New Jersey Room Rental Agreement

When leasing a room, having a New Jersey room rental agreement is paramount. Even if this contract isn't notarized, it lays the groundwork for your stay. Typically signed when moving in, it details the landlord and tenant and the agreed-upon terms.

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New Jersey Room Rental Agreement

A New Jersey room rental agreementmust be legally binding to existing state rental laws. It can also incorporate aspects of federal laws that protect either party. Therefore, you’ll likely find the following sections in your contract. 

Access to the Room

  • Consent required: A New Jersey landlord must obtain the tenant’s consent to enter their rented room except in cases of emergency or inspection. The landlord has no general right of entry without the tenant’s permission.
  • Notice period: If consent is granted, the landlord must provide reasonable advance notice, usually 24 hours. Notice should specify the date, time, purpose, and names of anyone entering.
  • Emergency access: A landlord may enter the rented room without notice or consent in a safety or structural emergency that poses an immediate threat. Examples include a fire, burst pipe flooding, or gas smell. 
  • Inspection access: Official housing inspectors may access any room in a multi-unit rental property even without tenant consent, as long as the landlord notifies the tenant in advance. Inspectors may enter for code compliance, health, safety, or maintenance checks.
  • Entry refusal: A tenant may refuse entry to a landlord or inspector seeking access without proper notice or consent. However, refusal of reasonable access requests could prompt eviction proceedings.

Guest & Pets Policy

  • Ban on guests: Tenants have a right to host guests for reasonable periods. Landlords can implement guest policies through written rules and lease terms. Landlords typically can’t outright prohibit specific guests without cause. However, tenants must follow all guest restrictions covered in their lease.
  • Visitation limits: Most standard leases limit guest stays to 14 days. Longer stays may require guest approval as a tenant through screening.
  • Guest restrictions: landlords can restrict the number of guests allowed on premises at one time based on unit size and occupancy codes.
  • Grandfathered pets: Under case law precedent, landlords usually can’t suddenly revoke permission for pets that existing tenants already had at the beginning and throughout their entire tenancy. However, they may prohibit tenants from acquiring additional pets.
  • Service animals: Handicapped/disabled tenants cannot be denied housing or charged extra fees due to needing service or support animals under NJ discrimination laws.

Security Deposit Regulations

  • Accepted amount: In New Jersey, the maximum allowed security deposit is limited to one and a half times the monthly rent according to the terms of the contract, lease, or agreement.
  • Investment requirements: Landlords must invest security deposits in shares of an insured money market fund or deposit them in a state or federally-chartered bank, savings bank, or savings and loan association. 
  • Notification obligations: Landlords must provide written notification to tenants within 30 days of receiving the security deposit. This notification should include details about where the deposit is invested, the type of account, the current interest rate, and the deposit amount.
  • Return procedures: Upon termination of the lease, landlords are required to return the security deposit, along with any accumulated interest, to the tenant within 30 days. Any deductions made from the deposit must be itemized.
  • Penalties for non-compliance: Failure to comply with the regulations regarding security deposits may result in penalties, including fines or legal action.