The New Jersey residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a written contract for the exchange of the temporary use of a residential property for regular, periodic payments (“rent”). The parties involved in the agreement are known as the landlord (“lessor”) and the tenant (“lessee”).
New Jersey Lease Agreement Disclosures
The following disclosures are required for all residential lease agreements in New Jersey.
- Truth in Renting Guide Disclosure (PDF) – for all rental units.
- Flood Zone Notice (PDF) – for any property that is legally declared within a flood zone.
- Notice of Right to Child Protective Window Guards – for all rental units.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (PDF) – for rental units built prior to 1978.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in New Jersey.
Truth in Renting Guide Disclosure
Applicable to all rental units in New Jersey.
Prospective tenants must receive the Truth in Renting guide – a guide that informs tenants of their rights – as part of every lease agreement. Additionally, there must be a copy of the statement posted in a common area to be accessed by prospective and current tenants .
Flood Zone Notice
Applicable to any property that has been determined to be in a flood zone.
New Jersey landlords must provide notice if a property is located in a flood zone. The notice should be included in the lease and provided before the tenant takes possession of the dwelling .
FLOOD ZONE. The rental unit at ___________________ is in a confirmed flood zone. Please refer to the FEMA website for more information on emergency preparedness.
Notice of Right to Child Protective Window Guards
Applicable to all rental units in New Jersey.
In order to protect children from falling out of windows, landlords in New Jersey have a responsibility to provide protective guards to tenants upon request. A notice of the right to request window guards must be included in the lease as well as the price for installation, which may not exceed $20.
PROTECTIVE WINDOW GUARDS. Tenant has a right to request protective window guards be placed on windows at a cost of $___ per window.
Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in New Jersey to:
- Fill out and attach this lead based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by New Jersey law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Landlord Name & Address – to create a line of communication for important notices & demands between tenant and landlord, it is recommended that New Jersey landlords provide contact information within or alongside the lease for themselves or anyone authorized to act on behalf of the property.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. New Jersey law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
- Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
- Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. New Jersey does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to establish an understanding of the current status of bed bugs at the property in case of a future infestation and to provide information on the protocol for handling one.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981 (which are considered at-risk for asbestos), it is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to tenant negligence during the lease term.