• How High Can a Hoboken Owner Raise the Rent?

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    You’re living the dream and calling Hoboken your home. Or, you’ve found the perfect tenants for your Hoboken property. The seasons change, and suddenly, it’s time for a lease renewal. This raises an important question: Just how high can the rent increase in Hoboken in a year? To help you out, we’ve compiled a quick Q&A to support both owners and renters as you navigate your lease renewals. 

    hoboken girl brownstone

    Q. How do lease renewals work, anyway?

    A. Owners must notify tenants of a lease renewal at least one calendar month prior to the end of a lease, though some written leases require 60 or 90 days notice.

    Q. What if the lease expires and no new lease has been signed?

    A: If a lease expires and no new lease is signed, the terms extend automatically to create a month-to-month lease at the rent specified in the expired lease.

    Q. How much can the rent increase from one lease to another?

    A. That depends:

    Many Hoboken apartments are rent controlled, which means that the rent can be raised as high as the Consumer Price Index {CPI} or 7.5%, whichever number is lower. The CPI, a monthly percentage that accounts for inflation, can be obtained from the Rent Leveling Office. The number can vary, but it ranged from 1.2% to 2.6% in 2017, and has not exceeded 4% since 2008. That means if you are paying $2,400 for a one bedroom, and the CPI for the month of your lease renewal is 2.0%, the highest your rent could increase would be $48.

    **Keep in mind that rent control laws are quite nuanced, and unique situations do occur.**

    On the contrary, some Hoboken buildings with 4 units or more are exempt from rent control, which means the rent can increase at market levels higher than the CPI percentage. However, according to state law, the increase cannot be “unconscionable” {page 15}, a level that must be determined by a judge. If you’re not sure if your unit or building are rent controlled, contact the Rent Leveling Office to find out. {201-420-2396/2062}

    READ: Should I Get Renter’s Insurance? 5 Things You Need to Know

    Q. Are there any other ways that the rent can increase for tenants in residence?

    A. When an apartment is tenant-occupied, Hoboken owners can add a tax surcharge or water surcharge with approval from the Rent Leveling Office. Capital improvement surcharge requests are heard and approved by the Rent Leveling Board. These increases can go into effect in the middle of the lease. The rent control ordinance specifies additional details.

    Q. What if I have questions, or need more help?

    A. While we here at Hoboken Girl cannot answer any legal questions, we encourage you to take advantage of the following local resources to assist you:

    • Both owners and tenants can call Hoboken’s Rent Leveling Office {201-420-2396/2062} with questions about the current rent, potential increases, or the rental history of a unit or building.
    • Residents can make an appointment to speak with Hoboken’s tenant advocate. The City hires an attorney on contract who answers questions {for free!} by appointment during bi-monthly office hours. These slots book up quickly. The current tenant advocate, Andrew Sobel, can be reached at asobel@sobelhan.com, or by phone {201-603-3697}.
    • Consult the Truth in Renting Booklet published by The State of New Jersey to assist both tenants and owners.
    • Contact your council person with questions, or seek out support from local organizations that assist owners and/or tenants.

    Once you’ve signed a new lease, here’s where you can celebrate with a stiff drink.

    {Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. We advise you to contact a licensed attorney for case-specific issues. The information was retrieved from public documents on the websites of the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs and the City of Hoboken’s Rent Leveling & Stablization Office.}

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    Written by:

    Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hoboken Girl. She started the site to discover and share the wealth of things happening in Hudson County. Her roots in the area extend to her maternal grandparents, who owned two textile factories in Weehawken and North Bergen. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event/volunteer project or editing her life away, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog + rescue pup, or watching the latest murder doc on Netflix with her husband.