The country is moving at a rapid pace, and in New Jersey, both inflation and rental rates are moving with it.
As a landlord, you know that you need to look out for your business and ensure you’re profiting from your properties.
After all, if you’re not profiting, you’re most likely in the red.
Below, we’ll take you through current rent increase laws for New Jersey as well as policies for each city.
Then, we’ll touch on rent control and tenant protections to get a better idea of the role those play in the whole equation.
But let’s start with the most important question:
Can a landlord raise rent in New Jersey?
Unlike most states, New Jersey has no state rent control laws in place.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re free to increase rent however much you’d like.
That’s because according to New Jersey law, municipalities create their own rent control policies.
What that means is rent control laws for New Jersey are different everywhere across the state based on the city.
Most of these local laws are based on the CPI or Consumer Price Index, which is a local (percent) measure of inflation.
How often can rent be increased
In New Jersey, you’re allowed to increase rent once per lease term.
So, it all depends on how long the lease is.
For example, if your lease term is one year? You can increase rent once per year.
If it’s month-to-month? You can increase every month, provided you give one month's notice of the increase.
New Jersey has no statewide rent control laws in place.
However, cities and counties can enforce their own rent control laws which must be followed if you own a property in one of these areas.
Typically local rent control limits rent increases to between 2-6%, though it all depends on the area.
New Jersey cities with rent control
New Jersey places the responsibility of setting rent control laws on its individual municipalities.
That means rent control laws are different across each city.
To know how much you can increase rent in your part of Jersey, find your city or county using the table below:
- Atlantic City: Percent increase of CPI
- Barnegat Township: 3.5%
- Bayonne: Percent increase of CPI, 5.5% max
- Bergen: 4%
- Camden: 5%
- East Orange: 5%
- East Rutherford: 5.5%
- East Windsor: 2.9%
- Eatonton: 3.5% if you the landlord pay for heat and hot water. If the tenant pays, 2.5%
- Fairview: Up to 7% with a $20 minimum, $35 maximum
- Fort Lee: 5% (with exemption for some qualified seniors)
- Hoboken: Percent increase of CPI
- Jersey City: Percent increase of CPI, 4% max
- Linden: Percent increase of CPI or 5% (whichever is lower)
- Newark: Percent increase of CPI, 4% max
- West Orange: 3% if you the landlord pay heat, 2% if the tenant pays for heat
For more information on rent control laws throughout New Jersey based on municipality, see: New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Division of Codes and Standards - Landlord-Tenant Information Service.
Rent control exemptions
As is always the case, some property types are exempt from rent control laws, that includes both the state and municipality level.
In particular, some multifamily units are exempt from rent control in New Jersey.
To find out more about rent control exemptions in New Jersey, read: Applicability of municipal rent control ordinances, N.J. Stat. § 2A:42-84.2.
Before you go thinking that’s everything, it’s important to talk about how COVID-era emergency rent increase bans and tenant protections play a part in this.
In many states, COVID-era rent control policies are still in place.
However, in New Jersey and other states, related rent control policies have expired.
For New Jersey, that includes:
- The eviction moratorium: Eviction Prevention Information
- And utility moratorium: FAQs on End of Shutoff Moratorium and Grace Period
This makes knowing how much you can increase rent in New Jersey as a whole much easier to calculate, as this was previously yet another layer complicating things.
Maximize your income
While staying on top of state and local rent control laws is a pain, it’s important to do so that you know how much you can increase rent each lease cycle.
So, use the information above to make the most of your properties and maximize revenue.
... by the way DoorLoop hosted this webinar with attorney Craig Rothenberg from The Law Office of Craig Rothenberg to help answer many of your legal questions. Craig specializes in real estate law and evictions in New Jersey and we covered:
- Landlord-tenant issues and laws
- Grounds to evict a tenant
- Eviction process
- Preventing delays or fines
- Hiring an Attorney vs DIY
- Post COVID legal changes
Feel free to learn more and watch this webinar for free.