Lately, my house hunting has taken me to condominiums in historic Fort Lee, NJ. Yes, there are condos in Fort Lee, and you can find a one bedroom around the $200k range. This is attractive to investors because the rates are historically low and a positive cash flow is certainly possible.
This excursion has reminded me of a few important things to consider if you are thinking of being a landlord in New Jersey.
1). Unless there is a cause for eviction, you must offer your tenant a lease renewal in NJ. The exception is when you occupy a unit in a two to four family or rent out a single family and plan on moving in upon expiration of the lease. Check to see if town municipality has rent increase control ordinances in place. If not, you can raise the rent when you offer a new lease, provided you give the tenant AT LEAST 30 days notice in writing and the increase is not â€œunconscionableâ€. Please refer to this link: http://www.lsnjlaw.org/Housing/Landlord-Tenant/Rent-Increases/Pages/Your-Rights-Around-Rent-Increases.aspx#.UNJVSXy9KSM
2). You can only ask for 1 1/2 times rent as a security deposit even when there are pets in the unit. Please refer to this link for more information: http://www.lsnjlaw.org/Housing/Landlord-Tenant/Security-Deposits/Pages/Understanding-Your-Security-Deposit.aspx#.UNJVsny9KSM
The above is meant to be a guideline and is stated in general terms. The information is not intended to be used as legal advice. You should always seek the advice of an attorney if you are not sure of tenants rights. You may also refer to The New Jersey Tenants Rights Handbook at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/new_jersey/renting/tenantrights
Being a landlord may be the right decision for you in todayâ€™s market. Housing is â€œon saleâ€ and the rates are favorable. I provide my customers with comparables for rental units in the area and an estimated days on market to rent within the market price. Donâ€™t forget to obtain your mortgage pre qualification before you begin your search! Many lenders have restrictions on investor and / or condominium purchases.