🚪 NJ's cost of living doesn't help its ranking in a new report on rents

🚪 Northeast states take four of the bottom 10 spots

🚪 NJ renters are said to have limited legal protections in landlord disputes

Given New Jersey's high cost of living, which includes the amount of cash you'd have to put out just to rent a place to live, it may come as no surprise to you that New Jersey ranks as one of the worst states in the nation for renters in 2023, in a report released by the group ConsumerAffairs.

The analysis looked at eight factors to determine where renters are the best and worst off: rent as a percentage of income; median rent prices; cost-of-living index; average monthly electric bills; housing vacancy rates; renters insurance premiums; unemployment rates; and tenant-friendly laws and regulations.

Factors related to cost were given the most weight when determining a state's ranking.

renters map

The ConsumerAffairs analysis covers rented apartments, townhomes, houses, duplexes and mobile homes. Each factor was indexed against the “best” value among all 50 states.

Overall, New Jersey ranks as the 10th worst state for renters.

renters map2

Rent as a percentage of income was recorded at 30.9% in New Jersey. The report says the average monthly electric bill for renters is $116.24 for New Jersey renters.

"One of the biggest challenges to finding an affordable rental property in New Jersey is the state’s high cost of living. New Jersey also has some of the highest property taxes in the country, which can drive up rental prices even further," the analysis says.Landlord-tenant laws are heavily tilted in favor of landlords in the Garden State, according to the analysis."Renters may have limited legal protections in disputes with landlords, making it difficult to hold them accountable for issues such as poor maintenance or unsafe living conditions," it says.

According to a 2022 Out of Reach report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, New Jersey ranks as the seventh most expensive state for renting.

Despite the unpleasant rankings, reports suggest New Jersey is still appealing to wannabe renters. According to Rent., New Jersey experienced one of the highest into-state rental rates in the fourth quarter of 2022.

North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa are the best states for renters, according to the ConsumerAffairs analysis. The northeast states of New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut ranked among the bottom 10 with New Jersey.

According to the report, Florida renters put the highest percentage of their income toward rent (34.6%), while North Dakota and South Dakota renters put the lowest (25.1%).

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