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New Jersey Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

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New Jersey landlord tenant law

Table Of Contents

New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law: An Overview

  • New Jersey landlord-tenant law is a set of regulations that govern the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in the state of New Jersey.
  • These laws outline the legal requirements for lease agreements, rent increases, security deposits, and eviction procedures.
  • Landlords must adhere to strict requirements regarding the maintenance of their properties, including providing habitable living conditions and addressing any repairs or issues promptly.
  • Tenants have certain legal protections, such as the right to privacy and the right to challenge evictions in court.
  • Understanding New Jersey landlord-tenant law is essential for both landlords and tenants to ensure they are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

NJ Landlord-Tenant Law: FAQs

In this section, we have covered all your questions related to New Jersey landlord-tenant law.

Are there rent control/rent stabilization policies or laws in New Jersey?

More than 100 cities and townships in New Jersey have passed rent control ordinances. To find out if your city or township has rent control, please contact your city or township hall.

Is it a requirement for landlords to file a certificate of registration for their rental property?

According to -N.J.S.A. 46:8-28, every landlord of a dwelling, except owner-occupied properties with no more than 2 rental units, must file a certificate of registration with the clerk of the municipality in which the residential property is situated, or with the Bureau of Housing Inspection in the Department of Community Affairs. Please also note, if a landlord plans to file for eviction and has not registered with the township in which the dwelling is located, the court has no legal power to evict until the landlord has complied with the New Jersey landlord-tenant law. Furthermore, if the landlord registration statement is not filed, the landlord can be fined up to $500.

What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?

According to New Jersey landlord-tenant law, the security deposit cannot exceed more than one and one-half times the monthly rent and this applies to all items that are non-refundable deposits including but not limited to a pet, key, cleaning, and the payment of the last month’s rent in advance.

Are there requirements for where a security deposit must be held, for example, in a separate escrow account?

Under NJ landlord-tenant law, the landlord must provide the tenant with written documentation stating the name and address of the bank where the deposit is being kept, the amount of the deposit, the type of account, and the current interest rate for that account within 30 days of receiving the deposit. Please also note, the security deposit must be placed in a New Jersey bank and if not, the law requires the landlord to use the deposit in lieu of the rent and to forfeit the right to the deposit.

My tenant has moved out, what do I do with their security deposit?

Under New Jersey landlord-tenant law, once the tenant vacates and within 30 days of lease termination, the landlord must return the entire balance or the remainder of the security deposit plus interest, along with a complete list of the damages, if any.

May I charge an application fee, a late rent charge, or a returned payment fee?

Application Fee: According to New Jersey landlord-tenant law, there are no restrictions or limits placed on the collection of an application, however, if contested, the courts generally will limit the fee to what is reasonable as compared to the general market.
Late Charge: There are no limits placed on the amount of a late charge; although senior citizens may not be charged more than 5% which the Courts generally apply to all cases. A landlord may charge more if it can be supported as reasonable. However, Landlords must wait until 5 days have passed before assessing a late charge or fee.
Returned payment fees: These fees should remain reasonably related to the landlord’s actual expenses incurred. However, Landlords must wait until 5 days have passed before assessing a late charge or fee.

How can I end a New Jersey lease agreement?

Because of the Anti-Eviction Act, a landlord cannot evict a tenant simply because the lease ends. The only reason a landlord may end a lease is after a tenant has rejected a new lease with different terms, such as a higher rent or new rules and regulations.

Important: The landlord cannot force a tenant to move unless a tenant does not accept the new lease conditions or for specific “cause” in the New Jersey Anti-Eviction Law. The ending or expiration of a lease is not a good enough cause for eviction.

Note: The exception to this rule is if landlord owns a building with only 2 or 3 units and lives in one of the them.

The New Jersey landlord-tenant law requires that, for a landlord to raise the rent, the tenant must be given proper written notice. A proper 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 at a higher rent.
Month to Month tenancies: The proper notice must explain that the existing lease will be terminated or ended in one full calendar month. Tenant must receive this notice at least one month before the lease ends.
Fixed Term Tenancies: The notice must explain that the lease will terminate on the date the lease ends, and tenant must receive this notice at least one month before that date. The notice can be for a longer period, if the lease specifies so. To learn more, go to

A tenant may end a lease:
Month to Month lease by giving landlord one months notice before the end of the lease
a fixed term lease or yearly lease: unless the lease says otherwise, tenant must give the landlord a written notice at least one full month before the end of the lease.

Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?

According to New Jersey landlord-tenant law, a landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable or if the tenant is called to active military duty. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.

My tenant has not paid rent; how much notice do I have to give a tenant in order to evict them? Written demand is not necessary for non-payment of rent only. Landlord may go to the appropriate court and file. New Jersey has specific laws about eviction referred to as the New Jersey Anti-Eviction Law. Information may be found at New Jersey Anti-Eviction Law.

Can I require my tenants to obtain renter’s insurance?

All residential landlords in New Jersey have an obligation to advise their tenants within 30 days of occupancy of the right to purchase renter’s insurance. Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance, and can make the failure to do so a breach of the lease agreement.

How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?

Generally, unless the tenant returns the keys or otherwise states in writing that they have moved out of the rental property, it is best to seek a judgment of possession through the court system.

What may I do with my tenant’s personal belongings if they have left them in the rental unit?

According to New Jersey landlord-tenant law, before disposing of the tenant’s personal property, the landlord must give the tenant a notice of 30 days specifying the tenant‘s right to claim the items. The landlord should send this notice, certified mail to the tenant’s last known address (it may be the address of the rental unit that contains the tenant’s belongings). The landlord doesn’t have to prove that the tenant has received the notice, just that it’s been sent. After mailing the notice, the landlord may not dispose of any of the items left behind until the full 30 days have passed. The landlord may move the tenant’s personal property to another location if such a need arises. If the landlord incurs a charge for storage, he/she can pass that charge onto the tenant, but it must be reasonable.

What can I do if my tenant files for bankruptcy?

The procedures a landlord should take will be determined by bankruptcy court laws. A Landlord usually will proceed with a relief from the “stay” deeming the tenant responsible for rent incurred during the pendency of bankruptcy proceedings. This is a complicated procedure and warrants at least a consult with an attorney.

Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?

A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the Lease as long as the landlord uniformly enforces it.

Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?

According to New Jersey landlord-tenant law, the landlord shall have the right to enter the leased premises at reasonable times and hours after reasonable notice has been given to the tenant, unless in cases of emergency.

What are the tenant’s rights in New Jersey?

Tenant rights give them the freedom to look for a place to live without facing any prejudice from their landlord and to guarantee livable housing circumstances. Tenants are also permitted to timely request property repairs under New Jersey’s landlord-tenant laws.

Landlords also have a duty to provide safe and habitable housing, which includes making necessary repairs and keeping common areas clean. Tenants in New Jersey are allowed to withhold rent if their landlord fails to meet these obligations.

Before entering a rental property to conduct repairs, landlords in New Jersey are required to give one day’s notice. Include a legal section in your lease or rental agreement stating your right of the entrance and informing the tenant of it in order to avoid issues. You should also preserve written records of your requests to enter rental properties.

In New Jersey, how much advance notice must a landlord provide a renter before they vacate?

According to New Jersey landlord-tenant law, three months must pass after serving the tenant with a Notice to Quit before bringing an eviction lawsuit. Until relocation help is offered, the renter cannot be evicted.

What are landlord rights in  New Jersey?

Landlords in New Jersey have a number of rights, including the right to evict a tenant for not paying rent, the right to enter the property for inspections or repairs, and the right to sue a tenant who damages the property.

What rights do tenants have without a lease in  New Jersey?

Even if you don’t currently have a lease, the landlord is still required by law to maintain the rented space’s safety and habitability. This means that the landlord is responsible for making sure the property is free of pests, sound structurally, and equipped with the necessities.

What can you do if your landlord doesn’t fix things in New Jersey?

A tenant may fix any significant flaws and deduct the cost of the repair from the rent if the landlord fails to keep the property in a habitable state. A so-called “constructive eviction” by the renter may also result from the landlord’s neglect of the property.

Can tenants be evicted in New Jersey?

Yes, a tenant can be evicted in New Jersey. A landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease agreement, such as by not paying rent or damaging the property. The landlord must first give the tenant notice of the violation and an opportunity to remedy it before filing for eviction. If the tenant does not comply with the order to leave, the landlord may file for eviction in court.

How long does it take to evict a tenant in New Jersey?

According to New Jersey landlord-tenant law, it usually takes about two months to evict a tenant. The eviction process begins with the landlord filing a complaint with the court. The tenant then has the opportunity to file an answer to the complaint. The court will then schedule a hearing after that. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, it will issue an order for the tenant to vacate. The tenant then has 10 days to leave. If the tenant does not leave, the sheriff will evict them.

Can my landlord sell the house I’m renting in New Jersey?

The rental unit must be vacant at the time of closing according to the terms of the contract for sale between your landlord and the purchaser (the last step in the sale process when the deed is transferred). In addition, before filing an eviction suit with the court, the landlord must give the tenant at least two full calendar months’ notice.

What is considered harassment from landlord in New Jersey?

Harassment from landlord in New Jersey is considered to be any type of behaviour that is intended to disturb or annoy the tenant. This can range from intimidation to verbal abuse, and it can create a hostile surrounding that makes it challenging for the tenant to live in the rental.

Can a landlord throw away your property in New Jersey?

The landlord may sell the tenant’s property in a public or private sale or dispose of it if it is worthless if the tenant ignores the notice or fails to remove it within the specified time frame.

What can the tenant sue the landlord for in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey landlord-tenant law, tenants have a number of rights that landlords must respect. These include the right to privacy, the right to heat and water, the right to reasonable repairs, and the right to a livable environment. If a landlord violates any of these rights, the tenant can sue for damages.

Here are some specific things that tenants can sue landlords for in New Jersey:

  • Failure to make necessary repairs
  • Unlawful eviction
  • Disclosure of confidential information
  • Interference with the quiet enjoyment of the property
  • Constructive eviction

What repairs are landlords responsible for in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey landlord-tenant law, landlords in New Jersey are responsible for maintaining the exterior and common areas of their properties, as well as making any necessary repairs to the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. They’re also responsible for providing tenants with a reasonable level of heat and hot water, and for ensuring that the property is safe and sanitary. If there are any problems with the property that the landlord is unable to fix, they must provide the tenant with a reasonable workaround solution.

Can you be evicted in New Jersey without going to court?

In New Jersey, attempting to evict a tenant without first going to court is against the law. A landlord cannot evict a tenant without first winning the eviction case and receiving a court ruling.

How late can rent be before eviction in New Jersey?

Rent is normally due on the first day of every month, regardless of whether it falls on a weekend or holiday unless otherwise specified in the lease. The tenant is not entitled to a grace period from the landlord, and if the rent is not paid on time, the landlord may start the eviction process the following day.

How does a tenant stop an eviction in New Jersey?

It depends on the situation. If the tenant has been served an eviction notice and has not paid rent, then they can stop the eviction by paying rent before the court date. If the tenant is being evicted for causing damage to the property or creating a nuisance, then they may be able to stop the eviction by repairing the damage or stopping the nuisance behavior.

In some cases, a tenant may be able to stop an eviction by filing for bankruptcy or appealing to a higher court. However, in most cases, if a tenant does not pay rent or fix the damage they have caused, then they will be evicted from the property.

In New Jersey, how much can a landlord raise the rent?

There are no statewide rent control regulations in New Jersey. However, if you own a property in one of these regions, you are required to abide by the local government’s own rent control rules, which are enforced locally. Generally speaking, local rent control caps rent increases at 2-6%, though it varies by region.

How does a tenant prove harassment in New Jersey?

 As per New Jersey landlord tenant law, a tenant would need to provide evidence of the following in order to prove harassment:

1) That the landlord engaged in unwelcome conduct that substantially interfered with the tenant’s use and enjoyment of the rental unit;

2) That such conduct was motivated by retaliation, discrimination, or a desire to compel the tenant to vacate; and

3) That the interference was substantial.

Some common examples of harassment that tenants may experience include but are not limited to: being denied necessary repairs, being locked out of the premises, having utility service turned off, receiving obscene or threatening messages, or being harassed through excessive legal action. So, it is important to document all incidents that occured.

NJ Landlord Rights

As a landlord in New Jersey, you have certain rights. Here are some of the crucial ones:

  • The right to collect rent from your tenants on time and in full.
  • The right to evict a tenant who is not paying rent or violating the lease agreement.
  • The right to enter the rental property for repairs, maintenance, or emergencies.
  • The right to set rules and regulations for the rental property, as long as they do not violate the law or tenant’s rights.
  • The right to charge a security deposit and deduct from it for damages caused by the tenant.

NJ Landlord Responsibilities

  • Provide a safe and habitable living environment for your tenants, including complying with all applicable housing codes and regulations.
  • Keep the rental property in good repair and maintain it, including common areas and utilities.
  • Provide adequate heating, ventilation, and hot water for the rental property.
  • Give proper notice before entering the rental property.
  • Comply with all fair housing laws, including not discriminating against tenants based on race, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status.

In addition to these rights and responsibilities, NJ landlord-tenant law also requires landlords to provide certain disclosures to tenants, such as information about lead-based paint and the security deposit refund policy.

Security Deposits

In New Jersey, security deposits are typically collected by landlords as a “safety” precaution against unforeseen circumstances. Although the majority of them do, the New Jersey landlord-tenant laws do not oblige landlords to do this.

If the landlord decides to demand a security deposit, its amount shouldn’t exceed 1.5 months’ worth of rent. But, owner-occupied rentals with fewer than two units are exempt from this deposit condition.

Security Deposit Returns

Every renter in New Jersey is entitled to have their security deposit back when they vacate the rental home. In such situations, the security deposit must be refunded within 30 days after the tenant’s departure from the rental property. The security deposit can be returned in five days if the renter has to leave the rental property because of a fire, a flood, or an evacuation.

The landlord has fifteen days to return the security deposit if the renter was a victim of domestic abuse. Yet, in order to get the deposit on time, the renter must show evidence of the domestic abuse in their rented apartment.

Withholding a Security Deposit

In accordance with New Jersey’s landlord-tenant laws, the following situations allow the landlord to keep the security deposit:

  • Unpaid utilities or rent bills
  • Violations of the lease
  • Damage beyond ordinary wear and tear

In these situations, landlords are required to give the renter a list of the security deposit deductions within 30 days after the tenant’s departure from the rental.

Lease Termination

In New Jersey, tenants have the option to break their lease. Depending on the type of lease, they must submit a specific amount of notice, though.

Below is a summary of how much notice a landlord must provide:

  • Weekly Lease: 7 days’ notice is required
  • 30 days’ notice required for monthly leases
  • Annual Lease: 90-day notice is required

Alternately, renters have the option to quit a lease early for any of the reasons listed below:

  • Harassment or abuse by a landlord
  • Health problems
  • Provisions for early termination
  • Serving in the military
  • Unsuitable living circumstances

It’s crucial to keep in mind that if renters vacate early, they can still be responsible for paying the balance of the term in accordance with New Jersey landlord-tenant laws.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.

Feel free to explore our other New Jersey landlord resources, and to ask legal questions in our Rental Expert Forum.

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Accidental Rental
Accidental Rental
3 years ago

Excellent information! I want to point out that the 5-day grace period only applies to certain populations in NJ such as seniors receiving social security benefits. It’s still a good idea to use the 5-day grace period for all tenants as it will likely be accepted by any judge in NJ.

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