The New Jersey rental agreements are contracts between the landlord or owner of real property and a tenant who wants to use it in exchange for regular rent payments. These documents lay out the terms of the rental, but they are governed by New Jersey’s landlord-tenant laws.
New Jersey Rental Agreement Types
New Jersey Required Lease Disclosures
- Truth in Renting Guide Disclosure (required for all) – New Jersey landlords are required to provide the NJ Truth in Renting guide as part of their lease agreements in addition to providing access to the guide in a common area on the property to help ensure tenants are informed when agreeing to their lease, otherwise the lease may not apply.
- Flood Zone Notice (required for some) – If a New Jersey property is categorized as residing in a flood zone, the landlord must provide notice of this fact in the lease before the tenant may take possession to alleviate the landlord of potential damages in the case of a flood.
- Notice of Right to Child Protective Window Guards (required for all) – Landlords must provide notice of the right for New Jersey tenants to request child proof window guards on the property at a cost of $20 per installation to avoid liability for accidents resulting from a lack of guards.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – New Jersey landlords are required to provide a lead based paint disclosure for any buildings built before 1978, including a pamphlet from the EPA and notice of any known hazards to minimize liability for lead based health concerns for tenants.
To learn more about required disclosures in New Jersey, click here.
New Jersey Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Legal precedent in New Jersey dictates that landlords must provide heating, running water, locks, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and more to all tenants. These landlords are also only obliged to respond to repair requests in a “reasonable” amount of time. If this reasonability standard is not met, an effected tenant may choose to perform a repair and deduct.
- Evictions – If a New Jersey tenant fails to pay rent or violates a lease term, they may face a 30-day notice before being evicted. Committing an illegal act, meanwhile, would only necessitate a 3-day notice prior to eviction. Even in those cases, it is common for evictions here to take over a month.
- Security Deposits – A security deposit in New Jersey may not be valued at 1 ½ the cost of per-period rent. A deposit of this kind can be raised if rent is also increase, though. Either way, these deposits must always be returned within 30 days (except in special circumstances that justify shorter return periods).
- Lease Termination – A month-to-month lease in New Jersey can be cut off early after 30 days of notice are issued by a tenant. Fixed-term tenants, on the other hand, can use active military duty, unit uninhabitability, landlord harassment, domestic violence, or a health crisis as justification for breaking a lease early.
- Rent Increases & Fees – More than 100 jurisdictions in New Jersey maintain rent control policies. As such, most landlords here are limited in how much, how often, and for what reasons they can raise rent. Across the entire state, though, all tenants are entitled to at least 30 days of notice before an increase. New Jersey landlords are more free to charge fees, however. This includes bounced check fees, which can only be valued at up to $100 or 3 times the check’s value.
- Landlord Entry – In most cases, a New Jersey landlord only needs to provide “reasonable” notice to enter a tenant’s unit. This standard does not apply in emergency situations or when the landlord intends to show the unit.
- Settling Legal Disputes – New Jersey’s small claims court can hear cases valued at up to $3,000 (except for evictions). These cases must fit the statute of limitations, which stands at 6 years for all contract types.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in New Jersey, click here.