What to Know About Renting an Apartment in New Jersey

Evening image of the skyline of Jersey City in the state of New Jersey during sunset.

There’s much to love about New Jersey, from the endless beaches, great hiking, top level colleges and also proximity to the major cities of Philadelphia and New York. Mind you, things are going to look different depending on what part of the state you are in, but for wherever you decide to settle down, here’s some information to make renting all the more easier. 

Keep Your Commute In Mind

This is something to keep in mind wherever you decide to rent, but it’s especially important for looking at maybe Cherry Hill or Hoboken apartments with the intention to commute into Philadelphia or New York respectively. Before signing anything, try to do a practice run of what your daily commute in and out of the city is going to look like. Knowing what you’ll have to do daily can be the deciding factor when it comes down to the final few choices. 

With commute in mind, if you have a job based in a city and now are among the many of us who kept our jobs but work remotely, it might be the perfect time to relocate and get more value for your dollar if proximity to work is no longer part of your life. 

Know What You Are Signing Up For

Take that advice with you wherever you go. Do make sure to read every line of the rental agreement. If you feel there are sections you don’t understand, make sure they are explained to you clearly before proceeding. If it seems overly complicated, it’s fair to second guess what you were about to sign. Agreements should be made clear about what exactly you are renting and how much you are paying for it.

Houses in Cape May, New Jersey.

Another important thing, and it might sound obvious to some, but others fall into the trap of renting something they can’t actually afford. There are going to be more living expenses than just what’s taken out for rent. Where and what type of housing could determine what else you are paying for, in terms of internet, water, heat, etc, but make sure that information is also clearly in writing prior to signing.

Familiarize Yourself With Local Laws

Details can vary among counties but it’s always a safe measure to make yourself aware of what rights you’ll have as a tenant. As an example of a state law, landlords must disclose if the apartment is in a flood zone and if the windows include child safety locks. If locks aren’t present, and a child under 10 lives on the property, the landlord might be responsible for installing and maintaining child safety locks. 

Other state laws include the right to withhold rent to be used for repairs if a landlord fails to take care of important issues in an apartment. Also, if a landlord chooses to raise rent, there must be a 30 days notice to the tenant.

Of course, in terms of familiarizing yourself with local protections and rights for renters, please do look at what laws are held in the particular counties you are looking at apartments in.