Skip to Content


New Jersey Law Enhances Responsibilities for Landlords of Domestic Violence Victims

By William Rodriguez, Esq. May 14, 2024 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

In a significant update to New Jersey’s “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” a recent amendment to Assembly Bill No. 3808 mandates additional protections for victims of domestic violence. Under this new law, when a court issues a temporary or permanent restraining order, the victim's landlord may have to change the locks of the victim’s apartment to enhance their safety.

Here’s what you need to know about the amended bill:

  1. Immediate Action Required by Landlords: Once a victim provides a notice to their landlord, the locks must be changed promptly. If the landlord fails to act within 48 hours, the victim has the right to change the locks themselves.
  2. Victim's Financial Responsibility: Initially, the cost of changing the locks falls on the victim. However, they can later seek reimbursement from the perpetrator of the domestic violence.
  3. Landlord Liability: After the locks are changed by the victim, the landlord is not responsible for any subsequent damages to the property or injuries to residents that might occur, during the 48 hours before the landlord receives the new key.

This amendment was introduced recognizing that the threat to a victim’s safety doesn't necessarily cease with the issuance of a restraining order. Especially when a former co-inhabitant still possesses a key, the risk remains significant. By allowing swift action to secure their residence, this law aims to prevent further danger to victims.

Besides enhancing protection for victims, this change introduces new considerations for landlords. They must now respond quickly to lock change requests and understand the implications of these new legal responsibilities.

This new amendment is a pivotal development in landlord-tenant relations, focusing on enhancing safety for domestic violence victims while outlining clear responsibilities for both parties. It strengthens protections for victims by specifying the steps landlords must take upon receiving a lock change notification, including the swift implementation of these changes. Additionally, it clarifies who bears the costs and the legal implications of these actions. While primarily aimed at safeguarding victims, this legislation also adjusts the legal landscape for landlords, who must now navigate these new requirements and potential legal complexities that could arise.



The information in this Client Alert is provided solely for information purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice on any specific matter and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular circumstances. Each legal matter is unique, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.






Schedule a Consultation


Griffin Alexander, P.C. Firm Logo

Main Office 415 Route 10
2nd Floor

Randolph, NJ 07869
Phone: 973-366-1188
Fax: 973-366-4848

Griffin Alexander, P.C. Griffin Alexander, P.C. - Firm Logo

East Brunswick Office 197 Route 18 South
Suite 3000, South Wing

East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Phone: 732-514-6601
Fax: 973-366-4848

Griffin Alexander, P.C. Griffin Alexander, P.C. - Firm Logo

Mount Laurel Office 309 Fellowship Road
East Gate Center, Suite 200

Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone: 856-533-2379
Fax: 973-366-4848

Griffin Alexander, P.C. Griffin Alexander, P.C. - Firm Logo

New York Office 11 Broadway
Suite 615

New York, NY 10004
Phone: 212-374-9790
Fax: 646-998-8029