[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Oaklyn 9-10-1974 by Ord. No. 11-74. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- AVAILABLE FOR RENT TO TENANTS
- Fit for habitation as defined by a state or local Housing Inspection Code and occupied or unoccupied and offered for rent.
- Includes any building or structure and land appurtenant thereto or
any mobile trailer park containing six or more units of housing space rented
or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units. This chapter specifically
applies only to landlords owning six or more such rental units within the
Borough of Oaklyn. Also exempted from this chapter are public housing and
dwelling spaces in any motel, hotel or any other premises primarily serving
transient guests.[Amended 10-8-1974 by Ord. No. 12-74]
- HARDSHIP SURCHARGE
- An increase to be added to the rent after approval of the Rent Control Board. The circumstances under which this surcharge may be sought and allowed are set forth in § 105-9B(2).[Amended 4-8-1980 by Ord. No. 3-80]
- HOUSING SPACE
- Includes that portion of a dwelling rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purposes to one individual or family unit, together with all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property.
- HOUSING STATE OF EMERGENCY
- A vacancy rate of housing space of less than 5%.[Amended 10-8-1974 by Ord. No. 12-74]
- SERVICE SURCHARGE
- A substantial increase in service, furniture, furnishings or equipment or major capital improvement for which a landlord may seek a service increase to be added to the rent after the approval of the Rent Control Board.
- VACANCY RATE OF HOUSING SPACE
- That percentage of housing space available for rent to tenants which has been unoccupied for 30 days and offered for rent, provided that such space has been rented and occupied for at least one calender year, excluding all new apartments that have not been previously occupied or rented whether such apartments have permits of occupancy or not.
Editor's Note: Section III of this chapter provided that "all sections of Ord. No. 11-74 which are inconsistent with the foregoing amendments are hereby repealed."
Editor's Note: The former definition of “price index,” which definition immediately followed this definition, was repealed 4-14-1981 by Ord. No. 3-81.
[Amended 10-8-1974 by Ord. No. 12-74; 4-14-1981 by Ord. No. 3-81]
There is hereby created in and for the Borough of Oaklyn a Rent Control Board, whose members shall be residents of the Borough of Oaklyn (with the exception of the landlords' representatives), shall be not less than 18 years of age and shall hold office for the term of two years, subject to the following limitations: The Board will consist of seven members. Two members will be landlords' representatives, two members will be tenants' representatives, and three members will be homeowners within the Borough. One of the three Board members who are homeowners' representatives will be a member of the Oaklyn Borough Council. All members of this Board must be residents of the Borough of Oaklyn. One alternate tenant and one alternate landlord may be appointed to the Rent Control Board at the discretion of the Borough Council. Said alternate has the full powers to act as a member of the Board in the absence of a Board member of this particular category. A quorum will exist when four members are present for a meeting, with at least one tenant and one landlord present. When either the tenants' or the landlords' representatives do not have any representation at a Board meeting, the Board meeting cannot take place.
[Amended 10-8-1974 by Ord. No. 12-74]
Immediately after the adoption of this chapter, the Rent Control Board shall determine the vacancy rate of housing space from availability statistics furnished by landlords. Semiannually thereafter, the Rent Control Board shall complete a municipal survey to determine the vacancy rate of housing space in Oaklyn or shall continue to utilize the availability statistics furnished by the landlords.
[Amended 10-8-1974 by Ord. No. 12-74]
The Rent Control Board shall report semiannually to the Mayor and Council the vacancy rate of housing space. The Rent Control Board shall state whether or not there exists in this Borough a housing state of emergency. If such state of emergency is declared to exist, the Mayor and Council shall issue a proclamation activating the rent leveling provisions of §§ 105-6, 105-7 and 105-8 of this chapter.
While a housing state of emergency exists, the establishment of rents between a landlord and a tenant to whom this chapter is applicable shall hereafter be determined by the provisions of this chapter. At the expiration of a lease or at the termination of the lease of a periodic tenant, no landlord may request or receive a percentage increase in rent which is greater than the difference between the consumer price index 60 days prior to the expiration or termination of the lease and the consumer price index at the date the lease was entered into.
Any rental increase at a time other than at the expiration of a lease or termination of a periodic lease shall be void. Any rental increase in excess of that authorized by the provisions of this section shall be void.
Any landlord seeking an increase in rent shall notify the tenant of the calculations involved in computing the increase, including the consumer price index at the date of entry of the lease, the consumer price index 60 days before the expiration of the lease, the allowable percentage increase and the allowable rental increase. Failure of the landlord to provide the tenant with this information shall make any increase void, and the tenant shall secure recovery for any increase void and for any increase paid unless a court finds that the omission was excusable, taking into consideration the owner's good faith, education and extent of ownership of property.
While a housing state of emergency exists, the establishment of rents between a landlord and a tenant to whom this chapter is applicable shall hereafter be determined by the provisions of this chapter. At the expiration of a lease or at the termination of the lease of a periodic tenant, no landlord may request or receive a percentage increase in rent which is greater than 7% of the tenant's yearly rent if the landlord is not the supplier of the tenant's main source of heat, and 10% of the tenant's yearly rent if the landlord is the supplier of the tenant's main source of heat.
[Amended 4-14-1981 by Ord. No. 3-81]
The tax surcharge shall not be considered rent for purposes of computing cost-of-living rental increases.
Tax surcharge payment procedure.
[Repealed 4-14-1981 by Ord. No. 3-81]
In the event of a tax appeal, the portion of the tenant's increase not being paid by the landlord to the government will be held in an interest-bearing account.
In the event that the appeal is successful and the taxes reduced, the tenant will receive 60% of the money held in escrow together with the accrued interest on the total amount. Payment will be in the form of a credit against the monthly rent or of a check made payable to the tenant.
If the tax appeal is successful, the landlord may retain 40% of the escrow amount as reimbursement for all expenses connected with the tax appeal.
A tenant shall be entitled to a tax rebate in the event of a reduction in municipal property taxes. The landlord shall compute the rebate to which the tenant is entitled by the same formula used in § 105-7 for computing a tax surcharge. Payment shall be made in the form of a credit against the monthly rent or of a check made payable to the tenant.
Powers of the Board. The Rent Control Board is hereby granted and shall have and exercise, in addition to other powers, all the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purpose of this chapter, including but not limited to the power:
To determine procedure for and to conduct a survey which will accurately determine the vacancy rate of housing space.
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement the purpose of this chapter, which rules and regulations shall have the force and effect of law until revised, repealed or amended from time to time by the Rent Control Board in the exercise of its discretion, provided that any such rules and regulations shall be filed with the Mayor and Council.
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants to help them comply with the provisions of this chapter.
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords for service or hardship surcharges.
To give reasonable opportunity to be heard to both the landlord and tenant before making a determination.
The landlord must notify each tenant of the total cost of the completed capital improvements or service or hardship increases; the number of years of useful life of the improvement as claimed by the landlord for purposes of depreciation for income tax purposes; the average annual cost of the improvement; the total number of rooms occupied by the tenant; and the service or hardship surcharge he is seeking from each tenant. This notice to the tenant must be made at least 10 days prior to the hearing on this matter by the Rent Control Board.
In the event a landlord cannot meet his mortgage payments and maintenance costs or in the event that he is subjected to unusual and unforeseen increases in costs of fuel or energy or he cannot realize a reasonable profit from his investment in his property, said landlord may apply to the Rent Control Board for increased rental. The Board may grant the landlord a hardship rent increase to permit him to meet his payments or to realize a reasonable profit from his investment. The Rent Control Board shall require statements of income and expenses and current cash flow statements in connection with all such applications. Prior to the granting of any increases, the Rent Control Board shall require evidence that the landlord has given notice of a public hearing on its application at least 10 days prior to the date of said hearing to all tenants pursuant to § 105-9B(1) hereof.
[Amended 4-8-1980 by Ord. No. 3-80]
Editor's Note: Section III of this chapter provided that "all sections of Ord. No. 11-74 which are inconsistent with the foregoing amendment are hereby repealed."
The surcharge shall not be considered rent for the purpose of future rental increases.
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 chapter.
Every owner of any multiple dwelling shall maintain the following record which shall be available for inspection by the public during usual business hours at the owner's principal place of business within the Borough of Oaklyn:
A list showing all housing space vacant and available for rental, including the location of and the number of rooms contained within said housing space.
A list showing the name and last known address of every applicant for a housing space offered for rent by the owner, together with the location of the housing space sought to be rented by the applicant, the date on which the application for rent was made and the present monthly rental for said housing space.
During a housing state of emergency, a landlord shall maintain the same standards of service, maintenance, furniture, furnishings and equipment in the housing unit as he provided or was required to provide by law or lease at the date that the lease was entered into.
Any provision of a lease or other agreement whereby any provision of this chapter is waived shall be deemed against public policy and shall be void.
Base rental shall be deemed to be the lawful rent for the housing space which was in effect on August 1, 1973. Rent for housing space after the date that this chapter takes effect shall not exceed the base rental plus any surcharge or increase authorized by the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 10-8-1974 by Ord. No. 12-74; 9-13-1977 by Ord. No. 13-77]
A willful violation of any provision of this chapter, including but not limited to the willful filing with the Rent Control Board of any material misstatement of fact or the refusal to file, shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 or a jail term not to exceed 90 days, or both, for each offense.