Reality TV Star’s Tanning Business in Monmouth County Evicted for Non-Payment of Rent
March 13, 2015
The closure of a tanning salon in Middletown Township might not normally make the news, but the Boca Tanning Club in Middletown Plaza was not a normal tanning salon. The salon, which closed in February according to NJ.com, was owned by the Sorrentino family, including Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, who rose to fame as a member of the highly successful MTV reality show, “Jersey Shore.” The closure, while a setback for the owners, does offer a case study in commercial evictions in New Jersey.
The Sorrentinos opened the Middletown Plaza Boca Tanning Club in March of last year. In addition to the Middletown location, they also own a Boca Tanning location in nearby Manalapan. The Middletown club quickly fell behind making its rent payments. The arrearage eventually climbed to a sum of $32,000, when the property’s landlord filed suit. Most rent disputes are handled by the Landlord/Tenant Section of the Superior Court. All landlords or tenants that are corporations or limited liability partnerships must be represented in court by a New Jersey attorney.
The Sorrentinos and the landlord reached an agreement stating that the tenant would pay the back-owed rent in installments of $5,500 each. The first installment was due on Jan. 15, 2015. It can be useful, as a landlord, to pursue outcomes short of eviction when faced with a tenant in default if the tenant appears willing and able to correct the deficiency, given the cost (in terms of time and money) of evicting a tenant.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, the tenant did not make the Jan. 15 payment. At that point, the landlord pursued eviction proceedings. When a landlord achieves a favorable judgment in an eviction case, the landlord must then obtain a warrant of removal. The landlord must wait three business days (but no more than 30 days) to get the warrant. While the law offers additional time for residential tenants, commercial tenants like Boca Tanning can be evicted as soon as the warrant is served.
Landlords, however, cannot carry out their own evictions in New Jersey. Evictions must be carried out by officers of the Special Civil Part of the Superior Court. In commercial leasing situations, the officer can both serve the warrant and complete the eviction at one time. The court charges a fee of $35 (plus a mileage fee) for a court officer’s serving the warrant of removal.
A court officer served a warrant of removal on the Middletown Boca Tanning Club on Feb. 12. The Manalapan location remains open.
Whether you are a commercial landlord or tenant, it is important to understand what your rights are in situations where rent is not paid in full and on time. For knowledgeable advice and skilled representation in dealing with your commercial rent dispute, talk to the real estate attorneys at Samuel C. Berger, P.C. Our New Jersey real estate attorneys can help you address your rent dispute and protect your rights under the law. Reach us online or call (201) 587-1500 or (212) 380-8117 to set up an initial consultation.
What to Expect When You Appear in Landlord/Tenant Court, New York & New Jersey Real Estate Lawyer Blog, Jan. 16, 2015
Dealing With Your Tenant’s Property Abandoned Within Your Rental Space, New York & New Jersey Real Estate Lawyer Blog, July 15, 2015
Photo credit: Evil Erin at Wikimedia Commons.