This is a summary of New Jersey Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the New Jersey Administrative Code and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about New Jersey landlord-tenant laws, New Jersey eviction laws, and New Jersey renters’ rights. 

However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.  If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.

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Rules and Regulations Governing New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Laws

New Jersey Lease Terms Provisions


Security Deposits

  • What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
    The security deposit cannot exceed one and a half month’s rent. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-21.2
  • Are security deposits required to earn interest?

Yes. All interest earned on security deposits remains the property of the tenant and must either be paid in cash to the tenant or credited to future rent due. If crediting toward future rent, the credit must occur either on the renewal anniversary or January 31 if the landlord notifies the tenant in writing before the renewal anniversary. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-19)

  • Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

Yes. New Jersey states that security deposit funds cannot be mixed with the landlord’s personal funds. If the landlord has more than 10 units, the deposit must be in a money market account. New Jersey landlords with fewer than 10 units must keep deposit money in a federally insured interest-bearing account. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-19)

  • Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. There is no New Jersey law forbidding non-refundable fees.

  • How long do landlords have to return security deposits?

30 days. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-21.1)

  • Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can deduct from security deposits as allowed by the terms of a contract, lease, or agreement. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-21.1)

  • Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. An itemized list, detailing the amount withheld, as well as an accounting of interest or earnings, must either be delivered personally to the tenant or by registered or certified mail within 30 days after the lease’s termination. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-21.1)

  • Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

Yes. New Jersey requires landlords to notify the tenant of the financial institution and interest rate being earned on the deposit within 30 days of receipt, or within 30 days of the funds being moved to another financial institution. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-19)

  • Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no New Jersey law specifying record-keeping requirements so long as the tenant is 

properly notified of the deposits location and interest rate.

  • What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

The tenant may recover the property and money due to the tenant, damages in an amount equal to twice the amount wrongfully withheld, and reasonable attorney’s fees. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-21.1)

Rent

  • Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

There is no statewide rent control in New Jersey, but different municipalities may adopt rent control policies. 

  • When is rent due?

Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant.

  • Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

No. However, New Jersey recently prohibited landlords from requiring tenants to make rent or deposit payments electronically as part of a lease. (Senate Bill No. 1493)

Fees

  • Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. New Jersey requires any late fees to be clearly stated in the lease. 

  • Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

Only if the tenant is a senior citizen receiving Social Security or another pension. In this case, the landlord must allow a 5 business day grace period. (N.J.S.A. § 2A:42-6.1 and § 2A:42-6.3)

  • Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no New Jersey law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?

Yes. Rent increases must come in the form of a written Notice to Quit and must be given at least 30 days before the increase would occur. (Rent Increase Bulletin

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no New Jersey law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.

  • What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?

No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.

  • What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic tenancy?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 7 days written notice. (N.J.A.C. § 2A:18-56(c))

  • What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic tenancy?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 30 days written notice. (N.J.A.C. § 2A:18-56(b))

  • Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

There is no statute in New Jersey law covering this issue. 

Entry Provisions

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
    • To inspect the premises. 
    • To make necessary or agreed to repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
    • To perform maintenance.  (Right of Entry Bulletin)
  • What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?

Reasonable notice is required, which is typically 1 day. (Right of Entry Bulletin)

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?

Landlord’s Duties (Habitability Bulletin

  • Landlords must comply with applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Landlords must make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition.
  • Landlords must keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
  • Landlords must maintain in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.
  • Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat between October 1 and May 1 except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat (minimum 68 degrees) or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.

Tenant’s Duties

  • There is no statute in New Jersey law covering this issue. 

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • At the time of the creation of the first tenancy in any newly constructed or reconstructed building, landlords must file a certificate of registration disclosing various pieces of information (see statute for more details). (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-28)
  • Landlords must provide tenants with information about the availability of crime insurance, and where insurance applications may be found, through the Federal Crime Insurance Program. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-39)
  • Landlords are required to provide tenants with a statement containing primary legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords at the beginning of each tenancy. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-45)
  • Landlords are required to post the statement containing rights and responsibilities in a prominent location. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-46)
  • If the rental property is in a flood zone, landlords are required to notify every tenant. (N.J.A.C. § 46:8-50)
  • Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.

New Jersey Renters’ Rights

  • What are New Jersey renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)

If the landlord does not keep the premises in a habitable condition, a tenant may repair any vital

deficiencies and deduct the amount of the repair from the rent. The landlord’s failure to maintain the property could also lead to what is called a constructive eviction by the tenant. The tenant may seek rent abatement (a reduction in rent) or withhold the rent or a portion of the rent.  (Habitability Bulletin)

  • What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their New Jersey renter’s rights?

New Jersey law prohibits landlords from either terminating or not-renewing a lease if the tenant has filed an official complaint with a Government Authority. New Jersey tenants are also protected from retaliation for joining or working with a tenant’s organization. (N.J.S.A. § 2A:42-10.10)

New Jersey Eviction Laws

  • What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under New Jersey eviction laws?
  • What notice do New Jersey eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • Written demand served personally upon the tenant or by leaving a copy of the notice at the tenant’s usual housing with a member of the tenant’s family older than 14 years old. If no personal or familial service can be delivered, an officer can affix a copy of the demand upon the door of the dwelling or another conspicuous part of the premises. (N.J.S.A. § 2A:18-54)
  • The written notice must contain a demand to stop any offending behavior before eviction for any reason other than non-payment of rent.
  • Do New Jersey eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 

No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the tenant can choose to sue the landlord for damages. (N.J.S.A. § 2A:39-14)

COVID-19 Changes to New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Laws

  • The CDC has passed a national eviction ban through December 31, 2020, that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants  who meet the following criteria for nonpayment:
    • Have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent.
    • Expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return).
    • Are unable to pay their full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of income or employment, or extraordinary medical bills.
    • If evicted, will have no other housing options.
  • The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires landlords to provide a 30-day notice to tenants before eviction. However, the CARES Act only applies to properties that are supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the United States Treasury (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), and properties with federally-backed mortgages, such as FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.
  • New Jersey has issued an eviction moratorium during the COVID pandemic. While court proceedings can continue, lockouts and removals are suspended. There are exceptions for violent tenants or tenants who endanger other tenants or their families. 

Related Links

Government 

Legal Aid

Attorney Referral Services

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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