New Jersey Rent Increase Laws – A Complete Guide

By: ROS Team

Share the Post:

Rente­rs in New Jersey often encounter the challenge of compre­hending and maneuvering through the intricate rent increase­ laws. Although the state lacks a uniform rent control ordinance­, different municipalities have established their own rules to manage rent hikes.

This guide aims to offer a thorough summary of New Jersey’s rent incre­ase laws, equipping rente­rs with the information necessary to safe­guard their rights.

New Jersey Rent Increase Laws: State vs. Local

In New Je­rsey, rent control measures are determine­d by local governments instead of being state-wide. This leads to variations in re­nt increase rules across different municipalities. For example, cities like Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Edison, Lake­wood, and Jersey City have se­t specific caps on rent increase­s, while others have no such re­strictions.

 

Rent Increase Notices and Timing in New Jersey

Landlords in New Jersey are required to provide tenants with written notice of any rent increase. The notice period varies depending on the municipality and the type of lease agreement.

For month-to-month leases, the notice period is typically one month, while for fixed-term leases, the notice period may be longer. The notice must clearly state the new rent amount and the effective date of the increase.

Assembly Bill 2390: Potential Rent Increase Limitations

In February 2022, Assembly Bill 2390 was introduced in the New Jersey Legislature. If passed, this bill would impose a statewide 5% cap on rent increases, with an additional 10% or the percentage change in the cost of living (whichever is lower) also being factored in. This bill is currently under consideration and could potentially impact future rent increases across the state.

What is the Maximum Rent Increase Allowed in New Jersey?

Rent incre­ase laws in New Je­rsey change as per the municipality. For areas with rent control laws, there’s a separate limit on how much rent can go up. Like in Elizabeth, a one­-year lease can only grow by 4%. But in Lake­wood, if you rent month-to-month, it can only go up by 2.5%.

In municipalities without these laws, landlords still need to be fair with rent incre­ases. Increases can’t just be random or too much. They need good re­asons, such as changes in the market, improvements to the property, or high costs for upkeep.

When Can a New Jersey Landlord Raise Rent?

In New Jersey, a landlord can typically raise rent when a lease is up for renewal or by giving proper notice under the terms of the lease agreement, which is usually 30 days for month-to-month leases or as specified in a longer-term lease.

Is there a Rent Increase Limit in NJ?

New Jersey does not have a statewide rent control law that sets specific limits on rent increases. However, some municipalities in New Jersey have their own rent control ordinances that may impose limits on rent increases.

Rent Increase Limit
Photo Credit: Canva

 

NJ Cities with Rent Control Laws

Here are some of the cities with rent control laws in New Jersey:

  1. Atlantic City: The rent increase is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and is capped at 3.5%.
  2. Elizabeth: The rent increase is capped at 3%, but is limited to $20 per month.
  3. Edison: The rent increase is capped at 5%.
  4. Lakewood: The rent increase for tenants who are responsible for paying heating is 6.5%, while the rent increase for tenants who are not responsible for paying heating is 5%.
  5. Jersey City: The rent increase is based on the CPI and is capped at 4%.
  6. Paterson: The rent increase is capped at 5%. If the tenant is a disabled veteran or senior citizen, the rent increase is capped at 3.5%.
  7. Newark: The rent increase is based on the CPI and is capped at 4%.

How Can You Have Fixed Rent in New Jersey?

Here are a few ways to have a fixed-rent agreement in New Jersey:

  • Find a landlord who is willing to offer a fixed-rent lease
  • Negotiate a fixed-rent agreement with your current landlord.
  • Move to a rent-controlled city
  • Consider renting a property from a government agency.

New Jersey Rent Increase Laws: Final Thoughts

Understanding New Jersey’s rent increase laws is essential for both landlords and tenants. Tenants have the right to reasonable notice and protection from discriminatory or excessive rent increases, while landlords need to follow the established legal framework.