New Jersey Landlord Retaliation Laws

New Jersey Landlord Retaliation Laws

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

Tenant Protected Actions
  • Health/Safety Complaints to Gov’t
  • Joining/Starting Tenant Organization
  • Enforcing Lawful Rights
  • Winning a Retaliation Claim
Landlord Retaliatory Actions
  • Attempted Eviction
  • Substantially Changed Rental Terms
Penalties for Retaliation
  • Eviction Fails
  • Recover Monetary Damages
  • Get a Court Injunction

When Is It Illegal for Landlords to Retaliate in New Jersey?

It’s illegal for New Jersey landlords to retaliate with attempted eviction or substantially changed rental terms. This applies to tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions in the last 90 days:

  • Complaining to the government about maintenance, after asking the landlord for repairs.
  • Participating in a tenant organization.
  • Pursuing rights or remedies given by the law or lease.
  • Winning a retaliation claim against the landlord.

The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove non-retaliatory, good-faith intentions. For example, a landlord isn’t retaliating by raising rent a reasonable amount after an increase in property tax, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.

What Can Tenants Do in Response in New Jersey?

New Jersey tenants can respond to landlord retaliation by suing for quiet enjoyment of the property. This will result in eviction actions being thrown out. Tenants can also recover monetary damages or get an injunction to keep the landlord from interfering again.