A new bill to require a residential landlord to pay attorney’s fees for a tenant who is successful in a legal action between the two is getting support in New Jersey.

(Flickr User: Umjanedoan)

The legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Craig Coughlin has been approved today by the Judiciary Committee.

Legal Fairness for Both Parties

“In contract agreements between a landlord and tenant, there must be legal fairness for both parties,” says Coughlin. “Either party can be exposed to fraudulent claims by the other party. The intention of the bill is to deter false claims by sharing the reimbursement terms in lease agreements.”

Under current law, landlords often provide in lease agreements that the tenant will be responsible for the landlord’s attorney’s fees if the landlord is successful in a legal action involving the tenant. The bill would instruct the courts to read into the lease an additional requirement for the landlord to pay the tenant’s legal fees if the tenant is the successful party.

This is a small legislative action would increase protection for New Jersey’s residential tenants,” explains Coughlin. “Most importantly, it will insert much-needed fairness into decades of unfair practice.”

The Assemblyman says his bill aims to increase the fairness in landlord tenant proceedings and help discourage landlords for initiating unfounded eviction cases against a tenant.