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Landlord Tenant Law - Eviction Defense: Retaliation

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A tenant can be evicted only if the landlord obeys the eviction process and if a Judge finds cause for eviction under the Anti-Eviction Act. A tenant can defeat an eviction complaint by showing the eviction process were not correctly followed, or that cause for eviction does not exist, or that the landlord has not met other duties under the law. This blog will address the defense of "Retailation".


New Jersey law does not allow an eviction for the purpose of "getting even" with a tenant for

  1. Asserting their rights under the law or for enforcing their rights under the lease;
  2. Complaining about conditions in a house or apartment to the board of health, building inspector, housing authority, or any other government agency; OR
  3. involvement with a tenants association or any lawful organization.

Each of these types of getting even ("retaliation") are defenses to the eviction action. If proven that the eviction is in retaliation, the case will be dismissed. Even if only one reason the landlord wants to evict is retaliation, tenants are protected from eviction by law and the landlord's complaint should be dismissed by the court. 

See N.J.S.A. 2A:42-10.10 and 10.11. See also Les Gertrude Associates v. Walko262 N.J. Super. 544 (App. Div. 1993); Housing Authority of Bayonne v. Mims, 396 N.J. Super. 195 (App. Div. 2007); Silberg v. Lipscomb, 117 N.J. Super. 491 (Dist. Ct. 1971).

Failure to conform to the requirments set forth above can be grounds for a defense to an eviction. If you are facing an eviction, contact the Landlord Tenant Attorneys at Fazzio Law, we are in your corner!

Category: Landlord Tenant Law

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