NJ Rent Increase Laws

By PropertyClub Team
May 9th 2024
New Jersey does not have statewide rent increase laws, but local municipalities are able to establish their own rules, often linking rent increases to the Consumer Price Index or setting specific caps. This article provides an overview of key details, such as how landlords can increase rent, how often they can do so, what constitutes an "unconscionable" rent hike, and the notice period required.

Understanding these rules will empower tenants to navigate rental agreements more confidently and be prepared for any changes. 

hash-markTable of Contents

How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in New Jersey
When Can a Landlord Increase Rent in NJ?
Is There a Rent Increase Limit in NJ?
What Are Your Rights When Your Rent Is Increased?
What Are Unconscionable Rent Increases?
How Much Notice Is Needed for Raising Rent?
How Often Can Rent Be Increased?
NJ Cities & Rent Control Limits
NJ Rent Increase Laws Takeaways

hash-markHow Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in New Jersey

New Jersey does not have any statewide rent control or stabilization laws; however, individual municipalities may establish their own laws. Therefore, landlords are permitted to raise the rent as much as they like unless they are subject to rent controls by the local municipal government.

Many cities in New Jersey base their rent control limits on the Consumer Price Index. This is an official measure of the change in costs of goods over time. So, landlords can increase rent to keep up with the general cost of inflation, but not anymore. But this rule is only used by certain municipalities and varies throughout the state.

hash-markWhen Can a Landlord Increase Rent in NJ?

The landlord is not permitted to increase rent at any point during an active lease term. So if you have a 12-month lease, the landlord is not permitted to increase the rent during those 12 months. But the landlord can raise the rent once the lease term expires, which the tenant has the option to accept or deny.

hash-markIs There a Rent Increase Limit in NJ?

No, there is no statewide rent increase limit, but there are local municipal laws that control rent in certain areas of the state. The rent increase limits in these municipalities are anywhere from 2% to 6% per year. Others set the limit based on the consumer price index. So, in areas with no rent regulation, landlords can increase the rent as much as they want (within reason).

hash-markWhat Are Your Rights When Your Rent Is Increased? 

Yes, tenants do have rights when their rent is increased. The landlord is required to follow specific protocols if they wish to increase the rent. First, they must wait for the present lease to expire and give you fair notice that the rent is increasing. Plus, they must offer you the option of a new lease at a higher price.

If they are increasing the price, it must be within the rent control laws set by the municipality (if there are any). They also cannot increase the rent so much that it could be deemed unconscionable.

hash-markWhat Are Unconscionable Rent Increases?

An unconscionable rent increase is so large that it could be deemed exceedingly harsh or unreasonable. The state law does not state exactly how much is unconscionable. But it means that the landlord has a general duty to only increase the rent a fair amount to keep up with their own expenses.

An example would be if the rent suddenly doubled in price between lease terms. It’s unlikely that the property values or cost of living have gone up so much within such a short period. If you believe the rent increase is unconscionable, you can take your landlord to court, where it will be up to a judge whether or not the increase is unreasonable.

hash-markHow Much Notice Is Needed for Raising Rent?

When landlords plan to raise the rent, they are required to give you advance notice and the opportunity to renew if you choose. The amount of notice required depends on your type of lease. For month-to-month leases, landlords must inform you at least one month before the lease ends. With fixed-term leases, they need to provide 60 to 90 days' notice.

hash-markHow Often Can Rent Be Increased?

Rent can only be increased once per lease term. So, if you have a 2-year lease, the landlord cannot raise the rent after the first year. But, if you only have a month-to-month contract, they can raise the rent at any time, as long as they give you one month’s notice. So, any time your lease is set to expire, you can expect the possibility of a rent increase.

hash-markNJ Cities & Rent Control Limits 


Rent Control Limit

Atlantic City

Based on CPI

Barnegat Township



Based on monthly CPI with 5.5% maximum





East Orange


East Rutherford


East Windsor

2.9% (and if necessary due to heating costs)


3.5% if landlord pays heat and hot water. 2.5% if tenant pays utilities


7%, not less than $20, no more than $35

Fort Lee

5% except for qualified seniors


Based on CPI

Jersey City

Based on CPI, maximum of 4%


CPI or 5% (whichever is lower)


Based on CPI, no more than 4%

West Orange

2% if tenant pays heat, 3% if landlord pays heat

hash-markNJ Rent Increase Laws Takeaways

In New Jersey, understanding local rent increase laws is crucial for renters to protect their rights. While the state lacks broad rent control, many municipalities set their own limits, usually tied to the Consumer Price Index. Landlords must provide notice before increasing rent and cannot impose unconscionable hikes that would be considered unreasonably harsh. Familiarizing yourself with these rules ensures you're prepared to handle lease renewals and respond effectively to any unexpected changes.