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New Jersey Tenant Rights Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

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 laws. Read on to learn more about New Jersey tenant rights laws.

Tenant Rights in New Jersey: 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're 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.

Summary of New Jersey Tenant Rights Laws

While it's important read the actual text of a statute, it's very helpful to also read a summary of the statute in plain English. The following chart provides a summary of New Jersey state laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to key statutes.

Statute(s)

New Jersey Statutes, Title 46, Subtitle 2, Chapter 8, Section 46:8-1, et seq. (Leasehold Estates; Landlord and Tenant)

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

The landlord may not raise rent during lease term unless the lease agreement allows it. However, the landlord can raise the rent upon lease renewal with proper notice.

Living Conditions

Landlord must maintain habitable unit: conduct repairs to vital facilities (where damage not caused by tenant), and comply with applicable housing codes.
With reasonable notice, landlord may enter unit for certain reasons including:

  • To make necessary repairs;
  • Inspection; or
  • Emergency (no notice required).

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

Landlord must give notice to terminate the tenancy:

  • Year-to-year: 3 months
  • Month-to-month: 1 month
  • Week-to-week: 1 week
  • Eviction: no notice required for failure to pay rent (see Section 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.

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

Speak to a Lawyer to Learn More About Your Tenant Rights in New Jersey

Whether you're facing a new rental issue or you've been battling your landlord for months, knowing and asserting your rights can be an exhausting, confusing endeavor. Speak to a skilled landlord-tenant attorney near you to get help understanding your rights and responsibilities under New Jersey tenant rights laws, and how best to move forward.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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