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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36575
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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My new landlord states the he will increase my rent by

Customer Question

My new landlord states the he will increase my rent by 38.64%. I'm in New Jersey. What is the legal limit that a rent can be increased here? I've heard that 5% is the limit.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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The state of NJ doesn't have a law that governs rent increases. So this is left up to the municipalities as to whether to adopt ordinances regarding limiting rent increases. However, if your city doesn't have a specific ordinance, then under caselaw, you can object on the increase as being "unconscionable".

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In Fromet Properties Inc. v. Dolores Buel, et al., the court found that in determining unconscionability, the trial judge may consider: 1) the amount of the proposed rent increase; 2)the landlord’s expenses and profitability; 3) how the existing and proposed rent compare to rents charged at similar rental properties in the geographic area; 4) the relative bargaining position of the parties; and 5) based on the judge’s general knowledge, whether the rent increase would shock the conscience of a reasonable person.

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Based on this increase, unless your rent was substantially below the fair market value of rent in the first place, then I would opine that this would "shock the conscience" of the court and the judge would rule that much of an increase as unenforceable and order it to be reduced, maybe by half..

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thanks

Barrister