I be evicted for paying my rent late?

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Can I be evicted for paying my rent late?

I moved into an apartment in 09/10 and shortly after I got laid off. I made my monthly rent payments to my landlord but they were late. I always paid before the end of the month, usually by the 15th of the month. I explained to him that I had been laid off but that I am working now and can make rent payments on time beginning 02/11. Can he still evict me? If he files, what is my best defense?

Asked on January 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Always remember that the terms of the lease that you signed govern how you and the landlord are to act and tell you what your rights and your obligations are here.  In reading in to your question I think that I understand that your landlord accepted the rent late each time that you tendered it.  Is that correct?  Your landlord would have to reject your attempt to pay the rent and start eviction proceedings based upon your breach of the lease to pay the rent in a timely fashion (i.e., under the terms of the lease and in accordance with the law).   If he does file - and I do not think that he will but if he does - then you will state that you are current on your rental payments.  Although you could say that there was oral modification of the lease agreement that will not fly as I am sure that your lease prohibits oral modification.  But you can try and show that the rent was accepted late in accordance with the oral modification.  Good luck. 


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