New Jersey Landlord Tenant Rights

Whether you are a landlord or tenant, entering into a lease agreement is a big decision. Before you start your tenancy, take a look at our guide to New Jersey Landlord Tenant Rights.

Landlord Responsibilities

Under New Jersey law, landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants. These include addressing, providing, or maintaining the following:

  • Dwelling structures
  • Heating (multi-family units only)
  • Water
  • Walls and ceilings (multi-family units only)
  • Window and door screens (multi-family units only)
  • Window guards (multi-family units only)
  • Locks
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Bed bugs

Tenants can choose to address the issues themselves and deduct the cost from the rent due or withhold rent until the issues are resolved. Landlords are prohibited from engaging in retaliatory conduct.

Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants also have responsibilities to their landlords. These include the duty to:

  • Pay rent in a timely manner
  • Keep fixtures in a clean and sanitary condition
  • Make small repairs and complete maintenance
  • Not disturb other tenants or neighbors

Security Deposit

The maximum security deposit amount the landlord can request is one and one-half times the monthly rent. The landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit minus deductions for unpaid rent and damages or they will be held liable for the deposit amount and court penalty fees. If the tenant is terminating the lease because of domestic violence, the landlord has 15 days to return the deposit. If the tenant has been involuntarily forced to leave the premises because of a natural disaster, the landlord has 5 days to refund the original deposit.

Rent and Fees

Local jurisdictions decide whether rent control provisions will be in place. Check your local listing to see if your area has rent control restrictions in place.

If your area does have rent control, the landlord must justify and provide a 30-day notice before they will be allowed to increase the rental amount. No justification or notice is required if a rent control provision is not in place.

Evictions

Landlords can evict tenants for the following reasons:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Lease violation
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Negligence or property damage
  • Housing violation
  • Discontinuance of use of rental property
  • Failure to accept lease changes
  • Conversion of unit to a condominium
  • Personal use or sale of rental property
  • Termination of employment if employer-provided housing
  • Illegal acts

Tenants can legally end their lease early in the following situations:

  • Early termination clause in the lease agreement
  • Active military duty
  • The unit is uninhabitable
  • Landlord harassment
  • Domestic violence
  • Health crisis

Landlords do not have the duty to mitigate damages by re-renting the premises, so tenants may be liable for the remainder of the original tenancy.

Lease Termination Notice

Landlords must give tenants notice before terminating their lease. If the termination is for nonpayment of rent, a 30-day notice is required. If the lease is being terminated because of a lease violation, the tenant will be given a Notice to Cease before a 30-day notice. Disorderly conduct grounds require a 3-day notice. If the tenant is being evicted for negligence or damage to property, they should be given a 3-day notice. For tenants with housing violations, the landlord is required to issue a 3-month notice. If the landlord no longer wishes to use the premises as a rental property, they must give the tenant a 18-month notice. If the tenant refuses lease changes, they will be given a 1-month notice. Should the landlord intend to convert the premises into condominiums, they must issue a 3-year notice. For personal use or sale of the property, a 2-month notice is required. When the premises is employer-provided and the employment is terminated, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 3-day notice. In the case of illegal acts, the tenant will receive a 3-day notice.

If a tenant wishes to terminate their lease, month-to-month tenants are required to give one month’s notice, week-to-week tenants 7 days, and year-to-year tenants are required to issue a 3-month notice.

Relevant State Agencies

New Jersey Department of Housing and Urban Development

City-Specific Links

Newark:

Water

Electric

Gas

Jersey City:

Jersey City Rent Control Ordinance

Office of Landlord Tenant Relations

Water

Electric

Gas

Paterson:

City of Paterson Rent Leveling Office

Water

Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

New Jersey Landlord Tenant Law