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.
- Window Guard Disclosure/Notice of Right to Child Protective Window Guards (required for all) – Landlords must provide notice of window guards and a 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 running water, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and more. 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 or a tenant may withhold rent (or rent abatement).
- Evictions – New Jersey landlords may evict tenants for a number of reasons including, but not limited to failure to pay rent, a violation of a leasing term, or committing an illegal act. Landlords must provide tenants with prior notice to quit. It is common for evictions to take over a month.
- Security Deposits – A security deposit in New Jersey may not be valued more than 1 ½ month’s rent. A deposit of this kind can be raised if rent is also increased, although the increase in the security deposit is limited to a 10% increase per year. Either way, these any remaining funds of the security deposits must be returned within 30 days after the termination tenancy (except in special circumstances that justify shorter return periods).
- Lease Termination – A tenant who rents on a month-to-month basis in New Jersey may end their lease after 30 days of notice. Fixed-term tenants, on the other hand, can use active military duty, unit uninhabitability, landlord harassment, domestic violence, a health crisis, etc. as a 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 not limited to what amount they can charge for fees.
- Landlord Entry – Tenants of multi-family units are required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs. However, a landlord must give tenants one day’s notice unless it’s an emergency. Residents of single-family units or duplexes are not required to allow the landlord entry unless it’s written into the lease agreement.
- Settling Legal Disputes – New Jersey’s small claims court can hear cases valued at up to $5,000 (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.