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Centennial Village Apartments v. Vazquez

A-1351-02T1 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2004) (Unpublished)

LEASES—Even though it holds a warrant of possession, if a landlord then enters into a new lease with the same tenant and doesn’t reserve the right to enforce the warrant, the landlord has waived its right to enforce the warrant.

A tenant appealed from a judgment of possession entered in favor of his landlord. While the appeal was pending, the tenant entered into a new lease with the landlord. This lease did not contain any reservation of the landlord’s rights with respect to the judgment of possession, which was on appeal. Therefore, prior to the appeal, the tenant filed a motion to reverse the judgment of possession based on the new lease, claiming that this new lease constituted a new tenancy that resulted in a waiver of the landlord’s rights under the judgment of possession.

Prior case law has established that the granting of a new lease and the acceptance of rent in accordance with that lease is so inconsistent with an intent to require a surrender of possession of premises that it effectively acts as a waiver of the right to terminate a tenancy. The Court noted that the landlord did not include, in the new lease, any reservation of its rights under the judgment of possession, nor did it present any other evidence to negate the conclusion that the new lease resulted in a waiver. As a result, the Court vacated the judgment of possession.


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