New Jersey Rental Lease Agreements
The New Jersey Rental Lease Agreements are contracts that formalize an arrangement for a tenant to lease a residential dwelling from a landlord. Each contract will contain both standard provisions as dictated by the state, as well as any mutually-agreed upon conditions of leasing the property. Some areas the lease agreement will attend to include:
- Property Description;
- Rent Amount ($);
- Lease Term (excluding Month-to-Month);
- Utility Responsibilities; and
In cases where an original provision agreed upon by both parties and a government-stipulated provision are in conflict with one another, the latter will prevail. That is, any relevant state and federal landlord-tenant provision will always override that made by the landlord or tenant.
What is a New Jersey Lease Agreement?
A New Jersey Lease Agreement is a necessary document in the process of leasing a rental dwelling. Once signed by a landlord and tenant, it serves as a reference to their legal responsibilities to one another. Landlords are advised to require all parties interested in the lease to fill out a rental application, which represents a summary of the applicant’s background, character, and relevant experiences.
State Definition – No state definition.
Types of Agreements
College Roommate Agreement – Signed by college roommates in an effort to have everyone on the same page about optimal behavior and conduct in their shared room.
Commercial Lease Agreement – Encompasses a number of unique provisions to allow for a business to rent a property from a landlord who has a property fit for commercial use.
Lease to Own Agreement – A document that legally establishes the scenario of a tenant making financial contributions to the eventual purchase of the rental property.
Month-to-Month Lease – This shorter-term lease agreement is preferred by landlords who do not wish to commit to the long-term leasing of their rental dwelling.
Roommate Agreement – Roommates can often hold differing views about how they should act in their shared property. As such, it’s advisable for rules of conduct to be clearly set out in this agreement.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – A rental agreement featuring the specific landlord-tenant laws of New Jersey.
Sublease Agreement – A contract created to establish legal terms that allow for a tenant to lease part or all of their rental dwelling to another party.
When is Rent Due?
There is no stipulated date when rent must be paid by. Therefore, the due date of rent should be clearly outlined in a written rental agreement. In accordance with § 2A:42-6.1 & § 2A:42-6.3, there is a grace period of five (5) business days exclusively available to senior citizens. To qualify, the senior citizens must receive Social Security Old Age Pensions, Railroad Retirement Pensions or other governmental pensions in lieu of Social Security Old Age Pensions, or be a recipient of Social Security Disability Benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or benefits under Work First New Jersey.
Emergency (New Jersey – Right of Entry Bulletin (Pg. 2)): In emergency cases where a condition exists that poses “an immediate threat to the safety or health of persons using or near the premises,” landlords are not required to give notice to the tenant to enter the rental dwelling.
Non-Emergency (New Jersey – Right of Entry Bulletin (Pg. 2)): Landlords must give “reasonable notification” to enter the rental dwelling for the purposes of inspection and maintenance. Reasonable notification is defined as normally one day.
- Flood Zone Disclosure (§ 46:8-50): Landlords must disclose to new tenants prior to their occupancy of the rental dwelling if it has been determined to be located in a flood zone or area.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: To be compliant with federal law, landlords must disclose to tenants if their rental property built before 1978 has any known lead paint hazards. The law also requires landlords to provide tenants with a copy of a pamphlet that further discusses the subject.
- Truth in Renting Act (Truth in Renting Act 46:8-46): The Truth in Renting Act requires landlords to distribute the current annual statement made by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs regarding “the established rights and responsibilities of residential tenants and landlords in the State.” The statement must be distributed to all tenants with a rental term of at least one month who are living in residences with more than two dwelling units. They must also make the current statement available in the building where the tenants can easily find it.
- Window Guards (55 § 13A-7.14(b.)(1)): The landlord of a rental unit in a multiple dwelling space must verbally inform the tenant of their right to request the installation of window guards. This must also be set forth in a written document which acknowledges that the tenant was made aware of this right.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum (§ 46:8-21.2): Landlords may not demand more than one-and-a-half (1.5) times one (1) month’s rent equivalent as a security deposit. If the landlord chooses to collect an additional amount of security deposit (e.g. if the tenant leases the property for over a year) the annual amount cannot be more than ten percent (10%) of the current security deposit.
Returning to Tenant (§ 46:8-21.1): The security deposit, along with any interest accrued, must be returned by the landlord within thirty (30) days after the termination of the tenant’s lease. The landlord should return it by personal delivery, registered, or certified mail. If the landlord plans to retain a portion or all of the security deposit due to damages caused by the tenant, any deductions must be itemized. The tenant must be made aware of this fact by personal delivery, registered, or certified mail.