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As an Airbnb host, it’s important for you to understand your local laws. We provide a platform and marketplace, but we don’t provide legal advice. Even so, we want to share some info to help you understand laws and other rules that relate to short-term rentals in Jersey City. The information in this article isn’t exhaustive, but it should help you start your research on local laws. If you have questions, contact the Division of Housing Preservation, or your local Council member directly, or consult a local lawyer.
Short-term rental regulations
Chapter 255 of the Jersey City Code of Ordinance imposes restrictions on short-term rentals in Jersey City. This includes prohibiting short-term rentals operated by tenants and prohibiting short-term rentals in rent-controlled units. Owners who can share their primary residence—including up to two additional units in the building that they own and in which they live—but cannot share their home for more than 60 nights when they are not on site and must apply for a permit with the Division of Housing Preservation. The Division of Housing Preservation has published an FAQ with more information on these restrictions.
Short-term rental permits
Provided that your short-term rental is eligible under this ordinance, anyone who hosts short-term stays (fewer than 28 consecutive nights) in Jersey City is required to register their short-term rental with the City.
The permit application can be completed online, and it must be completed for every short-term rental—even if the short-term rental is owned by the same owner and/or the short-term rentals are in the same dwelling.
Applicants will be required to provide specific information, including:
- The street address, tax block and lot, and ward of the short-term rental.
- The personal contact information of the short-term rental owner, including name, address, email, and telephone number.
- If the owner of record is not a natural person, the names and personal contact information for all partners, officers, and/or directors of the owner entity.
- 7 day a week, 24-hour a day contact information for the short-term rental property Agent. Find out how this role is defined.
- 7 day a week, 24-hour a day contact information for the short-term rental property responsible party. Find out how this role is defined.
- The number and location of all parking spaces available to the short-term rental, including the number of legal off-street parking spaces and on-street parking spaces directly adjacent to the premises.
Applicants will also be required to specific documentation, including:
- Proof of the owner's current ownership of the short-term rental unit (ex: a tax bill).
- Proof of principal residence (ex: a driver’s license or State ID card).
- Copies of two (2) recent (less than 30 days old) utility bills.
- Proof of general liability insurance in a minimum amount of $500,000.
- Copy of the Bylaws, Master Deed, or other relevant governing document if the short-term rental is in a condominium or other association.
- Zoning Compliance Certificate, proof of no outstanding fines or penalties with Jersey City Municipal Court, and proof of no outstanding taxes, water and sewer charges. Find out how to obtain these documents.
- A completed Affidavit of Owner, Certification of STRP Agent, Certification of Responsible Party, and Notice to Transient Occupants. Get these forms now.
Applicants can review the full list of requirements for permit applications online.
In addition to submitting the permit application, applicants must pay a permit application fee, which is $250 for the initial application and $200 annually to renew the permit.
Short-term rentals will be subject to inspection before a permit will be issued.
Once the permit application is reviewed and all the necessary documents are verified, inspections for compliance with the city’s fire safety regulations and Property Maintenance Code will be coordinated and scheduled by Housing Code Enforcement and the Fire Official.
The Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 254 of the Jersey City Municipal Code, establishes minimum standards for the maintenance, appearance, condition, utilities, facilities, and occupancy of dwellings. Short-term rentals must meet these standards.
Upon satisfactory inspections, the permit will be issued within thirty (30) days.
Exemptions for existing short-term rentals
For a limited time, those who were operating a short-term rental prior to June 25, 2019 and are no longer eligible for a short-term rental permit under the ordinance will be able to maintain existing guest bookings until January 1, 2021—but will not be allowed to accept new bookings.
In the case of short-term rental operators who are tenants, they will be allowed to maintain existing bookings for the duration of their lease or until January 1, 2021, whichever occurs sooner.
Any short-term rental operator may be required to submit additional documentation if requested by the Division of Housing Preservation.
Other contracts and rules
As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.