Question about Homes for Rent in Maplewood

Searched previous threads but didn't see what I was looking for.  It seems there are very few, if any, homes for rent in Maplewood and I'm trying to understand why. I know when we first moved to Maplewood we would have considered renting but there was nothing available.  No demand? No supply? How are the tax laws for someone in New Jersey owning a second home as a rental property?  Any information about this topic or experience on either end of the rental agreement in Maplewood, please feel free to share. TIA


Not quite what you are looking for, but a couple'a thoughts.

I suspect many houses in Mpl were purchased for the school system....good place to graze the kids and so forth. When parents become empty nesters, those who choose to move, don't want the stress and aggravation of running a rental house from a distance.

It might be possible that a couple might want to "test" a move and rent their house for a year while they decide if they like where they are considering as a permanent move. But even then.... 2 or 3 months of a vacant house while searching for a tenant. Property tax --- $10 to 20K depending on the property. Owner would have to charge $2 - 4k per month to end up with a post income tax profit. It ain't worth it. Also, how many of the current apartment and house rentals in Mpl/so are going to be evicted for non-payment in the next few months?

Then, there's the potential for tenant damage. I posted this on M.O.L. a couple of years ago. I had to evict a tenant for non-payment. The bastids did $19k of damage before they moved out. Insurance paid for the damage but it was still stressful while the repairs took place.

No. Better to sell, than to rent.

I expect the tax laws for rentals and primary residences are equal.


FormerJJ raises several good points. I've owned rental properties in several different states over the years, but NJ is tough. As JJ pointed out, anything is going to be expensive with the property tax burden, even though you can charge enough rent to cover it. It's not unusual for a rental to be vacant for a couple months between tenants if work is needed, and that can be painful. 

Maintenance and repair costs are high in this area and workers are busy. It can be hard to schedule needed work during a vacancy window. I have had to postpone tenant move-ins because of this.

Other M/SO-specific factors are: (1) The age of the housing stock and the complexity of these beautiful old houses. If something goes wrong, it can go horribly wrong, and it can be really hard to deal with it remotely. (2) The climate - water in the basement, ice damage to the roof, tenants who don't shovel the sidewalk. If the heat goes out, it's a life-or-death emergency. That was the most stressful part for me - worrying all winter about what could go wrong.


Thanks for the information.  Good to know.  I was just considering the possibility in case the market is really low when it's time to move, wondering if it might be an option to hold on to it a little longer as a rental until the market recovers. It sounds like getting everything to fall into place could be tricky.


Oh, I forgot about the emergency repairs.

It was Christmas Eve, 2017. I was at my in-laws with family. At 6:00 p.m., my cell goes off..

"Sewage is backing up into the bath tub." 

Try to get someone to deal with that on Christmas Eve. Then it turns out to be a break in the sewer line in the middle of the street. Thanks to the god of all plumbing, I had insurance for the repair.


NJ is extremely tenant friendly, you can't just terminate a lease when it expires, you need 1 of about 15 legal reasons such as landlord is moving back in or tenant is violating lease....a lot of people don't want to deal with that.


LuvThisTown said:

Thanks for the information.  Good to know.  I was just considering the possibility in case the market is really low when it's time to move, wondering if it might be an option to hold on to it a little longer as a rental until the market recovers. It sounds like getting everything to fall into place could be tricky.

I didn't realize you had a house you were thinking about renting. I thought you were looking for rentals.

There's a ton of demand, at least at the lower end of the market where I hang out. I never had any trouble finding great tenants, possibly because I charge less than I could get and I welcome dogs. I got all of my tenants through word of mouth.

You don't have to lease the house for a full year. There are plenty of tenants who would rather not sign up for a full year. You can enter into a month-to-month rental agreement from the get-go. Staples sell the forms for both situations. About $18, but much better than the free/cheap forms online. If you do have a one-year lease, it turns into a month-to-month rental after the year expires. At that point, I believe you have the legal right to ask the tenant to leave with 30 days notice, but you should confirm that. 

In your situation, I would consider working with a realtor. They can network and find other realtors who have clients who need a short-term rental - waiting for their own place to sell before they can buy or whatever. The renter pays the fee, so no skin off your nose. It's kind of a chore for realtors and the money isn't that good for them - at least not when the market is good - so don't expect them to be thrilled about it. It's useful because they can run a credit check for you.


No, you DO NOT have the legal right to ask a tenant to leave when they are month to month in NJ, UNLESS they violate the lease or you or your immediate family are moving in or 1 of about a dozen other legal reasons (such as retiring it from housing).  and often more than 30 days is required.

there is a tenant handbook online.  i  think LSNJ publishes it.

https://www.lsnjlaw.org/publications/pages/manuals/tenantsrights.pdf

(starts on p 57)


jmitw said:

No, you DO NOT have the legal right to ask a tenant to leave when they are month to month in NJ, UNLESS they violate the lease or you or your immediate family are moving in or 1 of about a dozen other legal reasons (such as retiring it from housing).

there is a tenant handbook online.  i  think LSNJ publishes it.

There are different laws addressing apartment buildings vs. owner-occupied multifamily houses. I don't know which category a house would fall under. 

Even if you have to use the "Owner wants to live in the house" grounds for terminating a month-to-month rental agreement, the requirements aren't that onerous.

https://www.lsnjlaw.org/Publications/Pages/Manuals/TenantsRights.pdf


Update: Reading again, I see that a single-family house is covered by the eviction for cause law and you would need to use the "owner wants to live in the house" clause IF the tenant refuses to move out. But geez, pick your tenant carefully, make the terms of your arrangement clear, and you shouldn't have to go down that road. 


I forgot eviction for non-payment of rent. On one hand, it is quick. Landlord gets a hearing in a couple of weeks. This, however, may change with CV-19, tenant protection and keeping the sheriff officers away from the virus. You can hire a lawyer but it is not necessary.

Judge asks the tenant two questions. Do you owe the money? Can you pay it today? Both are yes or no questions.

O.t.o.h., you gotta go down there. You face the tenant who may be involved with problems worse than yours. You end up feeling ...... when you walk out of the court, even though you won and you were legally and morally right.

---- I just remembered a dialog in a case that preceded mine. I swear this one is true.

Judge: "Do you owe the money?'

Tenant: "Yes. But ask him about the damage from the fire in the hall that he didn't fix."

Judge to Landlord: "Is there damage to the property from a fire that you didn't repair?"

Landlord: "Yes. But he set the fire."

Judge to tenant: "Did you set the fire?"

Tenant: "Yes. Cause I was pissed at him."

Tenant lost the case.


A friend of mine had rental property in MSA.  He videotaped whole apartment together with tenant, showing that walls had no holes, etc..   When tenant moved out and left serious damage, he tried to withhold the security deposit.  He lost the case in court, despite the video.


jmitw said:

No, you DO NOT have the legal right to ask a tenant to leave when they are month to month in NJ, UNLESS they violate the lease or you or your immediate family are moving in or 1 of about a dozen other legal reasons (such as retiring it from housing).  and often more than 30 days is required.

there is a tenant handbook online.  i  think LSNJ publishes it.

https://www.lsnjlaw.org/publications/pages/manuals/tenantsrights.pdf

(starts on p 57)

 Actually, you do.


jmitw said:

No, you DO NOT have the legal right to ask a tenant to leave when they are month to month in NJ, UNLESS they violate the lease or you or your immediate family are moving in or 1 of about a dozen other legal reasons (such as retiring it from housing).  and often more than 30 days is required.

there is a tenant handbook online.  i  think LSNJ publishes it.

https://www.lsnjlaw.org/publications/pages/manuals/tenantsrights.pdf

(starts on p 57)

 I have been representing both Landlords and Tenants in Court for almost 50 years. jmitw is correct in what he/she said.

The Publication cited is put out by the State. There is a law requiring the State to prepare that handbook. Landlords are supposed to distribute to their tenants it but very few comply. Frankly some of the information in it is not 100% correct.

As to evicting a tenant because the owner has to move back in, first you have to give two months (don't call it 60 days) written Notice. Then if the tenant doesn't move you have to file an eviction with the Court and sometimes that takes longer than some posters suggest. There are ways for a savvy tenant to delay. Finally the Landlord has to really need to move back in and after the tenant leaves has to move back in. OTOH if you entire into a Contract to sell your house to someone who is buying it to live there the same law can be used to evict the tenant, but you need specific language in the Contract and there is a pitfall. You give the tenant Notice and they move and then the sale falls through. Now you are losing rent.

As to whether to hire a lawyer to prepare a Lease or use a website or a form bought from a store it's like the story I tell about the folks at Home Depot telling me I did not need a plumber and could replace the workings of an old toilet myself with the kit they sold me. So after following their advice and encountering something they never mentioned standing in the bathroom with my friendly neighborhood plumber he asked: "Why didn't you call me in the first place".


kthnry said:

jmitw said:

No, you DO NOT have the legal right to ask a tenant to leave when they are month to month in NJ, UNLESS they violate the lease or you or your immediate family are moving in or 1 of about a dozen other legal reasons (such as retiring it from housing).

there is a tenant handbook online.  i  think LSNJ publishes it.

There are different laws addressing apartment buildings vs. owner-occupied multifamily houses. I don't know which category a house would fall under. 

Even if you have to use the "Owner wants to live in the house" grounds for terminating a month-to-month rental agreement, the requirements aren't that onerous.

https://www.lsnjlaw.org/Publications/Pages/Manuals/TenantsRights.pdf

 but the issue is IF YOU DON'T have a legal reason...if you just find the tenant annoying or if you just want to let it sit empty, you can't kick them out.  you can't lie that you are moving in...if you get caught, you get in serious trouble.

it can be very hard to pick a tenant carefully, knew a guy that seemed great, worked in construction, retired due to cancer treatment, sold house on the bay to move north to be near hospital doing experimental treatment.  wife became alcoholic (wasn't before) and lost her job, money ran out, he stopped paying rent.

another was a fireman....who spent all his off time doing pot....but landlord did not know that ahead of time....fireman sounds like an upstanding type of person...there were other issues involving police...rent got paid though.

another who works in law enforcement, and would blast music late into the night on a regular basis..because that was his normal schedule to be active over night due to his work hours.....but he looked good on the rental application.


Steve said:

jmitw said:

No, you DO NOT have the legal right to ask a tenant to leave when they are month to month in NJ, UNLESS they violate the lease or you or your immediate family are moving in or 1 of about a dozen other legal reasons (such as retiring it from housing).  and often more than 30 days is required.

there is a tenant handbook online.  i  think LSNJ publishes it.

https://www.lsnjlaw.org/publications/pages/manuals/tenantsrights.pdf

(starts on p 57)

 Actually, you do.

 HUH?


Add to jmitw's horror stories something very simple. What if the fine upstanding tenant through no fault of his or her own gets laid off from work and can't pay the rent?

Now people rent out apartments and houses all the time without ever encountering any problem.

And plenty of folks have done their own plumbing repairs with kits from Home Depot.


In today's market, add the effects of the virus.  Someone gets laid off. You were expecting to collect the rent which he can't pay. Maybe you let them skate for a month or two.

Like Simon Properties mall operators asked Jersey City, is the town gonna let you skate on the property tax?


jmitw said:

Steve said:

jmitw said:

No, you DO NOT have the legal right to ask a tenant to leave when they are month to month in NJ, UNLESS they violate the lease or you or your immediate family are moving in or 1 of about a dozen other legal reasons (such as retiring it from housing).  and often more than 30 days is required.

there is a tenant handbook online.  i  think LSNJ publishes it.

https://www.lsnjlaw.org/publications/pages/manuals/tenantsrights.pdf

(starts on p 57)

 Actually, you do.

 HUH?

If you read the material at the link I posted, it would be clear that a landlord may terminate a month-to-month tenancy for no reason at all.  In particular, you should review 2A:18-53(a) and 56.


Steve said:

If you read the material at the link I posted, it would be clear that a landlord may terminate a month-to-month tenancy for no reason at all.  In particular, you should review 2A:18-53(a) and 56.

 You have misread the law. The Sections you cite apply only to commercial tenancies and owner-occupied buildings with not more than two rental units, that is two and three family houses where the owner lives in one of the units.

Please read N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1.

It's nice to find a thread with a subject which I actually know about.

Here you are:

https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-2a/section-2a-18-61.1/


STANV said:

 You have misread the law. The Sections you cite apply only to commercial tenancies and owner-occupied buildings with not more than two rental units, that is two and three family houses where the owner lives in one of the units.

Please read N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1.

It's nice to find a thread with a subject which I actually know about.

Here you are:

https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-2a/section-2a-18-61.1/

 Interesting.  Is the inability to write clearly and concisely a prerequisite to service in the legislature?


Steve said:

 Interesting.  Is the inability to write clearly and concisely a prerequisite to service in the legislature?

 No, but it definitely helps.

And there are worse examples. But the Section I cited arose from a 1974 Amendment. The Sections you were reading date from 1951 and I think codify even older law.


STANV said:

Steve said:

 Interesting.  Is the inability to write clearly and concisely a prerequisite to service in the legislature?

 No, but it definitely helps.

And there are worse examples. But the Section I cited arose from a 1974 Amendment. The Sections you were reading date from 1951 and I think codify even older law.

 Believe me, I know.  Have you ever read NYCRR Medicaid regulations?  Talk about impenetrable.


LuvThisTown said:

Searched previous threads but didn't see what I was looking for.  It seems there are very few, if any, homes for rent in Maplewood and I'm trying to understand why. I know when we first moved to Maplewood we would have considered renting but there was nothing available.  No demand? No supply? How are the tax laws for someone in New Jersey owning a second home as a rental property?  Any information about this topic or experience on either end of the rental agreement in Maplewood, please feel free to share. TIA

 Hi LuvThisTown-

Long shot, but I'd like to hear more about what/where you may be looking to rent. thanks.

Please PL me or message me on Facebook- if you're not on FB (I rarely am unless expecting msg), let me know. thank you and good luck.


Jerseyjack’s daughter here.  Our experience was worse than he wrote.

We had a two family house, each unit being 2 bed/1 bath, in Millburn that we rented for below market value.  We weren’t looking to get rich, and there was no mortgage to cover, so rent was $1,200 a month on each unit.  We rented to a divorced couple, they didn’t have to live together, and the kids could go upstairs to see mom, downstairs to see dad.  Since they were all one family any noise complaints would be worked out amongst themselves.  Perfect, right?  And for awhile it was.

Then the new husband of the 2nd floor lost his job.   Rent was reduced to $1,000 a month for that unit, but they still couldn’t pay.  They took in another adult, and made rent for awhile, but then their roomie lost their job.  They took in ANOTHER roomie, he lost his job.  So there are now four adults in the second floor apartment, and the can’t make rent.
Evicting the second floor was pretty straightforward, but the courts were backed up, and once we got the eviction notice the sheriff’s dept was backed up, so that took a couple of months.  Remember how the second floor and first floor were ex’s?  Yeah, well she convinced her ex to take in her, her new husband, and their two roommates.  First floor had been paying rent up to this point, but now with five adults and I can’t recall how many kids living in one apartment on one paycheck, they can no longer afford to cover the rent there, and we have to evict them from the first floor, another couple of months through the courts and then waiting on the sheriff’s office

We finally get them out and go to the house.  You could smell it from the street.  Because of the amount of damage the insurance company said we needed a police report.  Sgt and patrol show up, apparently patrol is new and being shown the ropes.  Sgt can smell the house from his car (it was seriously that bad) and tells patrol that he’ll sit this one out and patrol can do the report.  Can’t say I blame him   oh oh 

In addition to cheap rent, we also supplied a washer and dryer so tenants wouldn’t have to use the laundromat.  They stole the washing machine when they left.  Punched holes in walls.  Smashed windows.  Had taken the drain guard off the drain to the kitchen sink, jammed a t-shirt down the drain pipe, and put the drain cover back on.  Interior doors had holes in them, half of the doors were found in the basement.  The custom built-in table that my grandfather had installed had been torn off the wall, ruining the table and the plaster on the wall.  Rooms were spray painted.  They had a boxer, and apparently they never let the dog out.  Every single room was filled with dog feces and urine.  Trash pickup is included with property taxes, there is no separate bill so no excuse for not putting the trash out, but they were literally dumping household trash in the back yard.. Piles and piles of trash, food containers, rotting food, dirty diapers, you name it.

After they were gone, and the insurance company did repairs, we did find good tenants who appreciated that they had a nice place and good school system for cheap rent, and they did both take beautiful care of the place.   But the three of us (JJ, my sister, and myself) were just too traumatized from the year of hell we had dealt with, and basically wanted out from being landlords 

When my husband and I moved out of Maplewood someone asked me if I’d be interested in renting my home instead of selling it.  I said no f*cking way.




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