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New Jersey Rental Lease Agreements | Laws

A New Jersey lease agreement is a written agreement between a landlord and a tenant that details the terms by which the tenant will pay the landlord for the rental of their residential or commercial property. In addition to the rental cost and term of the contract, the lease will include a description and cost of utilities, as well as a list of actions that are prohibited on the property. In the event that a tenant does not pay their rent on time or breaks their agreement, the landlord may serve them a notice to comply or quit the premises.

Rental Application – It is recommended to have applicants fill out this form to obtain their rental and employment history prior to accepting them as tenants. The applicant may be asked to give their written permission to have background and credit checks performed.

Contents

Agreements: By Type (7)


Commercial Lease Agreement – A commercial lease agreement is a rental contract that is used for the rental of commercial property.

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College Roommate Agreement – This document allows college roommates to formally agree to a set of rules and responsibilities, such as rent payment, the scheduling of chores, and study hours.

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Lease with Option to Purchase (Lease to Own) – This type of agreement allows the tenant to purchase the property as specified within the contract.

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Month to Month Lease Agreement – A rental contract that renews and is paid on a monthly basis. Although it is more flexible, it offers less security than a standard lease.

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Roommate Agreement – A group of roommates can use this document to ensure that all of them agree to the rules and duties of the rental unit.

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Standard (1-year) Lease Agreement – A standard lease is an annual lease that is paid monthly, usually with the option to renew the lease at the end of its term.

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Sublease Agreement – A sublease agreement is used by tenants who wish to sublease their rental space to another individual.

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Landlord-Tenant Laws

N.J.A.S. Title 2A, Chapter 42 – Landlord and Tenant

Disclosures

Flood Zone (§ 46:8-50) – If the rental property is in a flood zone, landlords must inform their tenants in writing. A Flood Zone Lookup Tool is provided by FEMA and may be used to determine whether a property is affected.

Truth in Renting Act (§ 46:8-45) – This leaflet explaining tenant-landlord rights and responsibilities must be provided to all tenants of properties with more than two (2) dwelling units (three (3) if the landlord occupies one) and a term of at least one (1) month.

Window Guards (§ 5:10-27.1) – Landlords must include the following statement in their rental agreements to inform the tenant of their right to demand window guards if they have children who are ten (10) years old or younger.

The owner (landlord) is required by law to provide, install and maintain window guards in the apartment if a child or children 10 years of age or younger is, or will be, living in the apartment or is, or will be, regularly present there for a substantial period of time if the tenant gives the owner (landlord) a written request that the window guards be installed. The owner (landlord) is also required, upon the written request of the tenant, to provide, install and maintain window guards in the hallways to which persons in the tenant’s unit have access without having to go out of the building. If the building is a condominium, cooperative or mutual housing building, the owner (landlord) of the apartment is responsible for installing and maintaining window guards in the apartment and the association is responsible for installing and maintaining window guards in hallway windows. Window guards are only required to be provided in first floor windows where the window sill is more than six feet above grade or there are other hazardous conditions that make installation of window guards necessary to protect the safety of children.

Landlord’s Access

General Access (§ 5:10-5.1) – At least one (1) day’s notice must be given to the tenant before the landlord or property manager enters the rental property.

Emergency Access (New Jersey – Right of Entry Bulletin (Page 2) – If the emergency threatens the safety or health of people in the vicinity, entry without notice is permitted.

Rent

Grace Period (§ 2A:42-6.1 and 2A:42-6.3) – None, except for senior citizens who are given five (5) weekdays’ grace period (excluding federal holidays).

Maximum Fees ($) (Truth in Renting Guide (Page 2)) – No limit. All fees must be clearly stated in the agreement.

Rent Increase Notice (New Jersey – Rent Increase Bulletin (Page 1)) – The landlord must give the tenant at least thirty (30) days’ notice to increase the rent. Furthermore, they must also issue a Notice to Quit ending the current agreement.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount ($) (§ 46:8-21.2) – The most that a landlord may demand to be paid is one and a half (1.5) months’ rent for the first year. When the year has passed, the landlord has the right to require ten percent (10%) of the initial amount as an additional deposit.

Returning to Tenant (§ 46:8-21.1) – Security deposits must be returned to the tenant within thirty (30) days of their lease’s termination.

Interest Required? (§ 46:8-19) – Yes, all interest on deposits must be paid in cash to the tenant or deducted from unpaid rent on the renewal/anniversary of their lease. If the landlord notifies the tenant in writing before the anniversary, they may pay the interest on January 31st before the anniversary date.

Separate Bank Account? (§ 46:8-19) – Yes, landlords must put all deposits in shares of an insured money market account or an interest-bearing savings account.