New Jersey Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: June 18, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

A New Jersey residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a residential property and a tenant who wishes to rent it. A residential lease may, on or before move-in, additionally require a security deposit from the tenant as assurance against future property damage.

New Jersey Lease Agreement Disclosures

These disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in New Jersey:

Disclosure Applicable to
Truth In Renting Guide All Units
Flood Zone All Units in a Flood Zone
Window Guard/ Child Protective Window Guards All Units
Disclosure Statement to Senior Citizen Housing Residents Properties Hosting Senior Citizen Housing Projects and Related Planned Unit Developments
Lead-Based Paint All Units Built Before 1978

Truth in Renting Guide Disclosure

Applicable to all New Jersey rentals.

New Jersey landlords must provide prospective tenants with the “Truth in Renting Guide,” which discusses tenant rights. They must also post a copy of the guide in a common area of the rental property. When an updated version of the guide is posted on the Department of Community Affairs website, landlords have 30 days to update their own copies.

Download: New Jersey Truth in Renting Guide Disclosure Form (PDF)

Flood Zone Notice

Applicable to any multi-dwelling New Jersey property determined to be in a flood zone, except seasonal rentals of less than 120 days.

New Jersey landlords must provide notice to tenants if a property is in a flood zone. This disclosure must be provided in the lease before it’s reviewed and signed. The disclosure must include specific language relating to the potential availability of flood insurance.

FLOOD ZONE. The rental unit at ___________________ is in a confirmed flood zone. Please refer to the FEMA website for more information on emergency preparedness.

Flood insurance may be available to renters through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program to cover your personal property and contents in the event of a flood. A standard renter’s insurance policy does not typically cover flood damage. You are encouraged to examine your policy to determine whether you are covered.

Download: New Jersey Flood Zone Notice Disclosure Form (PDF)

Window Guard Disclosure/Notice of Right to Child Protective Window Guards

Applicable to all New Jersey rental units.

New Jersey landlords have a responsibility to provide protective window guards to tenants upon written request, for child safety. Window guards are metal grilles that installed to keep children from accidentally climbing out a dangerous window.

This is a model window guard disclosure, as provided by law:

The owner (landlord) is required by law to provide, install and maintain window guards in the apartment if a child or children 10 years of age or younger is, or will be, living in the apartment or is, or will be, regularly present there for a substantial period of time if the tenant gives the owner (landlord) a written request that the window guards be installed. The owner (landlord) is also required, upon the written request of the tenant, to provide, install and maintain window guards in the hallways to which persons in the tenant’s unit have access without having to go out of the building. If the building is a condominium, cooperative or mutual housing building, the owner (landlord) of the apartment is responsible for installing and maintaining window guards in the apartment and the association is responsible for installing and maintaining window guards in hallway windows. Window guards are only required to be provided in first floor windows where the window sill is more than six feet above grade or there are other hazardous conditions that make installation of window guards necessary to protect the safety of children.

In addition, the lease must include notice of the right to request window guards, as well as a specific price for installation (which may not exceed $20 per window). This is an example of a right-to-request clause:

PROTECTIVE WINDOW GUARDS. Tenant has a right to request protective window guards be placed on windows at a cost of $___ per window.

Emergency Contact Information Posting and Disclosure

Applicable to all New Jersey multiple dwellings (buildings housing three or more rental units).

New Jersey landlords of a multiple dwelling must post, in English and Spanish, emergency contact instructions and information, as well as instructions on how to access and use the state toll-free social services hotline.

The contact information must include the name, address, and telephone number of someone representing the owner or management company who may be reached at any time in the event of an emergency. This information must be posted in at least one conspicuous area on the premises, and also (if applicable) on the website of the company managing the property.

The company website address, and instructions for the social services hotline, must also be printed in prominent boldface on every lease for the property.

Disclosure Statement to Senior Citizen Housing Residents

Applicable to New Jersey’s senior citizen housing projects and related planned unit developments.

New Jersey landlords must in some cases provide telephone numbers of state and local officials for the municipality who receive reports of housing emergencies and complaints. Landlords must do so when they preside over a senior housing project or a planned unit development within such a housing project.

If the project is operated as a planned real estate development, the board must provide copies of the Public Offering Statement registered with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and current bylaws.

Tenant must sign a receipt confirming their opportunity to review these documents. The documents must be posted at one location on the rental property, and the landlord must keep the signed tenant receipt for at least one year.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any New Jersey rental built before 1978.

For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a New Jersey residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure. This requires landlords to do the following:

Download: New Jersey Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures and Addenda (Recommended)

The following lease agreement disclosures and addenda are not required by New Jersey law in residential lease agreements, but assist with tenant management and help limit landlord liability.

Optional Disclosure Purpose
Asbestos Informs tenants about any asbestos hazards related to the property. Tenants can take precautions to reduce asbestos hazards by avoiding any disturbance of asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs Informs tenants whether the property or an adjacent unit has a history of suspected bed bug infestation, and reminds the tenant of the obligation to report suspected infestation immediately.
Landlord’s Name and Address Specifies the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
Late/Returned Check Fees Specifies late fees or returned check fees related to the lease. New Jersey does not regulate late fees, but caps returned checks at $25. Additionally, Under New Jersey law, landlords need to wait five days after the due date to charge a late fee if the tenant receives one of a variety of government pensions.
Medical Marijuana Use Informs tenants about policy related to medical marijuana use on the rental property. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only, or allow use only in designated smoking areas.
Mold Disclosure Informs tenants about actual or suspected mold contamination on the property, along with any remediation efforts, to help limit landlord liability.
Move-In Checklist Takes inventory of existing property damage, when the tenant takes possession of the rental property. This enables accurate deductions from the security deposit upon move-out.
Non-Refundable Fees Charges not agreed by the tenant in the lease may be refundable upon lease termination. For New Jersey landlords to charge a non-refundable fee, it must be disclosed and agreed as such in the lease.
Shared Utilities Arrangements Discloses how charges are billed to individual tenants, when multiple rental units share a utility meter for the whole building or property. This ensures tenants receive fair charges and understand what uses contribute to their bill.
Smoking Informs tenants of designated smoking areas that do not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of other tenants.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Mandatory disclosures outline important health, safety, and property information for both landlord and tenant safety. A landlord who fails to provide federally or state-mandated disclosures could face legal consequences or monetary penalties, either from a tenant lawsuit or from state officials.

Failure to comply with the federal lead-based paint hazard disclosure risks fines of tens of thousands of dollars per violation.