New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law
New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law
New Jersey landlord-tenant law is landlord-friendly. This guide will discuss the laws that landlords and tenants in New Jersey should know about.
Security Deposit Laws in New Jersey
Is a security deposit required under New Jersey law?
The landlord is not required to collect a security deposit from the tenant. However, if the landlord decides to charge a security deposit, they must comply with certain requirements. The landlord may only charge a maximum of one and a half months’ rent. This law does not apply to owner-occupied premises with less than two rental units.
When must a landlord return the deposit by in New Jersey?
The landlord is required to return either part or all of the security deposit, plus the tenant’s portion of the interest or accumulated earnings to the tenant 30 days after termination of the lease. There are two situations where the deadline may be sooner:
- The landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit within five days to any tenant in possession of the rental premises after the tenant is caused to be displaced by fire, flood, condemnation, or evacuation.
- The landlord must return tenant’s security deposit within fifteen days if the tenant has ended their lease because they are a victim of domestic violence.
When is a landlord allowed to withhold a security deposit in New Jersey?
The landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit. However, the landlord may withhold all or a portion of a tenant’s security deposit from the tenant for:
- Unpaid rent
- Unpaid utility bills
- Breach of lease
- Damage in excess of normal wear and tear
The landlord must notify the tenant of the deductions and balance after deductions within 30 days of the tenant vacating the premises. The landlord must also provide the tenant with an itemized list of damages or deductions, by personal delivery, registered or certified mail. If the landlord fails to follow the regulations the tenant could be awarded double the amount of the security deposit plus reasonable attorney’s fees.
Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in New Jersey
Landlords are required to comply with certain requirements when handling security deposits.All deposit money may be deposited or invested in one interest-bearing or dividend-yielding account as long as all other statutory requirements are followed. Landlords with 10 or more units must invest deposit funds in shares of a qualified money market account. Landlords with fewer than 10 rental units shall deposit money in an interest-bearing account at prevailing rates and insured by the federal government.
Within 30 days after the money has been deposited, the landlord must notify the tenant of the name and address of the financial institution in which the funds are deposited, the current interest rate, and the amount of the deposit. The same notice must also be given within 30 days of moving the deposit from one financial institution to another, at the time of each annual interest payment and within 30 days of the transfer of property ownership.
Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in New Jersey?
The tenant is entitled to interest under New Jersey law. Security deposit interest or pre-paid rent remains the property of the tenant and shall be paid to the tenant in cash, or be credited toward rent due, on the renewal or anniversary of tenant’s lease, or, if notified in writing before the anniversary, on January 31.
Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in New Jersey?
Landlords are not allowed to commingle the tenant’s security deposit with any of the landlord’s personal assets.
Rental Agreement Laws in New Jersey
Are rental agreements required in New Jersey?
Rental agreements are required for tenancies of 12+ months or longer in Colorado. Even if the lease is less than 12 months, we strongly advise our landlords create a written rental agreement for added legal assurance. In a survey of our New Jersey landlords, 100% indicated they had a written rental agreement.
Get started now by creating a New Jersey online rental agreement with Rentalutions. Our state-specific rental agreement includes all the necessary notices and disclosures based on your property’s address. Check out our tips to make your rental lease even better.
What are the general lease provisions in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, certain provisions must be included in the lease agreement. Most notably, the landlord and tenant are required to include their names in the rental agreement. The landlord should also list the:
- Conditions of occupancy
- A clear description of the rental space
- Automatic renewal
- Insurance on tenant’s belongings and crime insurance
- Kerosene heaters
- Penalties for late payments
You may want to include these additional provisions, but they are not required:
- Who is liable for utility expenses
- The amount of rent
- The date rent is due
- Landlord’s responsibilities
- Tenant’s responsibilities
- Provisions regarding painting
- Whether pets are allowed
- Security deposit
- Cleaning fees
- Abandoned property
Under state law, tenants living in the rental unit must be at least 18 years old.
What are the rental agreement notice requirements in New Jersey?
The notice requirements for all other lease terms are as follows:
- For a month-to-month lease, the landlord is required to provide one month’s notice to tenants of their intention to terminate the lease.
- For a year-to-year or definite lease term, the landlord must provide the tenant with three months (90 days) notice before the end of the current year of the tenancy of their desire to terminate.
- For a week-to week-lease, the landlord must provide the tenant with seven days’ notice of their intention to terminate the lease.
If the landlord doesn’t have a rental agreement, the law recommends that the landlord provide the tenant with notice equal to the rental term regarding any changes to the lease.
Are there any specific required lease renewal provisions in New Jersey?
There are specified lease renewal provisions in New Jersey. The language must contain the following:
“If Tenant wishes to terminate this Lease at the end of its original term, [he or she] must give Landlord written notice at least [specify, e.g., if term is monthly: 30; if term is yearly: 90] days before the end of the term. This notice must be in writing and must be sent by certified mail or personally delivered to Landlord at the address at the top of this Lease. AN ORAL NOTICE IS NOT SUFFICIENT. If written notice of Tenant’s intention to terminate this Lease is not given to Landlord within the time noted above, the Lease shall AUTOMATICALLY RENEW as a month-to-month tenancy on the same terms and conditions as contained in this Lease.”
Rental Payment Laws in New Jersey
What are the rules regarding rent payments in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the landlord is free to charge any rent price agreed upon by the parties because there is no rent control or limit required by the state. However, in Newark, there is rent control, which will be discussed in more detail below. Similarly, there are no legal requirements for how rent is to be paid.
Furthermore, in New Jersey, the landlord may only increase the amount of rent after the term has expired–this means the landlord cannot increase rent during the term of the lease. At the end of the lease term, before the landlord can increase the tenant’s rent, he or she must provide the tenant with both a written Notice to Quit and a Notice of the rent increase. The law requires that, for a landlord to raise the rent, the tenant must be given must be given proper written notice to quit. This notice must inform the tenant that the current written or oral lease is being ended and that the tenant can stay in the rental unit by signing a new lease for a higher rent. The notice to quit requirements can be found below:
After the landlord has provided the notice to quit, the landlord must provide a notice of rent increase. The notice must say that, at the end of the tenants’ current lease, the tenant may accept a new lease at the higher rent. If the tenant decides to sign the lease, the tenant will be required to pay the new increase and be bound by the terms of the new lease.
Any notice of rent increase that is not in writing and not divided into two parts: 1) ending the old lease and 2) beginning a new lease at a higher rate is not legal.
Are tenants allowed to withhold rent under the laws of New Jersey? If so, for what purposes?
In New Jersey, tenants are allowed to withhold rent payments if:
- The landlord fails to maintain the property at an adequate standard of habitability.
- If the landlord tries to evict for nonpayment of rent, then the tenant is entitled to use the landlord’s failure to provide a habitable residence as a defense.
Are landlords required to provide rent receipts in New Jersey?
The landlord is not required to provide the tenant with a receipt when rent has been received. That being said, we strongly recommend the landlord provide a receipt, for both bookkeeping purposes and to safeguard against any rental payment contention the tenant may raise. The receipt should include the payment date, the amount, the period for which the rent was paid, and the apartment number.
Are there any provisions regarding rent control in New Jersey?
New Jersey does not have any laws addressing rent control or rent regulation. However, the city of Newark does, which we will discuss toward the end of this guide.
Late Fees and Grace Period Laws in New Jersey
Is there a legal requirement for late fees in New Jersey?
There is no legal requirement for late fees, but most landlords charge late fees to motivate tenants to pay rent on time and compensate for late payments. The lease may permit a late charge when the rent is not paid by a certain date, but any fees that the landlord intends to charge should be clearly stated in the terms of the lease. There are no other laws in the state addressing late fees. We recommend charging a reasonable late fee.
Does New Jersey have a law regarding grace periods?
In certain situations, there is a required grace period for senior citizens. The landlord may not charge a late fee until rent is 5 business days late (any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or state or federal holiday).
The landlord must abide by the grace period in two situations:
- If the dwelling is rented to senior citizens receiving Social Security or other old age pensions.
- If the dwelling is rented by recipients of Social Security Disability Benefits, Supplemental Security Income or benefits under Work First New Jersey.
New Jersey Laws on Repairs: Tenant’s Right, Landlord’s Duty
New Jersey tenants are legally entitled to a rental that meets basic structural, health, and safety standards. Residential leases carry an implied warranty of habitability. This means that a landlord has a duty to maintain the rental unit and keep it fit for residential purposes throughout the entire term of the lease and that the landlord must repair damage to vital facilities. This warranty is implied in every written and oral lease.
Under the implied warranty of habitability law, the tenant’s obligation to pay rent and the landlord’s obligation to maintain habitable premises depend upon each other. If the landlord breaks his obligation to keep the premises in a reasonable condition, the tenant may be relieved from his obligation to pay part or all of his rent until the landlord makes necessary repairs.
As for air conditioning, the Superior Court Appellate Division has held that air conditioning that is part of the original tenancy may be considered a “vital facility,” and air conditioning failure affects the habitability of the premises.
The landlord must be given notice of defects and a reasonable opportunity to make repairs, but he or she does not have to promise to repair before the tenant withholds rent. Landlord must provide tenant with reasonable notification (usually one day) before entering the premises to correct a repair.
If the landlord does not keep the premises in a habitable condition, the tenant has several options:
- Repair and deduct: The tenant may repair vital facilities deficiencies and deduct the amount of the repair from the rent.
- Constructive eviction: The tenant may break the lease without penalties because the landlord is guilty of neglect or default, which makes the premises unsafe, unfit or unsuitable for occupancy.
- Rent reduction: In an action for a breach of warranty of habitability, if the court finds that the landlord did not maintain the property in a habitable condition, the tenant will be charged only with the reasonable rental value of the property in its imperfect condition during the tenancy.
- Withhold rent: The tenant may withhold rent or a portion of rent.
- Rent receivership: Tenants in substandard dwelling units may be able to deposit their rents with a court-appointed administrator for use in remedying defective conditions.
New Jersey Laws on Snow Removal
In New Jersey, the landlord’s duty to remove snow depends on the type of dwelling and number of occupants.
Single-family homeowners have no duty to clear snow or ice from their property and will only be held liable if they make the snow condition more dangerous than what occurs naturally. Multifamily property owners must clear snow and ice from public walkways and sidewalks on and in front of their property.
Commercial property owners and landlords have a duty to inspect for and remove snow and ice on the property. They’re allowed to make safe accumulations of snow and ice on the adjacent sidewalk.
A landlord or tenant who has no duty to clear a sidewalk of snow and ice but who voluntarily undertakes the task of doing so will be liable if “through his negligence a new element of danger or hazard, other than one caused by natural forces, is added to the safe use of the sidewalk by a pedestrian.”
Residential landlords and tenants are generally not liable for natural accumulations of snow and ice. However, they may be held liable for snow and ice conditions if they attempt to make a sidewalk safer for pedestrians by negligent attempts to address snow and ice.
New Jersey Laws on Eviction
What are the New Jersey laws on eviction?
New Jersey Eviction Law is governed by the New Jersey Eviction Act. The New Jersey Eviction Act applies to all residential rental properties, including mobile homes, and land in a mobile home park, except owner-occupied two or three-family dwellings, hotels, motels, other dwellings housing transient or seasonal tenants, and permanently occupied units held in trust on behalf of a developmentally disabled immediate family member.
In New Jersey, the landlord may evict the tenant for any of the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent
- Disorderly conduct, and/or disturbing the peace and quiet of other tenants
- Property damage and destruction
- Health and safety violations
- Violation of the lease, regulations or landlord’s rules
- Failure to pay increased rent
- Failure to pay rent habitually paying it late
- Landlord intention to cancel any residential use of the property
- Conversion to co-op or cooperative or tenancy after the conversion has happened
- Tenant refusal to accept changes in the terms and conditions of the lease
- Tenancy contingent on employment with the landlord that has now terminated
- Illegal activity including a drug conviction or offense on the property, or a conviction related to threatening/assaulting the landlord, their employees, or their family
- Court action finding the tenant liable for criminal activity involvement
- Convictions for theft of property
Each cause for eviction, except non-payment, must be outlined in a written notice to the tenant.
First, the landlord must provide the tenant with an eviction notice. The landlord must give the tenant written notice of the reason for the eviction and the date that the landlord wants the tenant to vacate the premises. The notice required depends on the reason for commencing eviction proceedings:
- Non-payment of rent: The landlord is not required to give the tenant any notice before proceeding with an eviction lawsuit. As soon as the rent is late, the landlord can start the process of evicting the tenant.. If the tenant continuously pays rent late, the landlord is required to give the tenant a written warning, called a “Notice to Cease.” If the tenant still continues to pay rent late, then the landlord must give the tenant one month’s notice called a “Notice to Quit” before filing the eviction lawsuit.
- Disorderly conduct: If the tenant engages in disorderly conduct, the landlord is required to give the tenant a written Notice to Cease first. If the tenant continues, then the landlord must give the tenant a three-day Notice to Quit before filing the eviction lawsuit.
- Damage to the rental unit: If the tenant damages the rental unit, the landlord must also give the tenant a three-day Notice to Quit before filing the eviction lawsuit. However, no written notice to cease is required for proceeding with an eviction based on damaging the rental unit.
- Lease Violations: When a tenant has violated some lease provision, the landlord must first give the tenant a written Notice to Cease that describes the violation. If the tenant continues to violate certain lease provisions, the landlord must provide the tenant one month’s notice, in the form of a Notice to Quit, before filing the eviction lawsuit.
If the tenant remains on the premises once notice has been given, the landlord can initiate court proceedings by filing eviction proceedings in office of the Special Civil Part Clerk in the county where the rental unit is located. The tenant will receive a copy of the complaint and a date and time for the hearing. If the tenant chooses to challenge the eviction, the tenant must appear at the hearing. Both landlord and tenant will be given the opportunity to present their cases. At the conclusion of their respective cases, the judge will decide whether to evict the tenant.
Any tenant facing eviction may assert any one of the following defenses:
- Self-help: It is illegal for a landlord to force a tenant out of the rental unit, including changing the locks on the rental unit or turning off the utilities.
- Eviction was improper: A landlord must carefully follow all the procedures set out in the New Jersey state laws when evicting a tenant.
- The tenant paid rent in full.
- The landlord failed to make a utility payment.
- The landlord failed to make necessary repairs.
- Landlord evicts tenant for violating rental agreement and the tenant hasn’t violated any provision of the rental agreement.
- The eviction is in retaliation for the tenant having filed a complaint regarding the condition of the property.
- The eviction is based on the tenant’s religion, race, sex, national origin, creed, age, marital or family status, or disability.
New Jersey Laws on Retaliation
Landlords are prohibited from harassing or retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights. In New Jersey, a landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority, been involved in a tenant’s organization, made a good faith complaint, or exercised a legal right.
New Jersey Laws on Domestic Violence, Sexual Misconduct, and Sexual Assault
In New Jersey, the law affords special protections to victims of domestic violence, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault.
The landlord cannot discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant because he or she has been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. Specifically, the landlord cannot:
- Refuse to rent to a prospective tenant who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault
- Refuse to renew the tenant’s rental agreement
- Retaliate against the tenant
A tenant victim of domestic violence has the option to terminate the lease if the tenant gives the landlord written notice that the tenant or tenant’s child faces the imminent threat of serious physical harm, on the leased premises. The lease will terminate 30 days after the tenant has provided both the required notice and documentation to the landlord unless landlord and tenant have agreed to an earlier termination date in the terms of the lease.
The landlord is entitled to verify a tenant’s claim of domestic violence status. The landlord may require the tenant to provide any one of the following documents: a certified copy of a permanent restraining order, a law enforcement agency record documenting the domestic violence, or medical documentation of the domestic violence provided by a healthcare provider. Other acceptable forms of proof may be found here.
In the case of a domestic violence claim, after claim of proof has been authorized, the landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant, plus interest or accumulated earnings, within 15 days.
Finally, the landlord is not permitted to disclose any information or documentation, regarding the domestic violence claim provided by the tenant. Any such information or documentation can only be used with the tenant’s consent.
New Jersey Laws on Changing the Locks and Security Devices
Landlords are not required to change the locks before a new tenant moves in, but we recommend doing so. As you can see below, most landlords in New Jersey are changing the locks:
Landlords are also required to install the following:
- Window latch
- Window guards
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
After the tenant has made a request for the landlord to install one of these devices, the landlord must respond within a reasonable amount of time.
The results of our New Jersey landlord survey reveal that more than half of our landlords rekey the premises only if the tenant so requests.
New Jersey has specific rules pertaining to window guards and screens:
- The landlord must install screens suited to protect the interior of the building against insects. These screens must be kept in good repair for each exterior door, except exterior doors which do not provide ventilation.
- Screens shall also be provided, maintained, and installed for each openable window in living and common areas.
- Screens are not required for units or common areas on the sixth floor or above.
- Screens shall be provided from at least May 1 to October 1 of each year.
Furthermore, hotel and dwelling state regulations provide certain safeguards with regards to windows:
- In a unit in which a child 10 years of age of younger resides, the tenant may request that the landlord install and maintain approved child protection window guards on the windows of the dwelling unit and on any accessible windows in the public halls.
- This requirement does not apply to owner-occupied units, condominiums or cooperatives.
- Yearly written notices must be given to tenants informing them of the window guard regulation.
New Jersey Pet Laws
Landlords are allowed to create their own requirements for pets.They can decide if pets are allowed, what size is allowed, etc. Under New Jersey law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities may bring their service animals to all public accommodations, such as government buildings, hotels, restaurants, stadiums, and stores. These laws also require those who operate transportation services to allow service animals.
There are also several laws specific to the state of New Jersey:
The Pets in Housing Projects law
This law only applies only to senior citizens with pets.
This law provides that any senior citizen residing in a senior citizen housing project who provides written notice to the landlord is allowed to own or care for a pet. The law defines “senior citizen housing project” as any building or structure having three or more rental dwelling units. It does not apply to owner-occupied premises that does not have more than three rental dwelling units, or any health care facility. While the tenant usually has unfettered access to own and care for their pet, the landlord does have some rights if the tenant is in violation. If any of the following occur, the landlord may refuse to renew the tenant’s lease:
- If the pet’s existence or behavior violates federal, state, or local building, health or use codes
- If the tenant fails to properly care for the pet
- If the tenant fails to control the pet or fails to take prompt action to remove any pet waste when requested by the landlord
- If the tenant fails to keep the pet’s waste functions confined to areas that do not interfere with the common areas or entrance and exit of anyone to or from the senior citizen housing
A handicapped, blind, or deaf person who has a service or guide dog, must have full and equal access to all housing accommodations. Any lease or rental agreement prohibiting pets shall not apply to a service or guide dog owned by a handicapped, blind, or deaf tenant.
The landlord may charge a reasonable, nonrefundable fee for pets kept by the tenant on the premises.
Read this article to find out if allowing pets in your rental is right for you.
Do New Jersey Landlords Need a Rental License?
Landlord rental licenses are not required by New Jersey law.
While a rental license is not required, the New Jersey Housing Bureau Inspection requires a five-year safety inspection for certain dwellings. The Housing Bureau ensures that hotels and multiple-family buildings of three or more dwelling units are properly maintained and do not pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of their residents, nor the community in general.
Furthermore, certain landlords are required to register the identity of their dwelling location. Landlords who own a one or two-family non-owner occupied house are required to file a registration statement with the clerk of the municipality in which the building is located. See form here.
Notice of Entry Laws in New Jersey
Do landlords in New Jersey have to provide notice of entry?
The landlord must provide reasonable notification (usually one day) to enter the premises. The landlord must provide reasonable notice for the following reasons:
- Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
- Showing the unit to prospective tenants
The landlord does not need to provide notice in the case of an emergency where a condition exists that poses an immediate threat to the safety or health of persons using or near the premises.
We surveyed our New Jersey landlords and found out that 67% go above and beyond and provide 48-hour notice, asee nd 33% provide 24-hour notice.
Sublease and Assignment Provisions in New Jersey
Under a sublease agreement, the original tenant leases the premises (apartment or house) to another individual. This individual must legally abide by the terms of the lease, as they have essentially taken over the lease term for a specified period of time.
In most states, subleasing is only allowed if the landlord consents. A landlord has to allow a sublease, unless:
Sign-up in less than 60 seconds.
- The lease does prohibits subleasing.
- The terms of the sublease are not reasonable.
A typical sublease provision in the State of New Jersey, reads as follows:
“Tenant may not do any of the following without the Landlord’s written consent: (1) assign this Lease; (2) sublet all or any part of the Premises; (3) permit any person to use the Premises other than those specified in this Lease. Unless Tenant has obtained Landlord’s written consent, any assignment or subletting may be disregarded by Landlord as if it had not occurred, and Tenant shall continue to remain responsible for the performance of all terms and conditions of this Lease.
Abandonment of Property Provisions in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are specific procedures on how to handle abandoned property.
Generally, the landlord may dispose of any personal property left on the premises by a tenant after giving notice (see requirements below), and only if the landlord reasonably believes under all the circumstances that the tenant has left the property upon the premises with no intention retrieving it.
The landlord shall first give written notice to the tenant by certified mail, informing the tenant that the property is considered abandoned and must be removed from the premises:
- For all property other than manufactured or mobile homes, the tenant must respond within 30 days of delivery of the notice, or not less than 33 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first.
- For manufactured or mobile homes, the tenant must respond within 75 days of the delivery of the notice, or not less than 78 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first.
If the tenant fails to respond within these prescribed time frames, the property will be sold or otherwise disposed of.
After notifying the tenant, the landlord shall store all goods, manufactured or mobile homes and other personal property of the tenant in a place of safekeeping. The landlord should care for the property. Namely, the landlord should dispose of any perishable food and may allow an animal control agency or humane society to remove any abandoned pets or livestock.
If the abandoned property is not removed, the landlord has the following options:
- The landlord may sell the property at a public or private sale.
- The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property if the landlord reasonably determines that the value of the property is so low that the cost of storage and conducting a public sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale.
- The landlord may sell items of value and destroy or otherwise dispose of the remaining property.
The tenant’s belongings can be considered abandoned if:
- The tenant responds in writing or orally to the landlord that they intend to remove the property, on or before the day specified in the required notice, but does not remove it within the time specified in the notice or within 15 days after the written response, whichever is later.
- No response is received from the tenant within the time period provided.
Furthermore, a warrant for removal must be executed and possession of the premises has been restored to the landlord or the tenant must provide written notice to the landlord that he or she is voluntarily relinquishing all rights to the property in question.
Required New Jersey Rental Agreement Disclosures
Lead Paint Disclosure: Federal law requires landlords to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the lease takes effect. Additionally, landlords must provide this EPA-approved information pamphlet.
Asbestos: Reasonable precautions must be taken to minimize the chance of damage or disturbance of asbestos containing materials. See asbestos pamphlet here.
Mold Disclosure: The landlord is required to disclose any structural damage, including but not limited to water, fire, smoke, or insect damage and the condition of the roof, and mold. Click here for mold pamphlet.
Utility Disclosure: A landlord who has expressly or impliedly agreed in the lease to furnish and pay for water, gas, or electric service to the tenant’s dwelling is liable to the tenant if the utility company has cut off utility service to the tenant’s dwelling. The landlord is also liable to the tenant if the utility company has given written notice to the tenant that such utility service is about to be cut off because of the landlord’s nonpayment of the utility bill.
Truth in Renting Act (statement of landlord-tenant legal rights): The landlord is required to distribute to new tenants at or prior to move-in the Department of Community Affairs’ statement of legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords of rental dwelling units. This disclosure does not apply to buildings of two or fewer units, and owner-occupied premises of three or fewer units.
The act outlines common landlord duties:
- Maintain common areas
- Provide heat
It also outlines common tenant duties:
- Lawful activity
- Quiet enjoyment
Flood zone notification: The landlord must notify tenant if the rental premises is in a flood zone or area. However, this disclosure does not apply to properties containing two or fewer dwelling units, or to owner-occupied properties of three or fewer units.
Child protection safeguards: Landlords of multi-family properties must include information in the lease about tenants’ rights to request window guards.
Oft-Cited New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law
New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law is governed by New Jersey Statute (N.J. Stat Ann. §§ 46:8-1 through 46:8-50).
- The owner or landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit, plus any portion of the interest or earnings accumulated, and less any charges expended in accordance with the terms of a lease. The owner or landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days after the termination of the tenant’s lease.
- Interest, earnings, and any deductions must be itemized in a list.
- No deductions can be made from a security deposit of a tenant who remains in possession of the rental premises within five business days after:
- The tenant is caused to be displaced by fire, flood, condemnation, or evacuation.
- An authorized public official posts a notice prohibiting occupancy.
- The owner or landlord may not require a security deposit more than a sum equal to one and one-half times one month’s rental according to the terms of the lease.
- Whenever the owner or landlord collects from a tenant an additional amount of security deposit, the amount collected annually as additional security shall not be greater than 10 percent of the current security deposit.
- The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs must prepare and make available the established legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords of rental dwelling units. The statement must be in both English and Spanish.
- Every landlord must distribute one copy of the statement to each of their tenants within 30 days after it has been made available by the department. The landlord is obligated to continuously provide a copy of the current statement to each new tenant at or prior to the time he assumes occupancy of the dwelling.
- Any landlord who violates any provision of the N.J.S.A. is liable for up to $100.00 for each offense.
- Every landlord shall notify each of their tenants if it has been determined to be located in a flood zone. Each new tenant shall be notified prior to the time that occupancy of the rental unit is assumed.
- The owner or landlord may allow a period of five business days grace in which the rent due shall be paid.
- The grace period only applies to premises rented or leased by senior citizens receiving Social Security Old Age Pensions, Railroad Retirement Pensions or other governmental pensions in lieu of Social Security Old Age Pensions, and by recipients of Social Security Disability Benefits, Supplemental Security Income or benefits under Work First New Jersey.
- Every landlord must file the location of the premises with the clerk of the municipality, or with such other municipal official, in which the residential property is situated. The landlord must file within in 30 days, in the case of a one-dwelling unit rental or a two-dwelling unit non-owner occupied unit.
A landlord of residential property, may dispose of any tangible goods, chattels, manufactured or mobile homes or other personal property left upon a premises by a tenant after giving the requisite notice, only if the landlord reasonably believes under all the circumstances that the tenant has left the property upon the premises with no intention obtaining it and
- A warrant for removal has been executed and possession of the premises has been restored to the landlord OR
- The tenant has given written notice that he or she is voluntarily relinquishing possession of the premises
If the property is considered abandoned, it must be removed from the premises.
- Property is considered abandoned when:
- The tenant responds in writing or orally to the landlord on or before the day specified in the required notice that the tenant intends to remove the property from the premises.
- The tenant does not remove the property within the time specified in the notice or within 15 days after the written response, whichever is later.
- If no response is received from a tenant within the time period provided, then the tenant’s property shall be conclusively presumed to be abandoned
- If the abandoned property is not removed:
- The landlord may sell the property at a public or private sale
- The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property if the landlord reasonably determines that the value of the property is so low that the cost of storage and conducting a public sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale
- The landlord may sell items of value and destroy or otherwise dispose of the remaining property
Helpful New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Resources
Newark Landlord-Tenant Law
Landlord-Tenant law in Newark is essentially the same as New Jersey state law. However, Newark is subject to rent control laws.
Rent Control Laws in Newark
The landlord is not allowed to increase rent by a percentage that is greater than the percentage increase indicated by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If the landlord wants to increase the rent, he or she must abide by the percentage of the CPI three to 15 months prior to the end of the lease. The allowable rent increase should never exceed 4% in any consecutive 12-month period.
The CPI is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services. The CPI is calculated by taking price changes for a certain group of items and averaging them. Within this context, changes in the CPI assess price changes associated with the cost of living. Based on the changes associated with the cost of living, the city of Newark determines a percentage that landlords must honor if they want to increase the rent. Landlords can find the current CPI percentage on this website under Rent of Primary Residence.
This article is designed to convey information, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should not consider any information in this article to be legal advice. Readers should consider obtaining specific legal advice from an attorney in relation to any decision or course of action contemplated.