N.J. Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Court in 30 Year Landlord-Tenant Dispute

The owner of a property with a converted garage apartment is allowed to move into that apartment after the N.J. Supreme Court sided with the property owner and put an end to a thirty year dispute between the owner and the tenant. At dispute was a provision in the New Jersey Anti Eviction Act (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(1)(3)), which allows the owner of a building of three units or fewer to obtain a judgement for possession if the owner wishes to personally occupy that apartment. The appellate court had found that this provision was unavailable to the owner because the parcel on which the property was located contained six apartment units in total. A unanimous Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division, noting that the statutory provision “unambiguously permits the owner of a particular structure that contains no more than three residential units to oust a tenant from that building so that the owner may occupy the tenant’s unit, even when other structures on the owner’s property contain additional rental units.” Click here for a copy of the decision.