Morristown Rent Leveling

The Rent Leveling Department oversees Morristown’s Rent Control program for rental units built before 1981. Rent Control applies to all non-exempt apartment buildings, multi-family homes AND to single-family homes and condominium units rented out in an owner’s absence.  Every owner of a unit subject to Rent Control must register with the Rent Leveling Department annually, and every time the tenancy changes.

As a landlord, prior to each new tenancy, you must submit a Residential Tenancy Change Application and a Fire Safety Certification form to obtain a Certificate of Habitability (CH) for each unit you are renting. In addition, the State of New Jersey requires Landlord Registration within 30 days of taking ownership of or creating new rental housing. Only owner-occupied, 2-unit buildings are exempt from Landlord Registration.

1 or 2 residential units, not owner-occupied must file Landlord Registration with the Municipal Clerk.

3 or more residential units - file Landlord Registration with the Bureau of Housing Inspections in the NJ Dept. of Community Affairs (DCA).  DCA will send a copy of the files statement to the Morristown Clerk for the public record.

The Rent Control Ordinance sets the formula for rent increases based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Each year the Rent Leveling Department determines the allowable increase.  Before changing rents, the landlord must give Rent Leveling and affected tenants 60 days’ notice.

Since 2005, Morristown’s Rent Control Ordinance has had a Decontrol/Re-control provision.  If a tenant voluntarily moves out, the landlord may negotiate the next rent at “market rate” which is whatever the next tenant is willing to pay.  From that time forward the new tenant is protected by Rent Control.

Landlords who intend to add new amenities to their property must apply to Rent Leveling for permission before they can pass along any Capital Improvement Surcharge in their tenants’ rent. Routine maintenance, regardless of scale or cost, is not grounds for a surcharge.

If you have questions about owning, managing or occupying a rent-controlled unit in Morristown; please call (973) 796-1942 to schedule a time to meet with the Rent Leveling Officer.

Rent Increase

The landlord must notify the Division of Rent Leveling and the tenant at least sixty (60) days before an increase.