For many students, Rutgers off-campus housing will be their first time living away from home and having to deal with responsibilities such as paying rent, maintaining a home, and adhering to rules in a lease. Many students and their parents have questions concerning their lease agreement, roommate responsibilities, issues with neighbors or co-tenants, problems with living conditions, etc. At the Law Office of Craig Rothenberg, based in New Brunswick, NJ, we assist students with a wide range of landlord tenant or other real estate issues to ensure that their rights as tenants are not violated. Here are some common questions students have about living off-campus at Rutgers.
What is Included in a Lease for Rutgers Off-Campus Housing?
Off-campus housing may be the first lease a student has to sign. Although landlords in New Brunswick may include special considerations for Rutgers students, most residential leases in New Jersey follow the same general outline:
- Identification of the Tenant and Landlord – The names of both signing parties.
- Identification of premises and occupants – The address of the property and the names of anyone else who will be living there.
- The Term of Tenancy – How long the tenant will be living at the property, usually either one year or month-to-month.
- Rent Payment Amount and Schedule – How much the tenant will be paying for rent and when the payments will be made.
- Security Deposit Terms – The amount of the security deposit the tenant will be paying and when they will get it back.
- Utilities – Which utilities the tenant will be responsible for paying and who to contact to set up payment.
- Specific Terms – Sections containing additional rules about what the tenant is and is not allowed or required to do, and anything the tenant must be aware of, including but not limited to:
- Whether pets are allowed.
- Whether smoking is allowed.
- Rules regarding excessive noise violations.
- Rules regarding underage alcohol or drug use.
- Grounds for Termination – The acknowledgment that the tenant will be removed if they break the terms of the lease.
- Final Signature – Including a note stating that the lease contains the entire agreement between the landlord and tenant.
What Resources Does Rutgers Provide for Off-Campus Housing?
The Rutgers University Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships website offers helpful resources for rental listings, tips and information about off-campus living, roommate listings, safety and security guides, and information about local ordinances in New Brunswick, Highland Park, Piscataway, and Edison.
Can I Be Evicted from Rutgers Off-Campus Housing?
College students living in off-campus housing at Rutgers University have the same rights as any other tenant when it comes to evictions, and they are subject to the same penalties. This means that a landlord can evict a Rutgers student if they have:
- Failed to pay rent.
- Been regularly late paying rent.
- Violated the terms of the lease (for example, smoking or keeping pets).
- Engaged in disorderly conduct.
- Damaged or destroyed property.
- Been convicted of drug or other criminal charges.
Can My Landlord Change the Locks and Kick Me Out?
No. Landlords must abide by the same laws and follow the same procedures when attempting to evict a college student as they would with any other tenant. This means that according to the New Jersey Anti-Eviction Act, landlords are not allowed to:
- Lock you out of your rental.
- Take your furniture, clothing, or other possessions.
- Shut off utilities to force you to move out.
- Use violence or threaten to use violence to get you to leave.
These actions are illegal. If you live in Rutgers off-campus housing and your landlord has locked you out or committed any other violations of your rights as a tenant, contact the Law Office of Craig Rothenberg in New Brunswick, NJ today.