Township of Nutley, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nutley as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Consumer Protection Department — See Ch. 29.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 272.
Sanitary standards — See Ch. 555.
[Adopted 7-17-1973 by Ord. No. 1783; reenacted 11-25-1975 by Ord. No. 1862 (Ch. 180, Art. I, of the 1978 Code)]

§ 532-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANNIVERSARY DATE
In the case of premises occupied under a written lease having a stated term of at least one year, the day next following the expiration date specified in the lease; and in all other cases, the first day of any month which shall be at least 12 months after the date the rent for the premises was last increased.
BASIC RENT
The legally allowable rent from time to time in accordance with the provisions of this article without regard to any tax surcharge.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
Improvement which permanently enhances the rental value of the rental unit by way of substantial addition to or changes in the existing building and which are neither repairs which merely maintain the building in an efficient operation condition, nor replacement of fixtures, major appliances and other items which do not appreciably prolong the life or improve the condition of the building.
[Added 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2092]
HOUSING SPACE
Units of dwelling space in multiple dwellings rented or offered for rent and available for rent to tenants.
IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING ANNIVERSARY DATE
In the case of premises occupied under a written lease having a stated term of at least one year, the date the lease commenced; and in all other cases, the first day of the month one year prior to the anniversary date.
LANDLORD
An owner, lessor, sublessor or any other person entitled to receive rent for the use and occupancy of any housing space or an agent or occupant of any housing space or an agent or successor of any of the foregoing.
[Added 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2092]
MULTIPLE DWELLING
Any building or structure or portion thereof and any land appurtenant of four or more dwelling units, the tenant or tenants of each of which dwelling unit lives or live independently of each other.
NOTICE
Written notice to tenant or landlord which is mailed to the tenant's residence or the landlord's address, as set forth in the registration form by ordinary mail and with adequate proof of service stating that notice to the tenant or landlord was mailed.
[Added 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2092]
PERIODIC TENANT
Any month-to-month tenant or any tenant at will or sufferance, or any tenant having a lease for a term of less than one year.
[Added 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2092]
TENANT
A tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee or any other person entitled under the terms of a housing agreement to the use or occupancy of any housing space.
[Added 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2092]
UNIT OF DWELLING SPACE or DWELLING UNIT
Any room or rooms, suite, flat or apartment, whether furnished or unfurnished, which is occupied or intended, arranged or designed to be occupied for sleeping or dwelling purposes by one or more persons, together with all privileges, services, furnishing, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy thereof; specifically exempted from this article, however, is any room or combination of rooms in a motel, hotel or similar establishment renting lodgings to transients.

§ 532-2 When increase allowed; allowable percentage increase.

[Amended 4-15-1980 by Ord. No. 2001; 1-16-1996 by Ord. No. 2474]
A. 
Increase in rents between a landlord and a tenant to whom this article is applicable shall hereafter be determined by the provisions of this article.
B. 
From and after January 1, 1975, except as otherwise provided herein, no landlord shall be allowed a rent increase at any time other than at an anniversary date.
C. 
At an anniversary date, a landlord may claim an increase in basic rent. The allowable percentage increase in basic rent shall be not greater than a percentage increase in rent equal to the percentage obtained by multiplying 0.41667 by the number of months elapsed between the anniversary date and the immediately prior anniversary date percent (i.e., 5% for a period of 12 months). In cases where the tenant pays the expenses for heat, the allowable percentage increase shall be reduced by 20%, (i.e., 4% for a period of 12 months).

§ 532-3 Unauthorized increase voidable.

Any rental increase in excess of that authorized by the provisions of this article shall be void.

§ 532-4 Notification to tenants.

Any landlord seeking an increase in rent shall notify the tenant by certified mail, or by obtaining a signed receipt from the tenant, of the calculations involved in computing the increase.

§ 532-5 Hardship rent increase.

[Amended 12-4-1979 by Ord. No. 1997; 4-15-1980 by Ord. No. 2001; 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2092; 1-2-1991 by Ord. No. 2344; 7-19-1994 by Ord. No. 2432; 3-5-2013 by Ord. No. 3228]
A. 
Grant of hardship rent increase.
(1) 
An owner or landlord may make an application to the Rent Leveling Board (the "Board") for increased rents in a building based on economic hardship relating to that building if the landlord is qualified under Subsection A(2) below wherein the landlord is unable to realize a seven-percent return on investment.
(2) 
For purposes of this section, a return on investment shall be calculated based on 7% of the total equalized value of land and improvements (as per the county equalization ratio) after accounting for income and allowable expenses.
(3) 
In computing a rental increase or rebate as provided under this article, the amount so computed shall be rounded off to the nearest dollar.
(4) 
A landlord shall be limited to allowance of one hardship rental increase within any twelve-month period.
(5) 
The Board shall consider the following expenses in determining whether a hardship increase is warranted:
(a) 
Heating.
(b) 
Insurance.
(c) 
Taxes.
(d) 
Water.
(e) 
Repairs.
(f) 
Reasonable management fees not to exceed 5%.
(g) 
Miscellaneous: any and all other expenses deemed by the Board to be reasonable and appropriate.
(6) 
Financing shall not be considered an expense for the purpose of calculating a hardship.
(7) 
Any hardship increase granted pursuant to this section shall be included and become part of the base rent for any future charges or rent increases.
(8) 
No increase in rent, including any increase permitted under § 532-2C shall exceed 15% of the present rent at one time. A hardship increase in excess of 15% shall be held in abeyance and implemented in six-month increments until such times as the entire hardship increase is fully established.
B. 
Application for hardship relief.
(1) 
An original application plus 11 additional copies and all attachments for a hardship rent increase pursuant to this section and which shall be on a form specified by the Board must be filed with the Municipal Clerk no less than 30 days prior to a scheduled Rent Leveling Board meeting.
(2) 
The following information must be filed along with the application:
(a) 
A current rent roll which lists the gross rental income for each unit in the building for the current year and for each of the two prior years.
(b) 
A detailed operating statement, prepared by a licensed accountant and certified to be true and accurate for the current year and for each of the two prior years.
(c) 
A report detailing the anticipated income for the period of relief, taking into account all automatic or discretionary rental increases. Anticipated income shall include, but not be limited to, income from residential rents, garage rents, parking fees, pet fees, and fees for additional facilities such as laundry and vending income.
(d) 
Any and all other documents or evidence that the applicant intends to rely upon and that will assist the Board in evaluating the landlord's application.
(e) 
Proof that all federal and state taxes are paid.
(f) 
Certification by the Township's Code Official that the premises are in compliance with all construction, dwelling and maintenance codes.
(g) 
Certification by the Township's Tax Collector that all property taxes and municipal utility charges and fees are paid and current.
(h) 
Application fee of $100 payable to the Township of Nutley.
(3) 
Wherever practicable, the Board may require professionally prepared documentation of any or all pertinent financial data offered in support of an application under this section, except that the Board may exercise its reasonable discretion to waive this requirement if the cost to the applicant, or other considerations, are deemed to outweigh the need and/or probative value for such professional services.
(4) 
If the applicant meets all of the requirements of this section, the application will be deemed complete, and the landlord shall be notified in writing by regular mail of a scheduled date for a hearing which shall be held no later than 60 days (unless further extension is consented to by the applicant) after the application is deemed complete by the Chairman of the Board or his/her designee.
(5) 
Notification of hearing.
(a) 
The landlord shall notify all affected tenants in writing of the hearing date no less than 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing. In order for the notice to be deemed adequate, it must specify the following:
[1] 
The date, time and location of the hearing.
[2] 
The purpose of the hearing, the amount of the increase sought and, if approved, the amount apportioned to each tenant.
[3] 
The tenant's right to be heard.
[4] 
Notice that the application and all attendant documents are available for review at the Municipal Clerk's office during regular business hours.
(b) 
If the Board deems, in its sound discretion, that the affected tenants were not provided with adequate notice, the Board may postpone the hearing and direct the landlord to provide proper notice before proceeding on the application or dismiss the application without prejudice. The landlord shall file with the Board, no later than the hearing date, a copy of the notice provided to the tenants along with proof of service. Proof of service can be made by affidavit of a process server, the landlord or the landlord's designee. If service was performed via certified mail, submission of the green cards to the Board shall suffice.
C. 
Hearing requirements; preponderance of the evidence.
(1) 
At a hearing, the landlord shall be required to prove the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
(a) 
Compliance with all notice requirements.
(b) 
That accounting practices employed by the landlord to calculate operating expenses and that any and all financial statements or documents submitted for evidentiary purposes are in accordance with standard accounting practices and consistent with Internal Revenue Service codes and regulations.
(c) 
That all reasonable attempts have been made by the landlord to reduce or eliminate, where possible, any source of hardship giving rise to the application.
(2) 
The Board shall receive and consider any and all proofs that in its sound discretion it deems relevant to its deliberations. The Board shall hear and judge each application impartially and on its own merits without deference to separate and unrelated cases that have no bearing on the equality of treatment for each and every applicant.
(3) 
The Board may require the testimony of any witness it deems necessary to properly conduct its deliberations in order to reach a decision. Those witnesses may include but are not limited to the landlord, accountants, lawyers, financial advisors, managing agents and/or insurance professionals.
(4) 
The Board shall hear and consider affected tenants who may wish to appear and give testimony in support or opposition to the application or those who submit written letters of support or opposition as they pertain to the application.
D. 
Escrow fees.
(1) 
If the Board in its sound discretion deems it necessary, the landlord shall deposit with the Township Tax Collector such escrow funds as the Board in its judgment determines to be sufficient to pay all reasonable and necessary costs and fees of any expert(s) the Board deems appropriate to hear an application. In no event shall the required deposit for such escrow funds exceed $1,500. The landlord shall also be required to sign an acknowledgement and acceptance of possible escrow funds at the time the application for hardship relief is filed with the Township Clerk.
(2) 
Any expert employed by the Board shall be required to sign a retainer agreement with the Board wherein it shall agree to provide all such expert services for either a set fee or hourly fee to be established by the Board. The retainer agreement must include a cap on all charges to be submitted which shall not exceed the amount of money that the landlord is required to pay into escrow.
(3) 
The professional expert(s) shall submit vouchers for all reasonable and necessary fees for the professional services rendered, which fees shall be paid from the escrow account in the manner prescribed by N.J.S.A. 40A:5-16 through 40A:5-18.
(4) 
The expert(s) shall, at the time of submission of any such voucher, forward a copy of same to the applicant and to the Board. In the event that the applicant objects or disputes the reasonableness of any such charges, the applicant shall, not later than five days after receipt of a copy of the voucher, submit a written objection to the Board. In no event shall the Board authorize payment of any such voucher without written notice to the landlord. If the Board determines that such payment is warranted, the Board shall advise the landlord of same and invite the landlord to appear at the next regularly scheduled meeting to discuss the voucher. The Board shall also invite the expert who submitted the voucher to offer testimony in support of the voucher. If the Board, at that time, determines the payment to be reasonable and fair, it shall authorize and direct the payment to be made to the expert.
(5) 
Any remaining money held in escrow shall be returned to the applicant as soon as practicably possible after completion of the application.
(6) 
Should any additional funds be required so that the Board may properly complete its deliberations, it may in its discretion require said additional funds to be paid by the landlord to the Tax Collector to be deposited in the escrow account, provided the sum total of the deposits do not exceed the amount set forth in Subsection D(1) above.
(7) 
If, in the discretion of the Board, the aforementioned escrow account is deemed necessary for the consideration of any such application(s), the Board shall take no formal action on any application unless and until all escrow funds have been deposited with the Tax Collector of the Township in the amount determined by the Board, and any time limitations set forth in this chapter shall be tolled until such funds are deposited.

§ 532-6 Termination of occupancy by tenant; increase in basic rent.

[Amended 12-4-1979 by Ord. No. 1997; 4-15-1980 by Ord. No. 2001; 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2091; 12-29-1982 by Ord. No. 2098; 12-3-1986 by Ord. No. 2178]
A. 
Vacancy increase. Upon the voluntary uncoerced vacancy of a rental unit by a tenant, which vacancy shall include a legal eviction, the landlord shall have the right to fix the rent for such vacated rental unit at such sum as he/she deems appropriate. Once such a rental unit has been rented, it shall immediately be subject to all of the other terms and provisions of this article, including but not limited to maximum amounts of increases or rent thereafter, unless and until it shall again become vacant as provided in this section.
[Amended 11-22-1988 by Ord. No. 2251; 1-16-2007 by Ord. No. 3000]
B. 
Filing of information.
(1) 
The landlord of a multiple dwelling subject to the provisions of this article shall file with the Rent Leveling Board and the Construction Code Official not later than December 31, 1988, and each December 31 thereafter, a statement which shall set forth the following:
[Amended 11-22-1988 by Ord. No. 2251]
(a) 
The name and business address of the landlord.
(b) 
The street address of the multiple dwelling.
(c) 
The apartment number, floor designation or other information adequate to identify the dwelling as to which the report is submitted.
(d) 
The rent in effect as of December 1, 1988, and each December 1 thereafter, and the effective date thereof.
(2) 
The landlord of a multiple dwelling subject to the provisions of this article shall file with the Rent Leveling Board not later than 30 days after an increase in rent after December 31, 1986, shall become effective or the initial rent for a dwelling unit shall be established a statement which shall set forth the following:
(a) 
The name and business address of the landlord.
(b) 
The street address of the multiple dwelling.
(c) 
The apartment number, floor designation or other information adequate to identify the dwelling unit as to which the report is submitted.
(d) 
The old rent.
(e) 
The new rent.
(f) 
The effective date of the increase.
(g) 
The termination date of any written lease covering the dwelling unit as of the effective date of the increase.
(3) 
The Rent Leveling Board shall file with the Board of Commissioners and the Township Attorney, no later than February 15 of the subsequent calendar year, a certified list of the names and addresses of all landlords within the Township and shall specify therein as to each landlord whether or not there is compliance with Subsection B(1).
[Added 11-22-1988 by Ord. No. 2251]
C. 
Certificate of occupancy for vacated unit.
(1) 
Upon the vacation of any unit of dwelling space or dwelling unit (hereinafter referred to as "vacated unit"), if the landlord intends to rent or lease all or any part of a vacated unit, the landlord must apply to the Construction Official for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. The application must be on such form and provide such information as may be required by the Construction Official. The application must be filed with the Construction Official no later than 15 days next following the date on which the owner of any vacated unit executes or otherwise enters into a housing space agreement or occupies a vacant unit by a tenant or other occupant, whichever is sooner.
(2) 
A vacated unit may be leased and occupied pending the completion of the procedures set forth in this section. If any inspection or reinspection is not made by the Construction Official and neither a certificate of occupancy nor a temporary certificate of occupancy is issued to the landlord within the time periods as set forth in this section, the vacated unit may not continue to be leased and occupied.
(3) 
The Construction Code personnel shall make an inspection of the vacated unit for the purpose of determining the conditions of the vacated unit in order that Construction Code personnel may perform their duties of safekeeping the health and safety of the occupants of residential rental units. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for a vacated unit unless the condition of the vacated unit and the dwelling complies with all of the laws of the Township, county, state and federal governments now in existence or hereafter enacted pertaining to building, plumbing, electrical, zoning, health, safety, fire and minimum housing standards and all department regulations established pursuant to said ordinances or laws.
(4) 
The Construction Official and/or his duly authorized agents and representatives will conduct an inspection of the vacated unit within 30 days of the filing of the application. Any reinspection as provided in this article will be made no later than 15 days following the date that the Construction Official is given written notice by the applicant that the violations cited have been abated.
(5) 
The minimum application fee for each inspection of a vacated unit will be $25. The fee for each reinspection will be $15, per inspection. The minimum application fee will be due and payable by the landlord at the time the application is made, and a reinspection fee will be payable by the landlord at the time each reinspection is requested.
[Amended 4-4-1989 by Ord. No. 2267]
(6) 
The landlord and tenant shall make or permit to be made all inspections required under this section. The Construction Official is authorized to enter any dwelling or housing space as provided in provisions of this section. Such entry may be made at all reasonable times, including, without limitation, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on any business day. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse such access or to impede, hinder or interfere with any official in the proper performance of his or her duty.
(7) 
Upon the inspection of any vacated unit, the Construction Official may cause to be issued a certificate of occupancy or, if violations exist, a temporary certificate of occupancy conditioned upon the landlord's remedying any conditions which violate the standards within a reasonable period of time as determined by the Construction Official. Upon abatement of the violations by a landlord, the Construction Official will issue a certificate of occupancy. Notice of any violations as a result of an inspection or reinspection shall be in accordance with the applicable laws.
(8) 
If the landlord fails to remedy any violations within the time prescribed by the Construction Official, the landlord shall be liable for a fine of no more than $100 per day for each violation until the violation is abated.
[Amended 4-4-1989 by Ord. No. 2267]
(9) 
If a tenant or other occupant of a vacated unit fail to cooperate with the Construction Official in allowing an inspection of the premises, the tenant or other occupant may be liable for a fine not to exceed $50 per day.
[Amended 4-4-1989 by Ord. No. 2267]
(10) 
The certificate of occupancy shall remain in effect for so long as the occupant of the vacated unit for which said certificate has been issued remains unchanged.
(11) 
If, subsequent to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the Construction Official has cause to believe a violation of any applicable law may exist, an inspection shall be made of the housing space and dwelling. If violations are found to exist and the cited violations are not abated within the designated time period, the certificate of occupancy may be changed to a temporary certificate of occupancy or revoked by the Construction Official by written notice to the landlord and the tenant.
(12) 
Written notice of any violation shall be served upon the landlord or landlord's agents and representatives and the tenant in accordance with the terms of this article.
(13) 
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Construction Official under this section may appeal such decision to the Construction Board of Appeals in accordance with the procedural requirements of this article.
(14) 
If the landlord fails to comply with the provisions of this section and the tenant is required to relocate or the Township is subsequently required to relocate the tenant from the housing space, the landlord will be liable for all costs of relocation and shall further be liable for any payment the Township may be required to make to relocate the tenant under the applicable laws of the State of New Jersey or the United States of America.
D. 
Relocation rights.
[Amended 12-29-1989 by Ord. No. 2303]
(1) 
Tenants shall be entitled to move to a vacated unit within the same apartment complex.
(2) 
Rent at the new location.
(a) 
The rent payable for the new unit shall be the same as charged for such unit prior to relocation, provided that such rent is equal to or greater than the rent charged to the relocating tenant at the existing unit (the unit from which the tenant is relocating).
(b) 
In the event that, prior to relocation, the rent charged at the new unit is less than the rent charged to the tenant at the existing unit, the rent payable for the new unit may be increased to the existing unit level.
(c) 
No vacancy increases shall be allowed, but rent may be increased as set forth in Subsection D(2)(b) above and as may otherwise be permissible under §§ 532-2 and 532-5.
(3) 
The relocating tenant shall pay the landlord the sum of $100 per room and $50 per bathroom in the vacated unit as a relocation fee in consideration of the special costs resulting to the landlord from the relocation.
(4) 
The relocating tenant's former apartment shall be the unit subject to the provisions of § 532-6A.
(5) 
The landlord shall be required to display at the conspicuous location in the complex for not less than 10 days' notice of any apartment available for tenant relocation.
(6) 
A tenant's right to claim relocation shall expire if such claim is not made within the ten-day notice-of-availability period.
(7) 
In recognition of the fact that persons of advanced years or having physical disabilities have special housing needs, persons so qualified shall have first claim for relocation to a vacated unit.
(8) 
In the event that there shall be two or more persons with equal standing to claim relocation to a vacated unit, the landlord, exercising reasonable discretion in a nondiscriminatory manner, shall select the tenant entitled.

§ 532-7 Rent Leveling Board created.

[Amended 12-6-1977 by Ord. No. 1923; 11-22-1988 by Ord. No. 2251]
There is hereby created a Rent Leveling Board within the Township of Nutley. Said Board shall consist of seven regular members and two alternate members to act in turn or concurrently, as the case may be, in the event of absence or disqualification of one or more regular members. The members of said Board shall be appointed by the governing body, and their terms of office shall be for three-year periods, with each member serving without compensation.

§ 532-8 Powers of Board.

A. 
The Rent Leveling Board shall have and exercise the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purpose of this article, including but not limited to the following:
(1) 
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as deemed necessary to implement the purposes of this article, which rules and regulations shall have the force of law until revised, repealed or amended from time to time by the Board in the exercise of its discretion, provided that such rules are filed with the Township Clerk.
(2) 
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants to help them comply with the provisions of this article.
(3) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords for additional rental as herein provided.
(4) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from tenants for reduced rental as herein provided.
(5) 
To assist in the settlement of problems or general complaints that arise out of the landlord and tenant relationship.
(6) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate appeals from decisions of the office of the Mayor with respect to the municipal functions of administering the Senior Citizen and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act; to charge a fee of $100 for each appeal, to be paid by the party initiating the appeal.
[Added 1-5-1982 by Ord. No. 2068]
B. 
The Board shall give both landlord and tenants reasonable opportunity to be heard before it making any determination.
C. 
No complaint by a tenant shall be filed with the Board regarding a claim for deprivation of services involving matters of habitability, which may properly fall within the jurisdiction of the Public Health Department, or matters of property maintenance, which may properly fall within the jurisdiction of the Construction Official, unless such matters shall remain unresolved 10 days after the tenant shall have filed a written complaint as to such matters with either, or both, the Public Health Department or Construction Official.
[Added 12-29-1989 by Ord. No. 2303]

§ 532-9 Continuance of standards of service and maintenance.

During the term of this article, the landlord shall continue the same standards of service and maintenance and shall provide the same furniture, furnishings and equipment as he provided or was required by law to provide prior to the enactment of this article.

§ 532-10 Initial rent of housing space unrestricted.

The owner of multiple-dwelling housing space being rented for the first time shall not be restricted in the initial rent he charges; any subsequent rental increase, however, shall be subject to the provisions of this article.

§ 532-11 Real estate tax rebates or reductions.

[Added 9-21-1982 by Ord. No. 2090; amended 9-18-1984 by Ord. No. 2128]
In the event that a landlord perfects a successful tax appeal, the tenant shall receive 75% of all reductions as applied pro rata to the tenant's living space so leased, after deducting all reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord in perfecting the tax appeal. The landlord shall file with the Rent Leveling Board within 30 days after such reduction in rent becomes effective or within 120 days of receipt of a judgment on a tax appeal favorable to the landlord, whichever occurs first, a statement containing the information set forth in § 532-6B(2), except such information shall be applicable to a reduction in rent. This section shall be retroactive to September 21, 1982. In the event that a landlord shall have paid a reduction of rent to any tenants hereunder from September 21, 1982, to the date that this section becomes effective, the landlord shall be entitled to a pro rata rent increase to be paid over a period of 12 months.
A. 
For purposes of this section, a reduction for any year shall be calculated without regard to the actual change in amount of tax for any prior year and shall mean the difference between the amount of the preappeal assessed value multiplied by the current rate and the amount of the reduced assessed value multiplied by the current rate.
[Added 12-3-1986 by Ord. No. 2178]
B. 
The landlord shall be required to notify each tenant of the amount of the rebate to be paid to each tenant and the date upon which it will be delivered.
[Added 12-3-1986 by Ord. No. 2178]
C. 
The tenant shall receive the rebate for the tax year for which it is granted and for any year thereafter for which the assessment shall remain unchanged.
[Added 12-3-1986 by Ord. No. 2178]
D. 
For tax years after 1990, this section shall apply only to years for which an election in accordance with § 532-5B(2) is applicable.
[Added 1-2-1991 by Ord. No. 2344]

§ 532-12 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 5-15-1979 by Ord. No. 1973]
A willful violation of any provisions of this article, including but not limited to the willful filing with the Rent Leveling Board of any material misstatement of fact, or a willful failure to file any report required by this article, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. A violation affecting more than one leasehold shall be considered a separate violation as to each leasehold.

§ 532-13 Liberal construction of provisions.

This article, being necessary for the welfare of the community and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.

§ 532-14 When effective; termination of provisions.

[Last amended 1-20-2015 by Ord. No. 3302]
This article is to take effect immediately upon passage and publication as required by law, shall apply retroactively to December 31, 2001, to the extent allowed by law, and shall remain in full force and effect until December 31, 2020; and shall automatically terminate and be of no force and effect after such date unless specifically extended by ordinance enacted in the manner prescribed by law.
[Adopted 11-26-1985 by Ord. No. 2153 (Ch. 180, Art. II, of the 1978 Code)]

§ 532-15 Legislative findings and declarations.

A. 
The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nutley has determined that the forced eviction and relocation of elderly persons from their homes and communities harms the mental and physical health of these senior citizens and that these disruptions in the lives of older persons affect adversely the social, economic and cultural characteristics of the Township of Nutley and that these conditions are particularly serious in light of the rising costs of home ownership and are of increasing concern where rental housing is converted into condominiums or cooperatives for which senior citizens on fixed incomes cannot afford the associated costs, and the Board of Commissioners declares that it is in the public interest of the Township of Nutley to avoid forced eviction and relocation of senior citizen tenants under the aforesaid circumstances, concerning the conversion of rental housing into condominiums or cooperatives.
B. 
The Board of Commissioners further declares that it is in the public interest of the Township of Nutley to avoid forced evictions and the displacement of the handicapped whenever possible because of their limited mobility and the limited number of housing units which are suitable for their needs.
C. 
The Board of Commissioners declares that, in the service of this public interest, it is appropriate that qualified senior citizen tenants and disabled tenants be accorded a period of protected tenancy, during which they shall be entitled to the fair enjoyment of the dwelling unit within the converted residential structure to continue for such time as provided by law.
D. 
The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Nutley finds that it is appropriate to have an additional administrative agency to act as an appeal agency for any person aggrieved by the decision of the Municipal Clerk.

§ 532-16 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF CONVERSION
An application for registration filed with the Department of Community Affairs in accordance with the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act, P.L. 1977, c. 419 (N.J.S.A. 45:22A-21 et seq.).
CONVERSION RECORDING
The recording with the appropriate county officer of a master deed for condominium or a deed to a cooperative corporation for a cooperative or the first deed of sale to a purchaser of an individual unit for a planned residential development or separable fee-simple ownership of the dwelling units.
CONVERT
To convert one or more buildings or structures or a mobile home park containing in the aggregate not less than five dwelling units or mobile homes, etc., or pads from residential rental use to condominium, cooperative, planned residential development or separable fee simple ownership of the dwelling units or of the mobile home sites or pads.
DISABLED TENANT
A person who is, on the date of the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of which he is a tenant, totally and permanently unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, including blindness, provided that the building or structure has been the principal residence of the disabled tenant for the two years immediately preceding the conversion recording. For purposes of this subsection, "blindness" means central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. An eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20° shall be considered as having central visual acuity of 20/200 or less.
PROTECTED TENANCY PERIOD
Except as otherwise provided by § 532-20 herein, the 40 years following conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant.
REGISTRATION OF CONVERSION
An approval of any application for registration by the Department of Community Affairs in accordance with the "Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L. 1977, c. 419 (N.J.S.A. 45:22A-21 et seq.).
SENIOR CITIZEN TENANT
A person who is at least 62 years of age on the date of the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of which he is a tenant, or the surviving spouse of such a person if the person should die after the owner files the conversion recording, provided that the building or structure has been the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or the spouse for two years immediately preceding the conversion recording or the death, as the case may be.
TENANT'S ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME
The total income from all sources during the last full calendar year for all members of the household who reside in the dwelling unit at the time the tenant applies for protected tenant status, whether or not such income is subject to taxation by any taxing authority.
THE ACT
The "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L. 1974, c. 49, and P.L. 1975, c. 311, and the amending and supplementing legislation Chapter 226 of the Laws of 1981.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.

§ 532-17 Notice required for conversion filing.

The owner of any building or structure who seeks to convert any premises shall, prior to his filing of the application for registration of conversion with the Department of Community Affairs, notify the Municipal Clerk of his intention to so file.

§ 532-18 Conversion filing procedure.

A. 
The owner of the building or structure seeking the conversion shall supply the Municipal Clerk with a list of every tenant residing on the premises, with stamped envelopes addressed to each tenant and with sufficient copies of the notice to tenants and the application form for protected tenancy status. The owner of a building or structure seeking the conversion shall pay to the Township of Nutley, along with the other required documents, the sum of $35 per unit to be converted. Within 10 days thereafter, the Municipal Clerk shall notify each tenant in writing of the owner's intention and of the applicability of the Act. Said notice shall require the tenant to submit the application for protected tenancy status within 60 days after the mailing date by the Municipal Clerk.
B. 
No later than 30 days thereafter, the Municipal Clerk shall make a determination of eligibility of each application received. Notice of eligibility shall be sent to each senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant who:
(1) 
Applied therefor on or before the date of registration of conversion by the Department of Community Affairs.
(2) 
Qualifies as an eligible senior citizen or disabled tenant pursuant to the Act.
(3) 
Has an annual household income that does not exceed an amount equal to three times the county per capita personal income as last reported by the Department of Labor and Industry on the basis of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
(4) 
Has occupied the premises as his/her principal residence for the past two years.
C. 
The Municipal Clerk shall likewise send a notice of denial with reasons to any tenant who is determined to be ineligible after reviewing the foregoing factors and provisions which shall be used as a criterion for eligibility. The owner shall be notified of those tenants who are determined to be eligible and ineligible.

§ 532-19 Applicability of protected tenancy status.

Protected tenancy status shall not be applicable to any eligible tenant until such time as the owner has filed his conversion recording. The protected tenancy status shall automatically apply as soon as a tenant receives notice of eligibility and the landlord files his conversion recording.

§ 532-20 Termination of protected tenancy status.

A. 
The Municipal Clerk shall terminate the protected tenancy status immediately upon finding that:
(1) 
The dwelling unit is no longer the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant; or
(2) 
The tenant's annual household income, or the average of the tenant's annual household income for the current year, computed on an annual basis, and the tenant's annual household income for the two preceding years, whichever is less, exceeds an amount equal to three times the county per capita personal income as last reported by the United States Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
B. 
Upon the termination of the protected tenancy status by the Municipal Clerk, the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant may be removed from the dwelling unit pursuant to P.L. 1974, c. 49 (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.), except that all notice and other times set forth therein shall be calculated and extend from the date of the expiration or termination of the protected tenancy period, or the date of the expiration of the last lease entered into with the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant during the protected tenancy period, whichever shall be later.
C. 
In the event that a senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant purchases the dwelling unit he/she occupies, the protected tenancy status shall terminate immediately upon purchase.

§ 532-21 Appeals from decisions of rent leveling administrator.

A. 
Any aggrieved party shall have the right to appeal the determination of the Secretary to the Protected Tenancy Appeal Board. All rules and regulations pertaining to hearings and procedures before the Rent Leveling Board shall apply to such appeals.
B. 
Appeals shall be taken by filing a written request for a hearing with the Rent Leveling Board and simultaneously with the Chairman of the Protected Tenancy Appeal Board within 10 days after written notice of appeal is received and filed with the Chairman of the Protected Tenancy Appeal Board. A decision shall be rendered by the Protected Tenancy Appeal Board in accordance with law.
C. 
A filing fee of $25 shall be paid by such aggrieved party filing the appeal in advance. Administrative costs may be assessed by the Protected Tenancy Appeal Board, including legal fees, on a case-by-case basis.

§ 532-22 Protected Tenancy Appeal Board.

A. 
There is hereby created a Protected Tenancy Appeal Board. The Board shall consist of three members and one alternate. The members and alternate shall be appointed by the governing body and their terms of office shall be for a period of three years each, until otherwise terminated by said governing body. Said members and alternate shall be appointed from the membership of the Rent Leveling Board.
B. 
The Board is hereby granted and shall exercise, in addition to other powers herein granted, all powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purposes of this article and including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) 
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement the purpose of this article, which rules and regulations shall have the force of law until revised, repealed or amended from time to time by the Board in its exercise of its discretion, provided that such rules and regulations are filed with the Municipal Clerk.
(2) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications as provided for in this article.
(3) 
To compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and records in connection with hearings held pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(4) 
Two Board members shall constitute a quorum. A majority vote shall be required for a decision of a three-member Board, and a unanimous vote is required of a two-member Board, including decisions on all motions, orders and rulings of the Board.

§ 532-23 Construal; repealer.

This article being necessary for the welfare of the Township of Nutley and its inhabitants shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purpose thereof. All other ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict or inconsistent with this article are hereby repealed, but only to the extent of such conflict or inconsistency.

§ 532-24 Appeals from decisions of Protected Tenancy Appeal Board.

Any party aggrieved by any action, regulation or determination of the Protected Tenancy Appeal Board may appeal to a court of appropriate jurisdiction, in accordance with the law.