Understanding Landlord Rights in New Jersey: A Comprehensive Guide

Being a landlord in New Jersey can be both profitable and challenging. As a landlord, it’s essential to know your rights and responsibilities to protect your investment and ensure a positive rental experience for both you and your tenants. In this guide, we’ll explore landlord rights in New Jersey to help you navigate the rental landscape effectively.Understanding Landlord Rights in New Jersey: A Comprehensive Guide

Tenant Screening

As a landlord in New Jersey, you have the right to screen potential tenants to ensure that they’re suitable to rent your property. You can legally check the tenant’s credit history, employment status, and criminal record. You can also ask for references from previous landlords and personal references.

Security Deposit

Landlords in New Jersey are allowed to collect a security deposit from tenants, but the amount is regulated by law. You can collect a maximum of one and a half months’ rent as a security deposit. You must also place the security deposit in an interest-bearing account and provide the tenant with the bank’s name and address.

Rent Increase

New Jersey law allows landlords to increase the rent once a year, and the increase is limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If you plan to raise the rent, you must provide the tenant with written notice at least 30 days before the increase takes effect.

Maintenance and Repairs

As a landlord, you’re responsible for maintaining the rental property and making necessary repairs. You’re required to keep the property in habitable condition, which means providing working heat, hot water, and electricity. If the tenant requests repairs, you must make them in a timely manner.


If a tenant violates the lease agreement, you have the right to evict them. Grounds for eviction in New Jersey include non-payment of rent, violation of the lease agreement, and damage to the property. You must follow the legal process for eviction, which includes providing the tenant with a written notice to vacate and filing a complaint in court.


As a landlord, you’re prohibited from discriminating against tenants based on race, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. If a tenant believes that they’ve been discriminated against, they can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.

Lease Agreement

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your tenant that outlines the terms and conditions of the tenancy. You have the right to create a lease agreement that meets your needs and includes provisions that protect your rights as a landlord. Some common provisions in a lease agreement include rent payment due dates, lease term, occupancy limits, pet policy, and maintenance responsibilities.

Entry into Rental Property

As a landlord, you have the right to enter the rental property to make repairs or conduct inspections. However, you must provide the tenant with reasonable notice before entering the property. The New Jersey law requires landlords to provide tenants with at least 24 hours notice before entering the property, except in cases of emergency.


New Jersey law prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants who exercise their legal rights. If a tenant files a complaint against you or joins a tenant organization, you cannot retaliate by raising their rent, evicting them, or decreasing the quality of their housing.


You have the right to require your tenants to carry renters’ insurance to protect their personal property in case of theft, fire, or other disasters. However, you cannot require tenants to purchase insurance from a specific provider. You also have the right to carry landlord insurance to protect your property and liability as a landlord.

Understanding your rights as a landlord in New Jersey is crucial for a successful rental business. It’s important to remember that tenant-landlord relationships are a two-way street, and both parties have rights and responsibilities. By being aware of your rights and following the legal process, you can avoid disputes and create a positive rental experience for your tenants.

As a law firm located in New Jersey, we at Freeman Law Center, LLC. offer legal services to clients in various areas, including landlord-tenant law. If you’re a landlord who needs help understanding your rights and navigating the legal landscape in New Jersey, we can provide the following services:

  • Consultation: We offer consultations to landlords who need legal advice and guidance on their rights and responsibilities. We can provide a comprehensive assessment of your legal situation and help you develop a strategy to achieve your goals.
  • Lease Agreement Drafting: We can assist in drafting lease agreements that are tailored to your specific needs and comply with New Jersey law. We can include provisions that protect your rights as a landlord and ensure a positive rental experience for your tenants.
  • Eviction Proceedings: If a tenant violates the lease agreement, we can assist you in filing an eviction complaint in court. We can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that all procedures are followed correctly.

Representation in Court: We can represent you in court proceedings related to landlord-tenant law. We have experienced litigators who can advocate on your behalf and protect your rights.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: We can provide mediation and alternative dispute resolution services to help you resolve disputes with your tenants outside of court. This can be a cost-effective and efficient way to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

We at Freeman Law Center, LLC. can provide a range of legal services to landlords in New Jersey who need help understanding their rights and navigating the legal landscape. Whether you need legal advice, representation in court, or assistance with drafting lease agreements, our experienced attorneys can help you achieve your goals.