Rental Inspections

*** IMPORTANT:  ATTENTION LANDLORDS***

The State of New Jersey enacted P.L. 2021, c.182 on July 22, 2022, requiring rental dwelling units constructed prior to January 1, 1978 to be inspected for lead-based paint hazards (unless otherwise exempt under the law).   Please carefully review these NEW requirements and resources at the bottom of the page. 

Overview

A Rental Housing Certificate of Occupancy inspection is required for all rental dwelling units whenever there is a change of occupancy and prior to occupancy of the unit.   Please allow two weeks for scheduling purposes, if that is not possible due to an unforeseen emergency, please contact our department at 856-488-7870 as soon as possible to make arrangements.
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If you do not wish to apply online you download and complete the Rental Unit Application for Occupancy and mail it or drop it off at the Municipal Building with a $65 check made out to Cherry Hill Township.  For rental properties that require lead-based paint inspections, there will be an additional $20 fee.  Please see below for more details. 

Drop Off or Mail To:

Cherry Hill Township Dept. of Community Development, 820 Mercer Street, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

 Please note:

  • TENANTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO MOVE IN UNTIL A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY IS ISSUED BY THE HOUSING INSPECTOR.
  • After the application and payment are received, the applicant will be contacted to schedule the Rental Inspection.  Download and review the Rental Unit Inspection Checklist so that the property can be properly prepared for the inspection.  This checklist is provided as a courtesy and is a summary of some of the requirements that will be checked during an inspection, however, this list is not all-inclusive and there may be other items which may fail a unit inspection. Please see Rental Inspection Ordinance of the Township’s General Regulations for a list of the State and Local codes from which this checklist is compiled.
  • If a unit fails inspection you must reapply for a new inspection and a new fee will be assessed.
  • All utilities must be turned on.
  • If a lock box is not available at the property, someone must meet the inspector at the time of inspection.  
  • The unit must be vacant for the inspection.  It will not be inspected while the current tenant occupies it.   Ample time must be provided between tenants in order to have the unit prepared and to pass inspection.
  • All rental units must pass the inspection prior to the tenant moving into the unit.  “AS IS” lease clauses are not applicable.  An inspection can be done if the unit is vacant and there is no tenant ready to move in, but the inspection is only valid for 90 days.  The Rental Housing Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued until the tenant’s name is provided along with a Continued Compliance Certification indicating that no material changes have been made to the rental unit since the time of inspection.  If the unit is not occupied within 90 days a new inspection will be required.
  • The Rental Housing Certificate of Occupancy will be issued in the name of the tenant and is valid only for the time that tenant occupies the rental unit.  Each time the unit is vacated the procedures for applying and scheduling an inspection prior to the incoming tenant taking possession of the unit must be followed.  

A. LANDLORD REGISTRATION 

A Landlord Registration form is required by N.J.S.A. 46:8-27 for all rental properties. Failure to register as a landlord and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for rental properties leaves landlords “unprotected” by NJ Statutes concerning Landlord/Tenant Disputes and is in violation of township requirements.  Any disagreements involving unregistered or rental properties that are not inspected may pose a legal challenge and liability to property owners. This form must be completed once for each rental property and updated within 30 days of any changes to the information on the form. 

Also, owners of all residential rental properties in New Jersey are required to annually provide proof of insurance to the municipality where they are located.  Specifically, as of November 3rd, 2022, landlords and business owners in New Jersey are required to carry at least $500,000 in liability insurance for deaths or bodily injuries that may occur at their properties.  For small, multifamily rental properties that are owner-occupied, the minimum liability insurance limit will be $300,000.  Fines of up to $5,000 may be levied against any owner who fails to comply with this Act.  Please see HERE for more details. 

B.  LEAD-BASED PAINT INSPECTIONS FOR RENTAL DWELLINGS


Public Law 2021, c 182 requires municipal periodic inspections for certain rental dwellings that were constructed prior to 1978 for the purpose of identifying lead-based paint hazards.  

Type and Frequency. In Cherry Hill, rental dwelling units falling under the scope of the statute shall be subject to a visual inspection within 2 years of the effective date of the law, or upon tenant turnover, whichever is earlier.  The inspection applies to all interior spaces within dwellings, including common areas, such as hallways and basements.  Thereafter, non-exempt units shall be inspected for lead-based paint hazards every 3 years, or upon tenant turnover, whichever is earlier.  However, an inspection upon tenant turnover is not required if the owner has a valid lead-safe certificate.  

Inspections.  The inspector will examine rental dwellings for deteriorated paint or visible surface dust, debris, or residue (such as peeling, chipping, or cracking paint).  If lead-based paint hazards are found during an inspection, the owner of the dwelling must remediate the hazard by interim controls or abatement.   Thereafter,  a dust wipe sampling must be conducted to ensure that there are no more lead-based paint hazards.   If it is determined that no lead-based paint hazards exist in a dwelling, a lead-safe certificate shall issue and be valid for a period of 2 years.   

Additional Fees. The Township will charge the dwelling owner a fee sufficient to cover the cost of inspections, currently $65 (plus any costs associated with dust sampling/testing, if needed).  In addition, the statute requires the Township to collect an additional $20 per unit inspection to be deposited in the State's Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund.   If the Landlord provides a copy of a valid Lead-Safe or Lead-Free Certification from a qualified agency at the time of application for a rental certificate of occupancy, the inspection fee will be $65 (the current fee).

Additional Resources.  
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has provided a Guide to identifying and addressing Lead-Based Paint hazards in Rental Dwellings. 

The DCA's list of current Lead Abatement Contractors and Lead Evaluation Contractors can be found at: Lead Abatement Contractors Lead Evaluation Contractors   Prior to engaging any Lead Abatement or Lead Evaluation firm, it is recommended that you contact DCA's Lead Hazard Abatement office at (609) 633-6224 to verify the contractor's certification status.

For more information about the new law, please go to the Department of Community Affairs webpage at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/resources/leadpaint.html


ADDITIONAL HOUSING RENTAL RESOURCES:

Rental Unit Inspection Checklist

Rental Unit Application for Occupancy (mail in or drop off applications only)

Continued Compliance Certification 

Rental Inspection Ordinance  

'Truth in Renting' NJ Department of Community Affairs Packet

Free Lead Hazard Reduction Services for Units occupied by low and moderate income persons.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our department by calling 856-488-7870.  

Please check back as this page will be periodically updated.