A New Jersey sublease agreement is a legal document that allows a person already renting property to rent out part or all of that property to a new tenant (or “subtenant”).
Such an agreement is important in New Jersey because real estate is often at a premium. Enterprising renters can take advantage of extra space and reduce their own expenses by subletting their apartment to a subtenant.
If you’re the original tenant (or “sublessor”), familiarize yourself with New Jersey’s laws and regulations governing sublease agreements. You’ll be responsible if the subtenant causes issues in the future (like not paying rent or damaging the property).
Learn more about these requirements and download our free blank New Jersey sublease agreement to get started. We provide step-by-step instructions on how to write a New Jersey sublease agreement below.
Or to save time and ensure everything is filled out correctly, we recommend using our free New Jersey sublease agreement builder.
How to Write a New Jersey Sublease Agreement
- List the property type and current address — The property type is generally either a house, apartment, or condominium.
- List the address where the sublessor would like the subtenant to send them rent payments, notices, and any other documents — If the sublessor is renting a room or shared space, this address is likely that of the rental property. if the sublessor is living somewhere else, however, their preferred mailing address should be specified here.
- List the name of the proposed subtenant — Write down the name and current address of the subtenant(s).
- Attach a copy of the original lease and the landlord’s name and contact info — This helps familiarize the tenant with the rights and restrictions outlined in the original lease. All subtenants are bound to the terms of the original lease, even if they didn’t sign it.
- List any additional restrictions — This section should set out what the subtenant does and doesn’t have access to (e.g. laundry, kitchen facilities, a private bedroom, or storage spaces). It should also explicitly state any property restrictions, such as anti-smoking regulations, pet deposits or prohibitions, or minimum age limits (often found in senior apartment communities).
- List the beginning and end dates of the sublease — These dates can be as short or as long as you want, as long as they don’t exceed the end date provided in the original lease agreement.
After drafting this sublease agreement, the sublessor should make a copy for themselves and then send the original to their landlord for approval by certified mail. In addition to sending the sublease agreement, include a letter to the landlord explaining why you want to sublease the property.
The landlord is required to respond within 30 days after the notice is mailed. If they fail to reply, the tenant can imply they have permission to sublease the property.
New Jersey Sublease Laws
You should check your original lease agreement to see if you’re allowed to sublet your apartment. It’s recommended that a tenant receive written permission from their landlord before subletting in New Jersey. Once you’ve filled out a New Jersey sublease agreement, you will be responsible for your subtenant and liable for any violations of the original lease.
A sublessor must honor the terms of the sublease agreement (as well as the original lease) and follow all New Jersey laws regarding the eviction process, security deposits, and all other landlord-tenant matters.
New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Laws: Title 46 of the New Jersey Statutes
In New Jersey, a sublessor must:
- Give a subtenant thirty days (30) written notice to pay rent or leave
- Return the security deposit within thirty days (30) of the end of the sublease
- Provide thirty days (30) written notice of your intent to not renew the sublease and/or original lease
New Jersey Sublease FAQs
What happens if a landlord refuses a subtenant request?
Landlords are required to respond to a tenant’s sublease inquiry within 30 days. Landlords are only legally permitted to reject a proposed subtenant for a few non-discriminatory reasons — for example, if the subtenant has a history of eviction or foreclosure, a poor credit score, or no proof of current income.
Depending on where the property is located, a landlord may also refuse a subtenant request if the subtenant is listed on a sex or violent offender registry (e.g. if the property is located near a school, church, or daycare).
If a landlord denies a subtenant request for other reasons (when the lease otherwise permits the tenant to sublease), the tenant may be able to sue the landlord to enforce their right to sublease. However, such action should not be taken lightly, as it can burn bridges with your landlord. Often, it’s simpler to just find another suitable subtenant candidate.
Is subleasing illegal in New Jersey?
No, subleasing isn’t illegal in New Jersey unless the tenant’s lease agreement specifically prohibits it.
Can a tenant sublease a New Jersey rental property without getting the landlord’s permission?
Regardless of whether the New Jersey lease agreement expressly requires the landlord’s permission, a tenant must get permission from their landlord before they can sublease their property. Moreover, if the original lease agreement doesn’t allow subleasing, the landlord can refuse any subtenant request without further explanation.
How can a sublessor evict a subtenant?
Ideally, a sublease agreement will set forth the eviction “triggers” — clarifying when rent is due, what happens if rent is late, and what steps the sublessor can take to enforce the sublease agreement if the subtenant violates any of its provisions.
Generally, the sublessor needs to go through the same legal eviction process as a landlord would when evicting a tenant, including providing notice, and giving the subtenant an opportunity to respond and pay for damages if a judgment is entered against them.