A New Jersey rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. New Jersey landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.
New Jersey Rental Agreement Types
A New Jersey roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.
New Jersey Required Residential Lease Disclosures
- Truth in Renting Guide Disclosure (required for all leases) – New Jersey landlords must attach the New Jersey Truth in Renting Guide to lease agreements, and provide access to the guide in a common area on the property.
- Flood Zone Notice (required for some leases) – New Jersey landlords renting out property categorized in a flood zone must note this fact in the lease.
- Window Guard Disclosure/Notice of Right to Child Protective Window Guards (required for all leases) – New Jersey landlords must advise tenants of their right to request child proof window guards on the property, at a cost of $20 per installation.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some leases) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a New Jersey residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.
To learn more about required disclosures in New Jersey, click here.
New Jersey Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – New Jersey landlords can only rent out habitable property, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within an “adequate” time after proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant sue the landlord, or repair and deduct from the rent.
- Evictions – New Jersey landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, or illegal acts, among other things. Before filing eviction, landlords must serve tenants with prior notice to quit. This means most evictions in New Jersey take over a month to complete.
- Security Deposits – New Jersey caps security deposits at a maximum of one and one-half month’s rent. Landlords may demand a larger deposit if rent gets increased, as long as the deposit increase is 10% per year or less. In general, landlords have 30 days after lease termination to return any unused portion of a security deposit.
- Lease Termination – New Jersey lets month-to-month tenants terminate a lease with 30 days of advance notice. A fixed-term lease can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, or domestic abuse.
- Rent Increases and Fees – New Jersey has many local areas which enforce some form of rent control policy. This means most places are limited in the amount and frequency of rent increases. Statewide, landlords can’t raise rent without at least 30 days of advance notice to the tenant. New Jersey does not set a maximum cap on fees.
- Landlord Entry – New Jersey landlords can enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, like maintenance and inspections. They must provide at least one day of advance notice before entering, unless it’s an emergency.
- Settling Legal Disputes – New Jersey allows landlord-tenant disputes in small claims court, as long as the amount in controversy is under $5,000. Evictions are not allowed in small claims. The statute of limitations for contract disputes like landlord-tenant issues is six years.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in New Jersey, click here.