I remember reading somewhere previously that landlords are required by law to have working ventilation in bathrooms for their properties. Unfortunately, I can't find where this is stated. Does anybody know where I might find this?

Also, if this requirement exists, does this requirement if my "landlord" is actually not legally a landlord at all but rather an innkeeper? Here's the relevant language from my housing contract (with Princeton University):

Relationship of Parties The relationship of the student and the University shall be that of a guest and an innkeeper, respectively, and nothing herein shall be construed to give the student any additional rights including, but not limited to, those of a tenant under a residential lease. The parties specifically agree that this agreement does not establish a landlord/tenant relationship and is not governed by NJSA 2A18-61.1 et seq. or NJSA 2A:18-53 et seq., commonly known as the New Jersey eviction laws.

  • 1
    Which university? Jun 12, 2018 at 2:49
  • @BlueDogRanch, does it matter from a legal standpoint? If not, I am reluctant to give it up. Jun 12, 2018 at 16:16
  • Yes, it matters. Public or private? Jun 12, 2018 at 17:32
  • @BlueDogRanch, I have the university stated in the question now Jun 12, 2018 at 19:35
  • Requirements like this are typically specified in housing codes, not landlord-tenant laws, so they apply to all residential properties regardless of who owns them or lives in them. Princeton's municipal codes may have something to say on the matter, though it's also possible that there is an exception for dormitory-style dwellings, student housing, or transient housing.
    – phoog
    Jun 12, 2018 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


It's in the housing code at 16-3A(g)(2):

(2) Bathrooms – Means of ventilation shall be provided for every bathroom or water closet. Such ventilation may be provided either by an easily operable window or skylight having an openable area of at least fifty percent of the minimum window area or minimum skylight area for the room as required in Section 16-3A(f)(1) of the Housing Code, or by mechanical ventilation directly to the exterior by an exhaust system capable of exhausting at least fifty cubic feet of air per minute. A means of providing an adequate amount of make-up air shall be provided. New or replacement mechanical ventilation systems shall be constructed in accordance with the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.

Source: http://clerkshq.com/default.ashx?clientsite=princeton-nj

(Notice that if your bathroom has a window, it probably complies with the code.)

  • My bathroom does not have a window. Jun 13, 2018 at 2:59
  • If my landlord/innkeeper is not fulfilling this, what recourse do I have? Jun 13, 2018 at 3:00
  • @Joshua the first course of action is always to ask the other party to correct the problem. If that is unsuccessful, you can look at your lease or other rental agreement to see what it says about the lessor's duty to maintain the premises and remedies for failure to do so. You might look into withholding rent, but since the agreement specifically says that they cannot evict you under the cited sections of NJ law, you should find out what it says about how they do intend to evict you if you stop paying rent. You can also pursue it as a customer service matter, e.g., threaten bad publicity.
    – phoog
    Jun 13, 2018 at 4:40
  • @Joshua you can also call the Bureau of Rental Housing Inspections to see if they consider this to fall under their jurisdiction. If not, perhaps they can offer advice.
    – phoog
    Jun 13, 2018 at 4:55
  • it is unfortunately impossible for me to withhold rent since the University is also the source of my income and they automatically pull the rent amount from my paycheck before giving me my money. Jun 13, 2018 at 14:35

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