Borough of Edgewater, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Edgewater as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dangerous buildings — See Ch. 147.
Certificates of substantial compliance — See Ch. 157, Art. III.
Heating of buildings — See Ch. 466.
Maintenance of hot water temperature (BOH) — See Ch. 523, Art. I.
Article I Substandard Dwellings

§ 339-1 Definitions.

§ 339-2 Supervisor: powers; appointment; term of office.

§ 339-3 Legislative finding.

§ 339-4 Substandard multiple dwellings: complaint procedure; hearing.

§ 339-5 Findings of hearing; order and time limit for repairs.

§ 339-6 Failure to comply shall be cause for imposing rent control.

§ 339-7 Basis for establishing maximum rents; determination of net operating income.

§ 339-8 Imposition of rent control at expiration of lease; nonapplicability to existing leases.

§ 339-9 Restrictions and rights of owner regarding rents.

§ 339-10 Lifting of rent controls.

§ 339-11 Supervisor appointed receiver ex officio in case of noncompliance.

§ 339-12 Rents and income to be available for costs and expenses caused by violation.

§ 339-13 Appointment of mortgagee by Supervisor; dereliction by mortgagee.

§ 339-14 Registration of owners of multiple dwellings.

§ 339-15 Standards for substandard dwellings.

§ 339-16 Interpretation of provisions.

§ 339-17 Violations and penalties.

Article II Rent Stabilization

§ 339-18 Definitions.

§ 339-19 Establishment; membership; appointment; terms.

§ 339-20 Powers and duties of Board.

§ 339-21 Establishment of rent; increases.

§ 339-22 Rent increases for qualified senior citizens and disabled persons.

§ 339-23 Hardship increase.

§ 339-24 Capital improvements surcharge.

§ 339-25 Payment of taxes; certification of compliance with certain standards.

§ 339-26 Delivery of notices.

§ 339-27 Vacancy decontrol.

§ 339-28 Conversion to condominiums or cooperative units.

§ 339-29 Designation of administrative agency.

§ 339-30 Registration by persons owning certain number of cooperative units.

§ 339-31 Fees.

§ 339-32 Standards to be maintained.

§ 339-33 Tax appeal; distribution of tax reduction.

§ 339-34 Exemption for newly constructed housing.

§ 339-35 Unauthorized rent increases prohibited.

§ 339-36 Initial rent charges.

§ 339-37 Construal of provisions.

§ 339-38 Violations and penalties.

[Adopted 12-20-1966 by Ord. No. 471; readopted 8-1-1967 by Ord. No. 476 (Ch. 203, Art. I of the 1975 Code)]

§ 339-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
HOUSING SPACE
That portion of a multiple dwelling rented or offered for rent for living or dwelling purposes in which cooking equipment is supplied, and includes all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property. The term shall not mean or include condominium or cooperative units unless the landlord owns more than three units in the same building, public housing or dwelling space in any hotel, motel or established guesthouse.
[Amended 6-16-1981 by Ord. No. 691-81]
MULTIPLE DWELLING
Includes any building or structure and land appurtenant thereto containing three or more apartments or rented or offered for rent to three or more tenants or family units.
OWNER
The holder or holders of the title in fee simple.
PARTIES IN INTEREST
All individuals, associations or corporations who have interests of record in a multiple dwelling and who are in actual possession thereof, and any person authorized to receive rents payable for housing space in a multiple dwelling.
PUBLIC OFFICER
The Supervisor of Multiple Dwellings of the Borough of Edgewater, hereinafter "Supervisor."
[Amended 9-3-1975 by Ord. No. 581-75]
SUBSTANDARD MULTIPLE DWELLING
Any multiple dwelling determined to be substandard by the Supervisor.

§ 339-2 Supervisor: powers; appointment; term of office.

[Amended 9-3-1975 by Ord. No. 581-75]
The Supervisor is hereby authorized to exercise the powers prescribed by this article. Said Supervisor shall be appointed at a public meeting by the Mayor, with the consent of a majority of the Councilmen.

§ 339-3 Legislative finding.

The health and safety of residents of the Borough of Edgewater are impaired and threatened by the existence of substandard multiple dwellings within the Borough.

§ 339-4 Substandard multiple dwellings: complaint procedure; hearing.

Whenever it appears by preliminary investigation that a multiple dwelling is substandard, the Supervisor shall cause a complaint to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such multiple dwelling, stating the reasons why said multiple dwelling is deemed to be substandard and setting a time and place for hearing before said Supervisor. The owners and parties in interest shall have the right to file an answer and to appear and give testimony. The rules of evidence shall not be controlling in hearings before the Supervisor.

§ 339-5 Findings of hearing; order and time limit for repairs.

If, after notice and hearing, the Supervisor determines that the multiple dwelling under consideration is substandard, he shall state his findings in writing and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner or other person entitled to receive rents an order requiring that such repairs, alterations or improvements necessary to bring such property up to minimum standards be made within a reasonable time, the date of the expiration of said reasonable time to be set forth in the said order.

§ 339-6 Failure to comply shall be cause for imposing rent control.

Failure to complete such repairs, alterations or improvements within the time set by the Supervisor shall be cause to impose rent control on the substandard multiple dwelling.

§ 339-7 Basis for establishing maximum rents; determination of net operating income.

A. 
In establishing maximum rents which may be charged for housing space in a multiple dwelling subject to rent control, the permissible rents shall be sufficient to provide the owner or other person entitled to receive said rents with a fair net operating income from the multiple dwelling. The net operating income shall not be considered less than fair if it is 20% or more of the annual income in the case of a multiple dwelling containing less than five dwelling units or if 15% or more in the case of a multiple dwelling containing five or more dwelling units.
B. 
In determining the fair net operating income, the Supervisor shall consider the following items of expense: heating fuel, utilities, payroll, janitorial materials, real estate taxes, insurance, interior painting and decorating, depreciation and repairs and replacements and additions to furniture and furnishings, which expenses shall be deducted from the annual income derived from the multiple dwellings. All items of expenses and the amount of annual income shall be certified by the owner or other person entitled to receive said rents on forms provided by the Supervisor.

§ 339-8 Imposition of rent control at expiration of lease; nonapplicability to existing leases.

[Amended 9-3-1975 by Ord. No. 581-75]
The imposition of rent control on any substandard multiple dwelling shall not impair any leases existing at the time of the adoption of this article, but shall take effect at the expiration of the term of any such lease and shall remain in effect thereafter so long as the multiple dwelling is subject to rent control.

§ 339-9 Restrictions and rights of owner regarding rents.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to demand or receive any rent in excess of the maximum rent established for housing space in multiple dwellings subject to rent control or to demand possession of the space or evict a tenant for refusal to pay rent in excess of the established maximum rent.
B. 
The owner or other person entitled to receive said rents shall not be prevented, however, from exercising his rights to obtain possession of housing space from a tenant as a result of the tenant's violation of law or contract, and the owner or other person entitled to receive said rents shall be provided reasonable grounds to obtain possession of premises for his own personal use and occupancy or to demolish the multiple dwelling.

§ 339-10 Lifting of rent controls.

Whenever the Supervisor finds that a multiple dwelling subject to rent control is no longer substandard, he shall so inform the governing body and rent control on said multiple dwelling shall be removed.

§ 339-11 Supervisor appointed receiver ex officio in case of noncompliance.

In the event that the owner of the substandard multiple dwelling fails to comply with an order for repair, alteration or improvement, after notice and reasonable opportunity to do so and where such failure to comply results in the continuation of the condition or conditions harmful to the health and safety of the occupants of the multiple dwelling or to the general public, the Supervisor may, by and with the approval of the Mayor and Council, bring an action in the Superior Court to be appointed receiver ex officio of the rents and income from such property and expend the same for the purpose of making such repairs, alterations or improvements as are necessary to correct said harmful condition or conditions.

§ 339-12 Rents and income to be available for costs and expenses caused by violation.

[Amended 9-3-1975 by Ord. No. 581-75]
Said rents and income so collected by the said receiver shall also be available for the payment of such costs and expenses of the receivership as may be adjudged by the court, and for the payment to the municipality of any fines or permits which may have been imposed on the owner for violations of this article and which have not been paid by the person liable therefor.

§ 339-13 Appointment of mortgagee by Supervisor; dereliction by mortgagee.

A. 
Upon his appointment, the Supervisor, acting as receiver, by and with the approval of the Mayor and Council, in all cases where the real property in question is encumbered by a first mortgage, shall appoint such first mortgagee, if such mortgagee is a proper person and is willing to accept such appointment, as the receiver's agent to collect the rents and income from such rental property and manage the same; and in all other cases the receiver, by and with the approval of the Mayor and Council, may designate the person in charge of management of such real property or some other competent person as the receiver's agent to collect the rents and income from such real property and manage the same. The said mortgagee or other person shall account promptly to the receiver for the rents and income so collected.
B. 
If the mortgages or other persons so designated are derelict in collecting or accounting for such rents and income or in the management of such real property, the receiver shall apply to the court for the removal of such designated mortgages or other persons, upon notice in writing to them, and the court upon removing such designated mortgagee or other persons, in its discretion, may designate another person to collect the rents and income from such real property and manage the same and account to the receiver for the rents and income of such real property as aforesaid. In any such receivership no fees shall be allowed the receiver or his counsel for action as such receiver or counsel. Except as otherwise provided herein, the procedure in respect to any such receivership shall be as in the case of receiverships to secure the payment of delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, costs and expenses wherein a collector of taxes of the municipality or other officer of the municipality is such receiver.

§ 339-14 Registration of owners of multiple dwellings.

Every owner and manager of every multiple dwelling in the Borough of Edgewater shall register his name and address with the Borough Clerk on forms prescribed by and furnished by said Borough Clerk. Every such registration shall include the name and address of the owners and the name and address of an agent in charge of the premises residing in the municipality.

§ 339-15 Standards for substandard dwellings.

The standards which shall govern the Supervisor determining whether a multiple dwelling is substandard shall be those minimum standards which are set forth in the State Housing Code promulgated by the Department of Conservation and Economic Development, Bureau of Housing, State of New Jersey, filed on July 25, 1966, in the Office of the Secretary of State of the State of New Jersey, and any amendments or additions thereto which may be promulgated from time to time by said Department of Conservation and Economic Development, Bureau of Housing.

§ 339-16 Interpretation of provisions.

Nothing herein shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of any department of the Borough of Edgewater to enforce any provisions of its laws or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof. Powers conferred shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred hereby by the Borough of Edgewater or any law of the State of New Jersey or of the United States.

§ 339-17 Violations and penalties. [1]

Violations of the provisions of this article shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Adopted 6-19-1973 by Ord. No. 544-73; amended in its entirety 6-17-1982 by Ord. No. 726-82 (Ch. 203, Art. II of the 1975 Code)]

§ 339-18 Definitions.

[Amended 4-19-1983 by Ord. No. 744-83]
As used in this article, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
COOPERATIVE
A housing corporation or association which entitles the holder of a share of membership interest thereof to possess and/or occupy for dwelling purposes a house, apartment or other structure owned or leased by said corporation or association.
[Added 8-9-1983 by Ord. No. 755-83]
DWELLING
Any building or structure rented or offered for rent for residential use to one or more tenants or family units. Exempt from this article are motels, hotels and similar-type buildings, floor space used for commercial purposes, two-housing units, owner-occupied three-housing units and condominium and cooperative units, unless the landlord owns three or more units in the same building. However, included herein shall be any non-owner-occupied building or structure rented or offered for rent where there is a decrease in occupancy in the number of units to less than three units resulting from the Borough's enforcement of any provision of the Zoning Ordinance[1] or of any approval granted by a land use agency of the Borough of Edgewater and non-owner-occupied three-or-more-housing units or four-or-more-housing units, if owner occupied, which are located on the same tax lot and owned by the same person, firm, corporation or other entity or group of persons.
[Amended 4-3-1984 by Ord. No. 779-84]
HOUSING SPACE/UNIT
That portion of a dwelling rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purposes, together with all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property.
[Amended 4-3-1984 by Ord. No. 779-84]
PERIODIC TENANT
Any person(s) lawfully residing in a unit of housing space under an oral lease of any duration.
[Amended 4-3-1984 by Ord. No. 779-84]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 240, Land Use and Development.

§ 339-19 Establishment; membership; appointment; terms.

A. 
There is hereby created a Rent Control Board within the Borough of Edgewater. The Board shall consist of five members, and two alternate members, who shall be called upon to serve in the event of the absence or infirmity or disqualification of any of the five regular members. Three members of the Board shall be required for a quorum in order that the Board may conduct its business.
B. 
The members and alternates of the Board shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the consent of the Council, for three-year terms as successive vacancies occur. All present members and alternates shall continue to serve the terms to which they were previously appointed.

§ 339-20 Powers and duties of Board.

The Rent Control Board is hereby granted and shall have and exercise, in addition to other powers herein granted, all the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purposes of this article, including but not limited to the following:
A. 
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems 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 Borough Clerk.
B. 
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants to help them comply with the provisions of this article.
C. 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords for additional rental as hereinafter provided.
D. 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from tenants for reduced rental as hereinafter provided. Said Board shall give both landlord and tenant reasonable opportunity to be heard before making any determination.
E. 
The Rent Control Board shall further have the power to hire legal counsel, secretarial and clerical help, expert witnesses and such other personnel as may be necessary, from time to time, in order to effectively perform all of the duties for which the Rent Control Board was created.
F. 
To authorize the Secretary of the Rent Control Board to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses who, or the production of documents which, the Board may deem necessary in order to effectuate the purposes of this article.

§ 339-21 Establishment of rent; increases.

A. 
Establishment of rents between a landlord and a tenant to whom this act is applicable shall hereafter be determined by the provisions of this article.
B. 
Except as otherwise provided in § 339-22, a landlord may increase the rental by a maximum of 5% during each twelve-month period where the landlord is required to furnish heat and by a maximum of 3 1/2% during a twelve-month period where the landlord is not required to furnish heat. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a landlord shall not increase the monthly rental during each twelve-month period; provided, however, that a landlord shall be entitled to a minimum monthly rental increase during each twelve-month period as follows:
[Amended 12-20-1988 by Ord. No. 909-88]
(1) 
The sum of $15 for the period commencing on the first expiration of a tenant's lease, after such adoption of this article, and terminating on the first anniversary date of such lease.
(2) 
The sum of $17 for the period commencing on the first anniversary date of a tenant's lease and terminating on the second anniversary date.
(3) 
The sum of $20 for the period commencing on the second anniversary date of a tenant's lease and each anniversary date thereafter.
C. 
No landlord shall increase the rental of any housing space more than once in any twelve-month period unless permitted by this article. Any rental increases in excess of that authorized by the provisions of this article shall be void.
D. 
Should a landlord fail to raise rent of any tenant upon the anniversary date of the beginning of a tenancy, the landlord shall be permitted to increase the rent in any subsequent month and shall thereafter have the right to increase rent upon the new anniversary date the following year.
[Amended 7-13-1982 by Ord. No. 728-82]
E. 
Any landlord seeking an increase in rent up to the maximum allowable percentage shall notify the tenant in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service of the increase and the calculations involved in computing the increase, including the previous rent and its effective date, the proposed rent and its effective date, the allowable percentage increase and the allowable rental increase in dollars and cents.
F. 
The landlord shall notify the tenant of the proposed rental increase at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the lease if such an expiration date is fixed therein. If the expiration date is not fixed therein, then the aforesaid notification shall be given according to the law governing the giving of notices to quit and demand for possession for the specific rental period. The contents of this notification shall conform to the requirements herein set forth for leases of one year or greater.
G. 
The base rent shall be deemed to be the lawful rent for the housing space which was in effect on May 1, 1973, and further provided that rent for the housing space shall not exceed base rent plus any rent increase authorized by the provisions of this article.

§ 339-22 Rent increases for qualified senior citizens and disabled persons.

[Added 12-20-1988 by Ord. No. 909-88]
A. 
Annual rent increases for qualified senior citizens and disabled persons shall not exceed 3 1/2%, irrespective of whether the landlord furnishes heat for the leased unit or apartment.
B. 
Qualification for eligibility for senior citizens and disabled persons status:
(1) 
In determining whether a person qualifies as a senior citizen or disabled person under this section, such person shall be required to satisfy the criteria as set forth in the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Protective Tenancy Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.22 et seq.
(2) 
All persons seeking to qualify as senior citizens or disabled persons shall complete application forms provided by the Rent Control Board.
(3) 
The determination as to eligibility shall be made by the Rent Control Board within 60 days after the receipt of a complete application.
(4) 
Hearings by the Rent Control Board on applications for eligibility shall be held in closed session with only the affected landlord and tenant and their agents in attendance. All data utilized at such hearing shall be held in strict confidence at the request of the tenant.
(5) 
Once a tenant obtains initial eligibility, said tenant must certify at the expiration of every two years thereafter as to his/her continued eligibility. Such certification forms shall be provided by the Rent Control Board.
(6) 
Said certification must be completed by an eligible tenant not less than three months prior to lease-renew or annual rent increase.
(7) 
For good cause shown, a landlord may apply to the Rent Control Board for a hearing on the question of a tenant's eligibility at the anniversary date of such tenant's eligibility after the initial two-year period of eligibility.

§ 339-23 Hardship increase.

A. 
A landlord who is unable to meet his mortgage payments, expenses and maintenance costs or is not making a fair return on investment shall be entitled to apply for a hardship increase to the Rent Control Board. The Rent Control Board shall supply forms for this purpose and require the landlord to notify the tenants of the pendency of this hardship increase application. Prior to any determination, the landlord must give notice to the tenants by certified mail, return receipt requested, or personal service, and by posting in the lobby of each affected building or, if no lobby, in a conspicuous place or places in and about the premises, a notice of said hardship increase request, setting forth thereon the basis for said request. Said notice must be at least 20 days prior to the proposed hearing date. The affected tenants shall have a right to challenge the basis or facts for the hardship increase on the hearing date thereof. The Rent Control Board shall have the right, after notice or hearing, to grant or deny a hardship increase without regard to the rental restrictions set forth in this article or its amendments.
B. 
A landlord may increase the rental by a maximum of 5% during each twelve-month period, where the landlord is required to furnish heat, and by a maximum of 3 1/2% during a twelve-month period, where the landlord is not required to furnish heat. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a landlord shall not increase the monthly rental during each twelve-month period by more than $40 over the rental paid during the prior twelve-month period; provided, however, that a landlord shall be entitled to minimum monthly rental increase during each twelve-month period, as follows:
[Amended 4-21-1987 by Ord. No. 857A-87]
(1) 
The sum of $15 for the period commencing on the first expiration of a tenant's lease, after such adoption of this article, and terminating on the first anniversary date of such lease.
(2) 
The sum of $17 for the period commencing on the first anniversary date of a tenant's lease and terminating on the second anniversary date.
(3) 
The sum of $20 for the period commencing on the second anniversary date of a tenant's lease and each anniversary date thereafter.
C. 
No hardship rental increase shall be granted unless the landlord produces all the documentary evidence which may be requested by the Board to make the determination herein required, including but not limited to the copies of all deeds, mortgages, notes or bonds, appraisals, income and expense statements, rent rolls (at the time of purchase or financing or refinancing of the mortgage and at the time of appeal) and all bills, invoices, canceled checks and federal and status tax returns.
D. 
No hardship rental increase granted pursuant to this article shall apply to a housing unit which has had a rental increase during the previous 12 months, due to the application of vacancy decontrol.
E. 
In the event that the landlord applies for a hardship rental increase, and the time of the application coincides with the anniversary date upon which the landlord would be permitted to increase the rent under § 339-21 of this article, then the landlord shall be permitted to increase the rent to the extent of the maximum allowable percentage during the pendency of such application. Any determination of the Board of a hardship increase shall be modified by any rental increase applied by the landlord.
F. 
The cost or expense for maintenance and/or improvements of the subject premises which exceeds the total cost of $3,000, requested to be considered by the Board as a hardship increase and/or capital improvement surcharge, shall have three written estimates as to the cost or expense of said item, in order for the Board to determine its reasonableness.
[Added 9-3-1986 by Ord. No. 847-86]
G. 
Any hardship rental increase granted pursuant to this section shall be apportioned over a thirty-six-month period. The amount so apportioned shall not be considered as base rent in the calculation of annual rental increases but shall be considered as a separate charge unrelated to base rent.
[Added 4-21-1987 by Ord. No. 861-87]

§ 339-24 Capital improvements surcharge.

[Amended 9-3-1986 by Ord. No. 847-88]
A. 
A landlord may seek a surcharge for capital improvements made by him in the rental unit or attributable to the rental unit.
B. 
As used herein and hereinafter, "capital improvement" shall mean a substantial change in the housing accommodations such as would materially increase the rental value of the subject premises in a normal market, i.e., an added benefit to the subject premises and the tenant's enjoyment thereof.
C. 
The landlord must notify each tenant by certified mail, return receipt requested, or personal service and by posting in a conspicuous place in the lobby of the building or, if there is no lobby, then in a conspicuous location, at least 20 days prior to the hearing, of the total cost of the completed capital improvement, the number of years of useful life of the improvement, the average costs of the improvement, the total number of square feet of the dwelling or apartment complex, the total square feet occupied by the tenant and the capital improvement surcharge he is seeking from each, so as to indicate the costs for the improvement per square foot per month, the total for each tenant per month and the number of years of duration of the surcharge.
D. 
The landlord seeking a capital improvement surcharge shall appeal for said surcharge to the Rent Control Board, which shall determine if said improvement is a major improvement and, if so, may permit such increase to take place. If said increase is granted, it shall not be considered rental and shall not be considered part of the base rent for computing rent increases.
E. 
The amount of monthly increase allocated to a capital improvement surcharge which a landlord may charge, if the landlord's application is granted by the Rent Control Board, shall be determined by the Board as to said improvement's life cycle.

§ 339-25 Payment of taxes; certification of compliance with certain standards.

A. 
Every petition filed with the Rent Control Board of the Borough of Edgewater seeking a hardship increase or a capital improvement surcharge shall be accompanied by the tax bill for the property, to demonstrate if taxes or assessments for local improvements are due or delinquent on the property which is the subject of such petition. If it is shown that taxes or assessments are delinquent on said property, any rental increase in excess of the maximum allowable percentage, or any capital improvement surcharge granted by said Board, shall be conditioned upon either the prompt payment of such taxes or assessments or the making of adequate provision for the payment thereof in such manner that the municipality will be adequately protected.
B. 
Every petition shall contain a certification by the Building Code Official that there are no Housing or Health Code violations more than 60 days old. An application for hardship rental increase or capital improvement surcharge will not be heard by the Rent Control Board until there has been material compliance with the Housing and Health Codes, which shall mean that 100% of those prior existing violations shall have been remedied. The Board may condition any rental increase above the maximum allowable percentage of surcharge on the receipt of certifications from the local Building Code Official or Health Officer that all of the violations have been corrected. As used herein, the term "violations" shall mean any and all defects which affect the habitability of the subject premises and the tenant's right to a safe, sanitary, decent place to reside.
[Amended 9-3-1986 by Ord. No. 847-86]

§ 339-26 Delivery of notices.

All required notices herein mentioned may, at the option of the landlord, be either hand-delivered and personally served by the landlord or his agents and employees, or delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested. In any event, the burden of proof of actual delivery shall be on the landlord.

§ 339-27 Vacancy decontrol.

A. 
Notwithstanding any limitations upon permissible rent increases under any other provision of this article, upon the voluntary, uncoerced vacation of any apartment, the landlord shall have the right to fix the rent for such vacated apartment at such a sum as he deems appropriate.
B. 
Filing of statement; hearing.
(1) 
In order for a landlord to qualify for the vacancy decontrol rent increase, the landlord shall first be required to file with the Rent Control Board a written statement, signed by the vacating tenant, certifying to the Board that the landlord has not, in any way, harassed or pressured the tenant into vacating the housing space unit and that the vacation of such unit was a voluntary act on the part of the tenant. Such noncoercion certification shall not be required in order for the landlord to qualify for the vacancy decontrol increase if the increase does not exceed the total of all permissible increases authorized by any other provisions of this article, the tenant has moved from the unit without notice to the landlord, the unit has been vacated pursuant to a court-ordered eviction, unless the court-ordered eviction shall have been the result of a dispute brought about by changes in the terms of a lease, or the tenant has refused to sign such certification, and upon appeal by the landlord, the Rent Control Board has found that such refusal was unwarranted, and that there was, in fact, no coercion exerted by the landlord upon the vacating tenant.
(2) 
A hearing pursuant to Subsection B(1) above shall be held before the Rent Control Board upon at least seven days' notice to the public and the vacating tenant. Pending the result of the hearing, the landlord may increase the rent as permitted by § 339-27A.
C. 
The decontrol provisions of this section shall only apply to dwelling units which are physically vacated subsequent to the effective date of this section.
D. 
Upon vacation of any apartment hereafter, the landlord shall file a statement with the Rent Control Board, certifying to the Board the apartment and building numbers of such dwelling unit, the rent paid by the vacating tenant, the maximum rent increase which would be permissible under the other provisions of this chapter, the number of days such apartment remains vacant, the rent agreed to by the new tenant for such apartment, and that the vacation of such apartment was the voluntary act of the vacating tenant and that such vacation was not the result of landlord harassment or pressure upon such vacating tenant.

§ 339-28 Conversion to condominiums or cooperative units.

A. 
In the event that the owner of a multiple dwelling subject to rent control converts the building from the rental market to a condominium or a cooperative, a rental apartment unit within that multiple dwelling shall remain under rent control if the tenant occupying that apartment began his or her initial tenancy before the master deed or agreement establishing the cooperative was recorded. That rental apartment shall continue to be subject to rent control so long as the same tenant remains in possession for the period of time permitted by state law, regardless of whether the purchaser of that apartment unit owns less than three condominium or cooperative units in the same multiple dwelling.
B. 
Housing space occupied by a tenant whose initial tenancy began after the master deed or agreement establishing the cooperative was recorded shall remain subject to rent control only until such time that the apartment unit is sold to an owner of less than three condominium or cooperative units. Thereafter, the housing space owned by an owner of less than three condominium or cooperative units shall not be subject to rent control.
C. 
In the event that any multiple dwelling subject to the Rent Control Ordinance is converted, changed or in any manner modified, whereupon said multiple dwelling is no longer subject to this article, then, in that event, any and all rental units thereinafter existing shall remain subject to rent control if the tenant(s) so occupying that rental unit began his or her tenancy prior to the conversion, change or modification of the said multiple dwelling, and that said rental unit shall continue to be subject to rent control so long as the said tenant remains in possession thereof pursuant to state law. No existing tenancy subject to this article shall lose its rights as provided herein as a result of a conversion, change or modification of a multiple dwelling thereafter exempt by this article pursuant to § 339-18.
[Added 4-3-1984 by Ord. No. 780-84]

§ 339-29 Designation of administrative agency.

[Added 6-5-1984 by Ord. No. 784-84]
The Rent Control Board of the Borough of Edgewater is hereby established as the administrative agency for the purpose of determining the eligibility of senior citizens and disabled tenants for protected tenancy status, pursuant to the Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.22 et seq.

§ 339-30 Registration by persons owning certain number of cooperative units.

[Added 8-9-1983 by Ord. No. 755-83]
Any person, firm, corporation or other entity, or group of persons holding shares to three or more dwelling units in a cooperative shall register his or her name and address with the Rent Control Board on forms prescribed by and furnished by said agency. Every such registration shall include the name and address of the owners, the building wherein such units are situated, a description of the units owned and the amount of rental charged for each dwelling unit.

§ 339-31 Fees.

[Amended 7-13-1982 by Ord. No. 728-1982; 6-5-1984 by Ord. No. 784-84]
A. 
The following fees shall apply to all applications or other proceedings of the Rent Control Board:
(1) 
Tenant request for filing with or without a hearing before the Board: $5.
(2) 
Landlord request for increase in permitted rental or surcharge: $10 for the first four or less dwelling units and an additional $5 for each additional unit up to a maximum charge of $200.
(3) 
At the time that an owner of a building or structure who seeks to convert such premises to a condominium or cooperative and is required to notify the Rent Control Board, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.27, such person shall pay a fee of $10 for each rental unit for the first $200 units in such building or structure and $5 for each rental unit in excess thereof.
B. 
Fees shall be paid only by check or money order, made payable to the Borough of Edgewater. No cash shall be accepted.

§ 339-32 Standards to be maintained.

A. 
During the term of a tenancy, the landlord shall maintain the same standard of services, privileges, garaging or parking spaces, maintenance, storage space, rights to use appliances, facilities (such as pools or tennis courts), furniture, furnishings or equipment in the housing space and dwelling as he provided or was required to do by law or lease at the date the lease was entered into. Tenants who have been assigned garage and/or parking spaces shall not be reassigned a different space, unless it is mutually agreed upon in writing, or unless it can be established by the landlord as being reasonable and necessary.
[Amended 9-8-1986 by Ord. No. 847-86]
B. 
An individual tenant or class of tenants who are not receiving substantially the same services or privileges as specified in Subsection A hereof may have the Rent Control Board determine the reasonable rental value of the housing unit or dwelling in view of this deficiency. Such deficiency may be found and disclosed only after a duly noticed hearing. The tenant or class of tenants shall pay the reasonable rental value as full payment for rent until the landlord proves that the deficiency has been corrected.
C. 
Fee increases for off-street parking which is provided by the landlord of housing space subject to rent control, even though such parking is not part of a residential lease, shall be limited to 1% annually, representing an administrative fee that the landlord may charge. This charge shall be limited to the number of parking spaces rented by the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy.
[Amended 9-3-1986 by Ord. No. 847-1986; 4-21-1987 by Ord. No. 861-87]
D. 
If a tenant is permitted by the landlord to keep a pet or pets at the beginning of a tenancy or initial lease, then that privilege to keep pets shall be irrevocable as to that tenant, for the lifetime of the specific animal. If the landlord desires to eliminate the privilege to keep pets in the building, notice must be given to all tenants. Any tenant keeping a pet or pets at the time of such notice shall be permitted to keep the specific pet or pets for the animal's lifetime or for so long as the tenant may wish to keep the specific animal.

§ 339-33 Tax appeal; distribution of tax reduction.

A. 
In the event of a tax appeal, the portion of a tenant's tax surcharge not being paid by the landlord to government will be held in an interest-bearing account.
B. 
In the event the appeal is successful and the taxes reduced, the tenant shall receive 65% of said reduction as applied ratably to its tax portion after deducting from the total tax reduction all expenses incurred by the landlord in prosecuting said appeal.
C. 
In the event the landlord receives interest on any tax overpayment, such interest shall be deemed part of the tax reduction for purposes of reimbursement under Subsection B above.

§ 339-34 Exemption for newly constructed housing.

[Amended 10-8-1985 by Ord. No. 829-85]
A. 
This article shall not apply to newly constructed housing space or dwelling units being rehabilitated for the purpose of housing space in structures formerly used for industrial or commercial purposes, but only for a period of five years after the date a certificate of occupancy is issued for such housing space or dwelling units. After the expiration of said five-year period, said housing space or dwelling units shall be subject to the other provisions of this article. This provision shall apply in cases where construction on such units has commenced after the effective date of this article.
B. 
In addition to the exemption for the five-year period provided for in Subsection A of this section, any structure formerly used for industrial or commercial purposes being rehabilitated for the purpose of providing housing space, and which qualifies as a registered historic site by the Federal Register of Historic Landmarks, shall be entitled to an additional exemption from the provisions of this article for a period of 15 years.

§ 339-35 Unauthorized rent increases prohibited.

No landlord shall, after the effective date of this article, charge any rents in excess of what he was receiving from the effective date of this article, except for increases as authorized by this article.

§ 339-36 Initial rent charges.

The owner of a housing space or dwelling being rented for the first time shall not be restricted in the initial rent he charges. Any subsequent rental increases, however, shall be subject to the provisions of this article.

§ 339-37 Construal of provisions.

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

§ 339-38 Violations and penalties. [1]

A willful violation of any provisions of this article, including but not limited to the willful filing with the Rent Control Board of any material misstatement of fact, shall be punishable by a fine as set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, of this Code. A violation affecting more than one leasehold shall be considered a separate violation as to each leasehold.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).