Truth in Renting Act

TRUTH-IN-RENTING ACT
N.J.S.A. 46:8-43 through 50

Reprinted February 2008



46:8-43. Short title

     This act shall be known and may be cited as "The Truth-in-Renting Act." L.1975, c. 310, s. 1.

46:8-44. Definitions

     As used in this act: a.

     "Landlord" means any person who rents or leases or offers to rent or lease, for a term of at least 1 month, dwelling units, except dwelling units in rental premises containing not more than two such units, or in owner-occupied premises of not more than three dwelling units, or in hotels, motels or other guest houses serving transient or seasonal guests.

     b. "Department" means the Department of Community Affairs.

     c. "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.

L.1975, c. 310, s. 2.

46:8-45. Statement of legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords of rental dwelling units

          3. a. The department shall, as soon as practicable and annually thereafter, after public hearing, prepare and make available at no cost to the public, to the extent that funding has been made available to the department for free distribution, a statement, in a form and size suitable for posting and distributing pursuant to the provisions of this act, of the primary clearly established legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords of rental dwelling units. This statement shall be printed in both the English and Spanish languages and shall be posted on the department's Internet website, in an easily printable format, and updated annually. The statement shall serve as an informational document, and nothing therein shall be construed as binding on or affecting a judicial determination under section 6 of P.L.1975, c.310 (C.46:8-48) of what constitutes a lease provision which violates clearly established legal rights of tenants or responsibilities of landlords.

     b. Where practical considerations make it necessary for the department to limit the extent of the statement, items to be included shall be selected on the basis of the importance of their inclusion in protecting the rights of the public.

L.1975, c.310, s.3; amended 1990, c.37; 2007, c.177, s.1.

46:8-46. Statement; distribution and posting by landlords

     Every landlord shall distribute one copy of the statement prepared and made available pursuant to the provisions of this act to each of their tenants within 30 days after it has been made available by the department and shall thereafter provide a copy of the current statement to each new tenant at or prior to the time he assumes occupancy of the dwelling. In addition, every landlord shall keep a copy of the current statement posted in one or more locations so that the statement is prominent and accessible to all his tenants.

L.1975, c. 310, s. 4.

46:8-47. Violations of act; penalty

     5. Any landlord who violates any provision of this act, contrary to the legal rights of tenants, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $100.00 for each offense. Such penalty shall be collected and enforced by summary proceedings pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.). The Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part in the county in which the rental premises are located shall have jurisdiction over such proceedings. Process shall be in the nature of a summons or warrant, and shall issue upon the complaint of the commissioner, the Attorney General, or any other person.

L.1975,c.310,s.5; amended 1991,c.91,s.460.

46:8-48. Offer of or entry into lease in violation of rights of tenants; termination of lease; exception

     No landlord shall offer to any tenant or prospective tenant or enter into any written lease after the effective date of this act which includes a lease provision which violates clearly established legal rights of tenants or responsibilities of landlords as established by the law of this State at the time the lease is signed. A tenant shall have the right to petition a court of competent jurisdiction to terminate a lease containing any such provision. Nothing contained herein shall limit any rights or remedies a tenant may have under a lease.

     No landlord shall be liable to any penalty under section 5 of this act nor any lease termination by a tenant under section 6 of this act, for any lease provision in violation of section 6 of this act where the proposal to include such lease provision originated from the tenant and not such landlord.

L.1975, c. 310, s. 6.

46:8-49. Waiver of right to receive or refusal to accept statement; effect

     No waiver or refusal by a tenant of his right to receive a copy of the statement as provided herein shall alter the responsibilities of the landlord under any provision of this act.

L.1975, c. 310, s. 7.

46:8-50. Notification to tenants if property is in flood zone

     1.     Every landlord shall notify each of the landlord's tenants upon the event that the rental property which is the subject of a lease has been determined to be located in a flood zone or area. Each new tenant shall be notified prior to the time that occupancy of the rental unit is assumed. For the purposes of this section, "landlord" means any person who rents or leases, for a term of at least one month, commercial space or residential dwelling units other than dwelling units in a premises containing not more than two such units, or in an owner-occupied premises of not more than three dwelling units, or in hotels, motels, or other guest houses serving transient or seasonal guests.

L.2001,c.313.