New Jersey Tenant Rights Laws

If you're a renter, you probably already have a sense of the different types of issues that can come up during your tenancy. To help resolve these issues, New Jersey has many laws addressing the landlord-tenant relationship in addition to federal and local law. Read on to learn more about New Jersey tenant rights laws.

Tenant Rights: From Discrimination to Termination

New Jersey law covers a range of tenant issues, including discrimination, security deposits, and the eviction process. Landlords are prohibited from discriminating against you based on race, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, and other protected traits. They are also required to keep the premises in habitable condition, complying with health and safety codes and making necessary repairs.

You are also entitled to proper notice before your landlord can end the tenancy. For example, your landlord must give you three months' notice to end a yearly tenancy, and one months' notice for month-to-month tenancies. They are also required to return your security deposit to you within 30 days after the lease or rental agreements ends.

These and other laws are meant to protect you within the landlord-tenant relationship. Therefore, you should also know that your landlord may not retaliate against you by raising the rent or evicting you simply because you tried to enforce your rights or complained to a government authority about code violations.

New Jersey Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

The following chart provides a summary of New Jersey state laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to key statutes.

Statutes

Security Deposits

  • Limit: No more than one and a half times the amount of monthly rent
  • Must return all or part of the security deposit within 30 days (with interest in many cases)
  • All or part of the security deposit may be used by the landlord according to the contract, lease, or agreement

Paying Rent

  • May not raise rent during lease term (e.g. 1 year lease) unless lease allows; may raise rent upon lease renewal with proper notice

Living Conditions

  • With reasonable notice, landlord may enter unit for certain reasons including:
    • To make necessary repairs
    • Inspection
    • Emergency (no notice required)
  • Landlord must maintain habitable unit: conduct repairs to vital facilities (where damage not caused by tenant), and comply with applicable housing codes

Discrimination

  • No discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, nationality, marital status, pregnancy, sex, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation, familial status, or source of lawful income

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Landlord must give notice to terminate the tenancy:
    • Year-to-year: three months
    • Month-to-month: one month
    • Week-to-week: one week
    • Eviction: no notice required for failure to pay rent; see statute 2A:18-61.2 for other eviction notice requirements
  • If tenant with month-to-month lease (or longer) remains in unit past expiration of tenancy and landlord accepts rent payment, a month-to-month tenancy is created
  • Eviction: court order required

Retaliation

  • Landlord may not retaliate against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New Jersey Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

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