|Max / Limit||None|
|Notice Requirement||1 Month|
Does New Jersey Have Rent Control?
New Jersey does not have statewide rent control laws limiting the amount that landlords may ask for rent, but state law allows local governments to establish their own rent control laws.
In February of 2022, Assembly Bill 2390 was introduced in the New Jersey legislature. If passed, it will establish a statewide limitation on rent increases to 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living, or 10 percent, whichever is lower, per year (with some exemptions).
How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent By in New Jersey?
By New Jersey state law, landlords can raise the rent by any amount that they wish. There is no statewide limit or cap on the amount of a rent increase, but it must be reasonable.
Over 100 cities have enacted their own limitations on rent increases, including:
- Atlantic City – Based on the Consumer Price Index
- Edison – No more than 5%
- Elizabeth – 3%, but no more than $20
- Jersey City – Based on Consumer Price Index, but no more than 4%
- Lakewood – 5% if tenant pays for heating, 6.5% if landlord pays for heating
- Newark – Based on Consumer Price Index, but no more than 4%
- Paterson – 5%, but no more than 3.5% for seniors and disabled tenants
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs provides a more comprehensive summary of rent control ordinances by city.
When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, landlords can raise the rent for any reason as long as they give proper notice, don’t do so during the fixed term of a lease (unless the lease allows for it), and aren’t doing so for certain discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.
When Can’t a Landlord Raise Rent in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, landlords cannot raise the rent during the middle of a lease’s fixed term (unless stated otherwise in the lease agreement), for certain discriminatory reasons (like race or age), or for certain retaliatory reasons (such as in response to a tenant requesting repairs).
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination due to:
- Gender (including gender identity)
- Sexual orientation
- Nationality or origin
- Familial status
New Jersey law also prevents landlords from increasing rent in retaliation. In an eviction request, the landlord may be required to demonstrate that the rent increase was not motivated by retaliation.
Rent increases are considered retaliatory if they are in response to a tenant:
- Filing a complaint with the appropriate agency regarding the health or safety of the property
- Attempting to exercise their rights under the lease agreement or law
- Joining or organizing a tenants’ group or union
- Requesting repairs
How Much Notice is Needed to Raise Rent in New Jersey?
New Jersey state law requires that landlords give one month’s notice before increasing rent unless the lease specifies a longer period. The notice must be sent by either:
- Hand-delivery to the tenant or a member of their family over 14 years old
- Certified mail
- Regular mail (if the certified letter is not claimed)
Cities with local rent control ordinances may require a longer period of notice, like Edison, where 60 days’ notice is required.
How Often Can Rent Be Increased in New Jersey?
By New Jersey state law, landlords can increase the rent as often as they wish, as long as sufficient notice is provided each time. However, many cities with local rent control ordinances have a limitation on the frequency of rent increases (e.g. once per year in Elizabeth).
There is pending legislation (Assembly Bill 2390) that will establish statewide rent control and limit rent increases to once per year if passed.
- 1 NJ Rev Stat § 2A:18-61.1
…provided the increase in rent is not unconscionable…Source Link
- 2 NJ Rev Stat § 2A:42-10.12
No reprisal shall be presumed under this section based upon the failure of a landlord to renew a lease or tenancy when so requested by a tenant if such request is made sooner than 90 days before the expiration date of the lease or tenancy…Source Link
- 3 NJ Rev Stat § 2A:18-61.2
…acceptance of reasonable lease changes…one month’s notice prior to institution of action…Source Link
- 4 NJ Rev Stat § 2A:18-61.2
The notice…shall be served either personally upon the tenant or lessee or such person in possession by giving him a copy thereof, or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual place of abode with some member of his family above the age of 14 years, or by certified mail; if the certified letter is not claimed, notice shall be sent by regular mail.Source Link
- 5 Edison Mun. Code § 17-4.5
Any landlord seeking an increase in rent shall first notify the tenant…no later that sixty (60) days prior to the date that the increased rent sought is to be effective…Source Link
- 6 Elizabeth Code of Ord. § 5.70.060
No landlord may request or receive more than one increase in base rent for any twelve (12) month period.Source Link