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Know the Laws: New Jersey

UPDATED February 3, 2016

In New Jersey, a victim of domestic violence can terminate his or her tenancy before the lease is up.  Below we have some basic information about this law known as the New Jersey Safe Housing Act.

back to topWho is protected by this housing law? What protections does this law offer?

If you (the tenant) or your child are facing an immediate threat of serious physical harm by remaining in the rented apartment or home where you live, you may be able to terminate your lease early without penalty.  To terminate your lease, you must take the following steps:

  1. give the landlord written notice that you face, or your child faces, an immediate threat of physical harm by a specific person (the abuser) if you remain on the leased property; and
  2. give the landlord at least one of the following documents:
    • a certified copy of your permanent New Jersey restraining order (or a similar order from another state) against the abuser who you named in the written notice to your landlord;
    • a law enforcement agency record that either documents the domestic violence or certifies that you are, or your child is, a domestic violence victim;
    • medical documentation of domestic violence produced by a healthcare provider;
    • documentation or certification provided by a licensed social worker that you are, or your child is, a domestic violence victim; or
    • a certification, given by a certified Domestic Violence Specialist or the director of a designated domestic violence agency, that you are, or your child is, a domestic violence victim.*
* N.J. Stat. Ann. § 46:8-9.6

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