New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Laws [2023]: Tenants' Rights and FAQs (2023)

Last update:10 January 2022ProElisabeth Suza

Rental agreements in New Jersey can be in writing or verbal. Under New Jersey law (Statutes of New Jersey Annotated) Lease agreements confer certain rights on the tenant, such as the right to habitable housing and the right to seek housing without discrimination.

OwnercontinueYou have certain rights, such as B. The right to deduct costs related to damage beyond normal wear and tear and to collect rent on time.

Use: These rights existin the enda rental agreement that provides otherwise.

Questions?To speak to a New Jersey landlord-tenant attorney,Click here

Owner's Responsibilities in New Jersey

In New Jersey, homeowners are required to provide habitable housing and make requested repairs in a timely manner, although the law does not specify a specific time limit. Otherwise, tenants can withhold the rent, request a rent reduction or carry out repairs themselves and deduct the cost of the next month's rent.

Here is a list of the essential services that landlords may or may not be responsible for.

Articleresponsibility of the owner?
residential structuresSim
proper warm upYes, apartment buildings
wall and ceilingsYes, apartment buildings
Fly screens on windows and doorsYes, apartment buildings
window protectionYes, apartment buildings
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectorsSim
bed bugsSim
(Video) New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlords cannot evict tenants in retaliation for exercising their housing rights (ie filing a health and safety complaint).

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Tenant Obligations in New Jersey

In addition to paying rent on time, New Jersey renters must:

  • Keep the device in a safe and habitable condition.
  • Keep accessories clean and hygienic.
  • Carry out minor repairs or maintenance work.
  • Do not disturb other tenants or neighbors.

Evictions in New Jersey

Landlords in New Jersey have the authority to evict tenants for the following reasons:

  1. non-payment of rent- If a New Jersey tenant defaults on rent, the landlord is not required to issue any form of notice of termination unless the tenant has a history of late payment of rent, which is what30 days notice periodmust be issued before an eviction action is filed in court.
  2. rent violation– If there is a breach of lease, the landlord must first issue a reminder and the tenants aNotice of Termination. If the breach is not remedied, the Owner may a30 days notice period. If the terms of the contract are not met, the landlord can request a formal eviction.
  3. disorderly conduct– A landlord can aNotice of Terminationfor any tenant who acts in a disorderly manner and disrupts the peaceful use of the premises by other tenants. If the lessee continues to act in violation of the regulations, the lessor can aLeave 3 days before.
  4. negligence/damage to property– A tenant can be terminated if he causes damage to the property through gross negligence or willful misconduct. The owner can a3 days notice period.
  5. housing violations– If a landlord is subpoenaed by government officials for having a rental property that violates health and safety regulations, they may give the tenant a3 months notice period.
  6. Interruption of use of the rental property– If the landlord no longer wants to rent out the property, he can a18 months notice to quit smokingbefore the eviction process begins.
  7. Do not accept rental changes– If a tenant refuses to agree to reasonable changes to the lease, landlords can provide1 month in advance to quit smokingbefore an eviction.
  8. Conversion of condominiums– If the landlord wants to convert the rental property into a condominium, landlords must inform the tenant a3 years notice to quit smoking.
  9. Personal use or sale of rental property– If an owner wants to sell the rental property to a buyer who intends to live in it, or if the current owner wants to live in it, they must a2 months in advance to quit smoking.
  10. Termination of the employment contract– For tenants who have received the rental property as part of their employment and the tenancy has already ended, the landlord must give them aLeave 3 days before.
  11. illegal acts– For illegal conduct, New Jersey homeowners can aLeave 3 days before. This warning applies to illegal drug use or possession, physical harm, intentional destruction of property, and disorderly conduct.

It is illegal for landlords to evict tenants in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.

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Bails in New Jersey

  • Default limit/maximum amount- 1.5 monthly rents.
  • return period– 30 days, 15 days if leaving the country due to domestic violence, 5 days if evicted due to natural disaster.
  • Penalty for not returning on time- If a New Jersey landlord wrongly withholds rent, you may be required to pay the full amount of the deposit plus any court-imposed fines.
  • allowed deductions– Unpaid rent, damage beyond normal wear and tear, additional provisions according to the rental agreement.

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(Video) New Jersey Judiciary Landlord Tenant Legal Information and Community Resources Webinar 8-5-21

Lease termination in New Jersey

reporting requirements. In the case of a long-term rental agreement, if a renter wishes to terminate this agreement, they must terminate the following amounts.

Frequency of rent paymentrequired notification
week after week7 dia
mine for mine1 hour
room in roomNo status
Each year3 Fun

Questions?To speak to a New Jersey landlord-tenant attorney,Click here

premature termination. New Jersey renters may legally terminate a lease early for the following reasons:

  • Early Termination Clause
  • active military service
  • uninhabitable unit
  • landlord harassment
  • domestic violence
  • health crisis

Landlords are not required to facilitate the moving process, so tenants who break the lease may have to pay for the remainder of the lease term.

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Rent increases and related fees in New Jersey

  • rental control. New Jersey allows local jurisdictions to introduce rent control policies. More than 100 New Jersey municipalities have some form of rent control policy. For more information in your area, contact your local housing authority.
  • rent increases. In locations where rent controls apply, landlords must give at least 30 days' notice to justify and demonstrate any increase in rent. Tenants should be able to terminate without further conditions if they do not agree with the rent increase.
  • Rental Related Fees. The state does not cap late rental fees as long as they are clearly stated in the rental agreement. Hosts may also charge a fee for bad checks, but only after a 35-day waiting period, and may only charge a fee of $100 or a fee of 3 times the value of the check (but no more than $500).

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(Video) New Jersey Landlord Tenant Laws | American Landlord

Housing Discrimination in New Jersey

protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, sex or disability. These regulations do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. New Jersey law provides additional protections for renters based on race, marital status, domestic violence victim status, gender identity, sexual orientation, legal source of income, source or legal rent payments, and HIV/AIDS status.

Discriminatory Acts and Sanctions. The New Jersey Attorney General's Civil Rights Division handles most complaints of housing discrimination. The following behaviors have been highlighted as potentially discriminatory when directed against a member of a protected class:

  • Refusal to rent or sell in response to a bona fide offer
  • Bring tenants to specific neighborhoods
  • Ads that imply a preference for or against certain groups
  • Offer different terms and conditions or privileges
  • A drive is incorrectly denied availability
  • Manage another application process
  • Refuse to offer certain financial services related to the home purchase

Tenants who feel victims of housing discrimination can file a complaint with the public prosecutor's office. If the claim is found to be well founded, the findings can serve as a basis for civil litigation.

Additional New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Regulations

Owner's right of entry into New Jersey

Owners are required to provide various types of notices for maintenance and viewing purposes. Landlords must provide “reasonable” notice for maintenance, but tenants may refuse to allow entry on a show basis unless prohibited by the lease. Owners do not need to obtain permission to enter in an emergency.

New Jersey Small Claims Court

The New Jersey Small Claims Court will hear disputes related to rents worth up to $3,000, but the courts will not hear eviction cases. The statute of limitations for contracts in New Jersey is 6 years for written or oral contracts.

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(Video) New Jersey Rental Laws Lease and Eviction Rules

Mandatory Disclosures in New Jersey

New Jersey real estate owners are required to provide the following mandatory information:

  1. lead paint– Owners of houses built before 1978 must report lead concentrations in paint.
  2. Flutzone- Homeowners must also report if the unit is located in a known flood area.
  3. The truth in the rent– Landlords must provide this guide informing tenants of their rights.
  4. childproof window– Landlords are obliged to disclose and provide window coverings to tenants upon written request.

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Change in New Jersey lockout

New Jersey law doesn't say much about changing locks. As such, renters may be legally permitted to change locks, but it is recommended that they get permission from the landlord first. Owners are expressly prohibited from unilaterally changing locks in the course of clearance (so-called "locks").

Local laws in New Jersey

Newark Landlord and Tenant Rights

Newark has a City Rent Control Ordinance that limits how much a landlord can increase rent rates after a certain date. This rate is determined by the consumer price index (CPI). You can also limit how much the renter is billed in fees. For more information seeon here.

Landlord and Tenant Rights in Jersey City

Jersey City has rent control ordinances that set standards for what counts as a "permissible increase" and what steps a landlord must take if they intend to increase the rent. This ordinance also prohibits rent increases during the term of a lease. You can read moreon here.

Check with your county and local council for additional rules for landlords and renters.

Questions?To speak to a New Jersey landlord-tenant attorney,Click here

Can a landlord enter New Jersey?
New Jersey homeowners are required to provide “reasonable” notice before entering a unit. If the landlord wants to show the apartment, the tenant can refuse entry.View more information »
Is New Jersey an "Owner-Friendly" State?
New Jersey is not a very landlord-friendly state as there are several jurisdictions that have rent control policies. The law also gives tenants a lot of leverage.View more information »
What rights does a renter have in New Jersey?
Tenants in New Jersey have a number of rights, including the right to seek housing without discrimination and the right not to charge excessive rents.View more information »
Can a renter change locks in New Jersey?
Tenants can only change locks if the lease allows it. Renters who change locks without permission may be liable for damage.View more information »
(Video) New York Rental Laws Lease and Eviction Rules


What rights do tenants have in New Jersey? ›

Tenant rights grant them the ability to seek housing without any kind of discrimination from their landlord, as well as to ensure habitable housing conditions. New Jersey landlord-tenant law also allows tenants to request property repairs on time.

How often is a landlord required to paint in NJ? ›

Painting or other protective coatings are the responsibility of the occupant, not the landlord when required more than once every three years, as a result of acts or omissions of the tenant. (Rental units are not required to be painted between tenants.)

What a landlord Cannot do? ›

Landlords Must Not Just Let Themselves Into The Property

You might own the land, but you cannot walk into a filled property whenever you like. If the tenants aren't at home, a landlord must agree a time they can enter the property with the incumbent person. Likewise, you cannot demand entry at any point.

Can a tenant refuse entry to landlord in NJ? ›

A landlord may request entry to a rental unit to perform other services or to show the unit for re- renting or sale. However there is no law that obligates a tenant to allow a landlord access to the rental premises for purposes other than inspection, maintenance and repair.

Can landlord just kick you out NJ? ›

In most cases, a landlord must give a tenant a written notice to cease, or stop, their disorderly conduct or other violation. The landlord can only move forward with an eviction if the tenant continues the conduct after receiving the notice to stop. See N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1 for more information.

How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in NJ? ›

A Notice to Quit must be served on the tenant at least three months before filing a suit for eviction. The tenant can't be evicted until relocation assistance is provided.

Should a landlord charge for repainting? ›

They shouldn't be able to charge you. If your landlord wants to paint over something they're classing as damage, that's when you might have to pay up.

What is considered harassment from landlord in NJ? ›

Lying or intimidating a tenant. Giving a “three-day notice” or other eviction notice that is based on false charges. Using fighting words or threatening bodily harm. Refusing to do repairs that are required by law.

What not to say to a landlord? ›

  • 'I hate my current landlord' Every potential landlord is going to ask why you're moving. ...
  • 'Let me ask you one more question' ...
  • 'I can't wait to get a puppy' ...
  • 'My partner works right up the street' ...
  • 'I move all the time'
May 11, 2017

Can I refuse access to my landlord? ›

Yes, they can. In 99% of cases a tenant refusing entry to a landlord will usually boil down to convenience, or lack thereof. Simply adjusting the time and date will be enough to gain access to the property.

What rights do long term tenants have? ›

If the tenant has an ongoing contract or agreement with their original landlord, then they retain the right to live in the property when it changes hands. The tenant in situ also has the right to remain in the property until their tenancy reaches its natural end or they are evicted for good cause.

Can landlord restrict visitors NJ? ›

Yes, a landlord can keep your guest from coming to the house or apartment that you rent if that person breaks the rules in the lease or breaks the law.

Can I refuse a viewing as a tenant? ›

You do not have to allow viewings if they are not mentioned in your contract. You could say that they must only take place at certain times. If you refuse viewings and your agreement says you must allow access, you might find it difficult to get a reference or have problems with getting your deposit back.

How much can a landlord increase rent in NJ? ›

New Jersey has no statewide rent control laws in place. However, cities and counties can enforce their own rent control laws which must be followed if you own a property in one of these areas. Typically local rent control limits rent increases to between 2-6%, though it all depends on the area.

What happens if a tenant refuses to leave? ›

If you do not leave at the end of the notice period, your landlord must apply to the court for a possession order. If the court gives them a possession order and you still do not leave, they must apply for a warrant for possession - this means bailiffs can evict you from the property.

How long does a landlord have to evict you in NJ? ›

Tenants have 3 days to vacate the property before they will forcefully be removed. In cases of nonpayment of rent, the tenant is not evicted if they pay all owed rent in full. In cases where a stay of execution or an orderly removal was issued, their move-out period may be extended for 7 days to 6 months.

How long does it take for landlord to evict you in NJ? ›

If the eviction is for nonpayment of rent, however, it can be instituted immediately without any notice to the tenant. The court calendars in most southern New Jersey counties have about a three-week lead time. This means that after you file, you are likely not walking into a courtroom for at least three to four weeks.

Can a landlord just kick you out? ›

Your landlord will have to give you notice if they want you to leave. They have to give the reasons why they want to evict you - for example, if you have rent arrears or you've damaged the property. Your landlord will have to go to court and get a court order.

What does a landlord need to do when a tenant moves out? ›

❏ On the day the tenants move out, landlords should conduct a final inspection. Tasks include: Consult the inventory and record variances or discrepancies. Any missing or damaged items that are not considered as fair “wear and tear” should be deducted from their deposit.

Can my landlord sell the house I'm renting NJ? ›

The simple answer is yes, you can sell a property with a tenant still living in it. In fact, most states' laws give tenants the right to remain in a rental property after a sale until the lease or rental agreement expires.

Can I sue my landlord for emotional distress in NJ? ›

Can Tenants Sue Landlords for Emotional Distress? In short - yes. Every resident of the United States has the right to file a civil lawsuit against another they believe caused them harm.

Can I sue my landlord for negligence in NJ? ›

Can I sue a negligent landlord? Fortunately, you can, however, you will first need to hire an attorney who is familiar with the personal injury claims process. When you are seeking to hold a landlord responsible for your injuries, you are filing what is known as a premises liability lawsuit.

How long does a landlord have to fix something? ›

It says landlords should fix major problems within two weeks if they pose a threat to a tenant's health and security, such as a broken boiler in the depths of winter.

How often should a landlord paint a property? ›

There's no legal timescale for repainting a rental property. However, it's wise to keep your property in good condition, both for the benefit of your current tenants, and to make it easier to attract new ones. Many landlords recommend repainting (or completely redecorating) once every five to six years.

Do I have to paint the walls when I move out? ›

Ultimately, no legal obligation requires the tenant to paint the property, with the consequence that the landlord won't be able to impose it. According to Art. 1590 cod. civ., the tenant, when returning the property, must leave it in a normal state of use and certainly not deteriorated or visibly damaged.

Can landlords deduct money for cleaning? ›

Your landlord can still deduct from your deposit to cover the cleaning bill if the property is not cleaned to its level and can prove it, though. So, it's still important to clean the property thoroughly before you move out.

What is the NJ tenant Reprisal Act? ›

Retaliation in New Jersey is formally referred to as “reprisal,” and is written into section 2A:42-10.10 through 10.14 of the N.J.S.A. Simply put, the statute prohibits landlords from responding to the tenant's legitimate exercise of a legal right by taking certain adverse actions against the tenant.

How do I prove harassment in NJ? ›

When attempting to prove harassment, the accuser has to provide evidence that there was intent to harass or “they had the purpose to harass another”. Proving intent to harass can be very difficult, even with physical evidence of documented repeated phone calls or text messages.

What is the New Jersey Safe housing Act? ›

Under the “New Jersey Safe Housing Act,” a tenant may terminate a lease prior to its expiration if the tenant provides written notice that the tenant or a child of the tenant faces an imminent threat of serious physical harm from another person if the tenant remains on the premises, and provides appropriate ...

Can a landlord walk around your property? ›

Your landlord can enter your rental unit for these reasons: To respond to an emergency that threatens life or property. To make repairs or alterations that are necessary or that you have agreed to. To show the place to potential buyers, tenants, or repair workers.

How many times can a landlord visit? ›

While there is no landlord handbook, inspecting a property every month is excessive. In some cases, this could be deemed as harassment – especially if there is no valid reason to conduct an inspection. In the case of new tenants, it's a good idea to visit the property three months into the tenancy.

How much notice must a landlord give to visit? ›

Landlords are obligated to provide tenants with at least 24 hours' notice before entering the property and visits must only be made at reasonable times of day.

Do tenants need to be present for inspections? ›

Ideally, tenants should be present at the check-out inspection to ensure that your views about the contents, condition and cleanliness of the property at the tenancy end are taken into account.

What new rights do tenants have? ›

The right to be protected from unfair rent and unfair eviction. The right to have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years. As of 1 June 2019, to not have to pay certain fees when setting up a new tenancy under the Tenant Fees Act (commonly referred to as the Tenant Fee Ban).

How long before a tenant becomes a sitting tenant? ›

This is usually between six and 12 months. If you don't renew the agreement and your tenant stays on, the tenancy arrangement becomes something called a 'periodic tenancy'. Essentially, this changes the contract from a fixed term to a rolling monthly agreement.

What happens if a tenant stays more than 20 years? ›

After expiry of the statutory limitation period, there cannot be any cause of action and the adverse possessor acquires the right, title and interest of the original owner(s) of the property. He/she becomes entitled to deal with the said property in the way he/ she likes or desires.

How long can a tenant have guest stay? ›

Tenants may have overnight guests but, legally, the guest doesn't have the right to be there for longer than laid out in your tenancy agreement – most landlords specify no longer than 7-14 days. At this point, guests are considered illegal occupiers or even sub-letters, depending on the situation.

Can I refuse to let my landlord show my apartment NJ? ›

Landlords are only entitled to enter a given residential unit only if the tenant gives them consent to do so (or if a court orders such entry) — fortunately, however, a tenant may be required to give a landlord consent to enter in certain circumstances. Let's run through some of the basics.

Can you blacklist a tenant? ›

🔹 Can you blacklist a tenant who has vacated? Yes, you can blacklist a tenant for an agreement that has ended. But make sure that you do not blacklist for prescribed debt which is debt older than 3 years.

Can my landlord take photos inside my house? ›

This request may be without any illicit intent; however, a landlord must obtain the consent of the tenant prior to taking and using images of the tenanted rental unit so to protect the privacy of the tenant.

Can they take photos during a house inspection? ›

Tenants have the right to private enjoyment of the property they are renting. The landlord or their representative are entitled to inspect the property at regular intervals, however the tenant can object to photographs being taken which include their personal belongings, photographs or items that could identify them.

Can you refuse a rent increase? ›

Applying to challenge your rent increase

If you and your landlord can't agree on your rent increase you can ask a tribunal to decide for you - it's free to apply. You'll need to apply before the date your rent increase is due to start - you can find this on your section 13 notice.

Can a landlord raise rent every year in NJ? ›

Rent Control

The State of New Jersey does not have a law governing rent increases. However, municipalities within the State may adopt ordinances regulating the amount and frequency of rent increases within their specific municipality.

Is New Jersey a tenant friendly state? ›

New Jersey is not landlord-friendly because laws favor tenants. Many cities have rent control policies, there are limits on rent increases, and the eviction process can be slow. Read more of our state landlord tenant law guides here.

Can you kick someone out of your house if they are not on the lease NJ? ›

You absolutely cannot evict your roommate, as you are not your roommate's “landlord.” What if there's no lease? If there is no lease in place, you are not a “landlord” under New Jersey law. As such, you cannot evict your roommate.

What are my rights as a tenant without contract? ›

Your right to quiet enjoyment

You have this right even if you never had a written agreement, or if your fixed term assured shorthold tenancy has ended. It could breach your right to quiet enjoyment if your landlord: comes into your home without permission. refuses to carry out repairs or safety checks.

How often should walls be painted in a rental property? ›

A rule of thumb is that a rental property should be repainted each 7 to 10 years.

What is the maximum rent increase allowed in New Jersey? ›

The State of New Jersey does not have a law governing rent increases. However, municipalities within the State may adopt ordinances regulating the amount and frequency of rent increases within their specific municipality. A municipality's ordinance may not cover all rental units.

What are squatters rights in NJ? ›

Essentially, a squatter, after residing on a property for some time, can claim ownership of it. Based on NJ Rev Stat § 2A:14-30 to 32 (2016), a squatter must be on a residential property for 30 years of continuous occupation to claim adverse possession. That time becomes 60 years if the location is a woodland area.

What are my rights as a tenant without a lease near New Jersey? ›

Even if you do not currently hold a lease, by law the landlord is responsible for keeping the rental space secure and livable. This means the landlord must ensure that the property is pest free, structurally sound, and includes basic utilities.

Can a landlord kick you out? ›

Your landlord will have to give you notice if they want you to leave. They have to give the reasons why they want to evict you - for example, if you have rent arrears or you've damaged the property. Your landlord will have to go to court and get a court order.

What are unfair tenancy terms? ›

Examples of unfair terms in tenancy agreements

require the payment of rent even if the property becomes uninhabitable, for example destroyed by fire. force the tenant to pay the landlord's costs in a court case which the landlord has lost and the tenant has won. unreasonably restrict the tenant's right to assign.


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