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What protections must landlords provide tenants?

You recently heard of a string of crimes taking place in your New Jersey neighborhood, and you worry about your security. What obligations must your landlord uphold regarding your safety?

SFGATE breaks down measures that landlords owe their residents to keep them safe. Determine if your property owner does everything that she or he can for your peace of mind.

Fundamental security measures

At the least, landlords must provide key locks for outgoing doors, window locks, a working deadbolt lock for the front door and working interior and exterior light fixtures. You should also have a working smoke detector for each floor of your unit.

Advanced security measures

After covering the above basics, property owners may use their discretion when providing additional security. For instance, state law does not require your landlord to provide you with a private entrance or an alarm system. Legally, any advanced security features that your landlord implements must remain functional during your tenancy.


No matter if your neighborhood recently suffered a series of crimes, landlords must consistently protect their tenants from criminal activity. For instance, if any other tenants, tenant guests or employers pose a threat to others’ safety, the property owner must remove that person or report her or him to the police to keep others safe. Your landlord may have an obligation to evict tenants who engage in criminal activity on the property if such activity risks other tenants’ safety.

Common areas

All property sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, shared laundry and other common areas require proper lighting for tenant safety. Further, property owners must keep all common areas free of hazards such as broken glass or ice.