New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law

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Tenant Rights

  • Have 30 days to return security deposit
  • A 30-day notice required before raising rent
  • Reasonable notice required before entering the property
  • Required to make repairs within a reasonable amount of time

When it comes to New Jersey rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:

  1. Security Deposit – New Jersey limits the amount a landlord may charge for the security deposit to the equivalent of one and a half months’ rent. Landlords must return the deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out.
  2. Raising Rent – New Jersey allows local jurisdictions to establish rent control policies. Landlords in New Jersey must give a 30-day notice before increasing rent where they are able to.
  3. Notice of Entry – New Jersey has different notice protocols for different property-entrance purposes.
  4. Repairs – It is the landlord’s responsibility to keep the rental in safe and healthy living conditions. Landlords must make repairs within a reasonable amount of time after being notified by the tenant. If the landlord fails to make these repairs, the tenant may pay for the repairs and deduct the cost from their future rent payment.
  5. Rental Applications – Under a law enacted in June 2021, housing providers are prohibited from consideration of any criminal record at the initial rental application stage. Landlords are allowed to consider only certain records after an offer to rent is made, and required to follow substantive and procedural standards for withdrawal of a conditional offer.

Landlord Rights

  • Not required to issue a notice before filing for eviction
  • Must give a one-month notice before terminating a lease
  • Tenants must keep the unit in safe and habitable condition
  • Has 30 days to claim abandoned property

  1. Overdue Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may immediately file for eviction.
  2. Terminating a Lease – If a tenant needs to terminate a month-to-month lease, they must give the landlord one month’s notice.
  3. Tenant Responsibilities – Tenants are required to keep the property clean and not disturb neighbors.
  4. Property Abandonment – New Jersey requires landlords to notify a tenant that they have left behind property. Once this notice has been delivered, the tenant has 30 days to claim the property before the landlord may dispose of it however they see fit.

Application Fee

  • HUD (Federal) laws do not classify criminal backgrounds as a protected class, but making a decision to rent based off a criminal background alone could lead to a discrimination charge as it impacts certain protected groups of people disproportionately.
  • However, if the criminal background check revealed a crime for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, homicide and/or stalking, denying the application is allowed.
  • Landlords should have a consistent and equal policy or procedure in place to follow regarding criminal background checks so as not to discriminate against one class of people over another.
  • HUD states that a landlord cannot ask about arrest records, only convictions, as innocent people are commonly arrested though the situation may not have resulted in a conviction.
  • Some municipalities may have written their own laws expanding onto what you can and cannot ask regarding criminal backgrounds during the tenant screening process.

Per state law, there are no additional application fee laws/caps in New Jersey.

Criminal Background Check

New Jersey landlords cannot consider criminal history until the landlord has provided a conditional offer.

Security Deposit

  • Must be held in interest-bearing account or invested in a money market fund.
  • Information must be given on name of bank, location, account type and current interest rate.
  • Credit for future rent can be given in lieu of interest payment.
  • Security deposit must be returned within 5 days in the event of flooding, fire, or condemnation.
  • Must be returned within 15 days if domestic violence ends a lease.

Early Lease Termination

New Jersey tenants can end their lease early in cases of:

  • Getting called to active military duty
  • Uninhabitability
  • Landlord harassment
  • Domestic violence
  • Health crises

Late Fees

A five-day grace period must be given to New Jersey seniors.

Disclosures

New Jersey landlords must provide:

  • The name and location of the bank or money market account, account type, and applicable interest rate in which the security deposit is held
  • Flood zone information (if your rental is within the flood zone)
  • The Truth in Renting Guide

New Jersey Lease Agreement

There are three sections to a residential lease agreement. The first section outlines the custom details of the contract, such as who’s involved and for what address. Here’s an example New Jersey lease agreement listing details found in Section 1:

new jersey lease agreement

New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in New Jersey:

Can You Withhold Rent in New Jersey?

If a landlord fails to make necessary repairs, the tenant may pay for those repairs and deduct the price from their future rent payments.

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in New Jersey?

Evicting a tenant in New Jersey can take anywhere from three weeks to four months, depending on the reason for eviction.

Is New Jersey a Landlord-Friendly State?

New Jersey is not a landlord-friendly state because of the ability of each jurisdiction to set its own rent control laws.

What is the Eviction Process in New Jersey?

There are several reasons a landlord may file for eviction in New Jersey including but not limited to property damage, safety violations, and failure to pay rent. Depending on the violation, the landlord must give the tenant anywhere from 0 to 90 days to cure their violation.

If the tenant fails to cure or quit, then the landlord may file a complaint with the court, which costs $50. After the complaint is filed, it will be served to the tenant before the hearing.

The hearing will then be scheduled within 10 to 30 days after the tenant was served.

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, then a warrant for removal will be issued within three days. Once received, the tenant will need to move out within three days.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give a Tenant to Move Out in New Jersey?

Landlords are required to give a 30-day notice before asking a tenant to vacate the property.

Due Diligence and New Jersey Rental Laws

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TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources and official state statutes to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are constantly in flux, and landlords and tenants alike should do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a landlord or tenant in New Jersey. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.

Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws, and consult legal counsel should questions arise.

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New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law Resources

New Jersey Fair Housing Resources

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