[1971 Code § 13A-1]
The Township Committee finds that a serious public emergency exists due to the critical shortage of housing space within the Township. It is in the interest of the health, safety and general welfare of the people of Lakewood to prevent unwarranted and abnormal increases in rent; to alleviate the effects of the critical housing shortage; and to protect persons living in the Township from undue impairment of their standard of living during the housing crisis.
It is also recognized by the Township Committee that it is also in the interest of the health, safety and general welfare of the people of Lakewood to encourage construction, rehabilitation and operation of housing within Lakewood and to provide owners thereof with sufficient return on their investment in order that efficient owners will be economically able to furnish decent housing at a reasonable cost.
[1971 Code § 13A-2]
As used in this section:
- AVAILABLE FOR RENT TO TENANTS
- Shall mean fit for habitation as defined by the housing inspection Code and occupied or unoccupied and offered for rent.
- CAPITAL EXPENDITURE OR IMPROVEMENT
- Shall mean any amount paid out or to be paid out for permanent improvements made to increase the value of property but not including expenses normally treated as ordinary expenses or normal repairs, under the Internal Revenue Service Code and Regulations provided, said expenditures are entitled to be depreciated under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Code and Regulations.
- Shall mean any building or structure or part thereof rented or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units and not otherwise exempt from the provisions of this chapter under subsection 14-1.4.
- ECONOMIC LIFE
- Shall mean the estimated period over which it is anticipated that a property may be profitably used.
- HOUSING SPACE
- Shall mean 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, furnishing, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property except as otherwise provided herein.
- Shall mean any and all sums paid by a tenant for the use of a dwelling and shall include pet fees, parking fees, and all other regularly collected fees, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. "Rent" shall not include sums paid into, or collected from, coin-operated machines. "Rent" shall also not include any amounts paid pursuant to a separate written agreement entered into voluntarily by and between a landlord and tenant for use of furnishings and the like (exclusive of stoves, ranges, ovens, refrigerators, and air-conditioning units). Such agreements shall be independent of and separate from the leasehold agreement.
[1971 Code § 13A-3]
Establishment of rents between a landlord and tenant in the Township which are subject to control by this Rent Control Chapter shall hereinafter be regulated by the provisions of this chapter.
Permitted Rental Increases. Landlords who supply tenants with heat are hereinafter permitted to raise rents on rental units governed by this section once a year at a flat rate increase of six and one half (6.5%) percent over the previous base rent permitted by this section or any prior ordinance except as otherwise hereinafter set forth. Landlords who do not supply tenants with heat are hereinafter permitted to raise rents on rental units governed by this section once a year at a flat rate increase of 5% over the previous base rent permitted by this section or any prior ordinance except as otherwise hereinafter set forth. This increase shall be effective at the expiration of a lease or termination of a rental period provided at least one year has passed since the last increase.
Optional two Year Rental Increase. Should the landlord and tenant mutually agree at the inception of any rental period, the parties may enter into a two year lease agreement with rentals to be set at nine and three quarters (9.75%) percent over and above the prior year's rental for those tenancies where the landlord supplies heat and seven and one half (7.5%) percent over and above the prior year's rental in those tenancies where the landlord does not supply the heat. The rental during the two year term of the lease agreement shall remain at the rates set forth hereinabove and the landlord shall not be entitled to any hardship or unusual expense increases as would otherwise be permitted under these ordinances. The landlord shall, however, be entitled to add a tax surcharge (or the tenant shall be entitled to a tax surcharge decrease as the case may be), to the amount of the rent in accordance with the provisions of this section. In addition, at the termination of the two year tenancy as set forth herein, the landlord shall not be entitled to an automatic accumulation of that portion of the rental increase which would have otherwise been permitted pursuant to a one year tenancy. The landlord shall, however, be entitled to the normal rental increase in effect at the time of the expiration of the two year lease agreement. Should an initial two year tenancy terminate prior to the expiration of the two year term, then and in that event, the landlord may charge a new tenant that amount of rent that is permitted by subsection 14-1.3a and may also make application to the Lakewood Township Rent Control Board for such other increases as are permitted pursuant to this section.
Notice of Increase. Any landlord seeking an increase pursuant to subsection 14-1.3a, "Permitted Rental Increases", subsection 14-1.3b, "Optional two Year Rental Increase", subsection 14-1.6, "Tax Surcharge", or under any other subsection permitting an increase without application to the Rent Control Board, shall notify the tenant in writing of the calculations involved in computing the increase at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the increase. The increase shall not be effective unless and until 30 days written notice thereof is given to the tenant.
Accumulative Increase. In order to encourage landlords not to raise rents yearly, the rental increase shall be cumulative. That is, except as set forth in subsection 14-1.3b, any landlord who does not raise a tenant's rent at a time permitted by this chapter, or who does not raise the rent the full permitted percentage increase, shall, at a later date, have the right to increase the rent prospectively at an increase percentage determined by calculating the normal percentage permitted and pro-rating that percentage based on the number of months that have expired since the last increase. In no event shall a cumulative increase exceed four years for existing tenants. The initial rent of a tenant shall be the maximum permitted by this subsection, unless the landlord notifies the prospective tenant, in writing, prior to the onset of the tenancy of his temporary waiver of the cumulative increase.
[1971 Code § 13A-4]
The following rental units are exempt from the provisions of this section to the extent set forth below:
Hotels, Motels and Boarding Houses. Hotels, motels, boarding houses and all other premises if they primarily serve transient guests.
Public Housing Units.
New Construction. Any person, firm, corporation or entity placing on the rental market for the first time after June 25, 1987, or after such a date as required by State law pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:42-84.1 et seq., any newly constructed residential housing space within the Township of Lakewood, and as described pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:42-84.1 et seq., shall be entitled to charge any rental to any tenant that may be obtained by an agreement between the parties, and the unit shall remain exempt from the provisions of this section for seven years from the date of the initial Certificate of Occupancy for the unit or for such a time period as required by State law pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:42-84.1 et seq. However, the landlord shall, during the exempt period, notify all prospective tenants in writing prior to commencement of any tenancy that:
Existing Housing Space Placed on the Rental Market for the First Time. Any person, firm, corporation or entity placing on the rental market for the first time after the effective date of this ordinance, any existing residential housing space within the Township of Lakewood, shall be entitled to charge any rental to any tenant that may be obtained by an agreement between the parties and thereafter the unit shall remain exempt from the provisions of this section for seven years from the date of the initial Certificate of Occupancy for the unit. However, the landlord shall, during the exempt period, notify all prospective tenants in writing prior to the commencement of any tenancy that:
Rental Units Owned by Non-Profit Corporations. Rental units owned by a non-profit corporation that is exempt from municipal taxation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.6.
Government Subsidized Units.
Existing Units: The rent of any rental unit governed by this section and occupied by a tenant, whose rent is subsidized by a governmental program, such as HUD, Section 8 Housing Program, may be increased once a year without applying to the Rent Control Board in excess of the annual percentage increase permitted by subsection 14-1.3 herein, provided the increase is permissible under the rules and regulations of the government subsidy program and the tenant's share of the rent is not increased at a greater percentage that would be permitted by this section. Should the unit subsequently be occupied by a tenant whose rent is not subsidized, the rent for the unit shall be immediately rolled back to an amount than would have been permitted if this paragraph did not govern.
Rehabilitated Units: The rent of any rental unit rehabilitated pursuant to a governmental housing rehabilitation/rent supplemental program such as the HUD Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Program, may be increased once upon completion of the rehabilitation in excess of the annual percentage increase permitted by subsection 14-1.3 herein, for the establishment of a new base rent, without applying to the Rent Control Board provided that:
Substantially Rehabilitated Buildings. An occupied building may be exempt from the provisions of this chapter if the landlord rehabilitates the building as to result in a 50% increase in the assessed value thereof. The building shall be entitled to exemption from the provisions of this section provided the landlord makes application to the Rent Control Board for exemption pursuant to this subsection and the Rent Control Board determines that the building has been substantially rehabilitated so as to increase the assessed value thereof 50% over the assessment in effect immediately prior to the date the rehabilitation work was commenced. The exemption shall be for five years from the date of the Rent Control Board decision.
Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, in the event the State-mandated exemption detailed herein is repealed by action of the State Legislature prior to June 25, 1992, this section amendment will be deemed null and void, and newly constructed residential dwellings containing four or more dwelling units, other than as specified in subsection 14-1.4c, shall be subject to the seven year exemption permitted prior to the enactment of this subsection.
[1971 Code § 13A-5]
In addition to the annual increase and tax surcharge increase, which are permitted without making application to the Rent Control Board a landlord may file an application before the Rent Control Board for permission to increase the tenant's rent under the following sections:
Hardship Increase. A landlord may seek a hardship increase pursuant to subsection 14-1.12.
Unusual Expenses. A landlord may be entitled to an unusual expense increase in addition to the annual increase where the unusual or unexpected cost of providing heat or utilities, or of making major capital expenditures or capital improvements may require a substantial investment or expenditure by the landlord to offset such expenses. These special items shall be allowed only on special application to the Rent Control Board for good cause shown. Clear proof of the cost must be furnished.
If the increase sought concerns a capital expenditure, capital improvement or major repair requiring a substantial investment, the landlord shall prove the normal economic life expectancy of the expenditure, improvement or repair, and shall determine the average cost per year of economic life. This average cost of the capital expenditure, improvement or repair may be apportioned among the tenants in the dwelling in accordance with the formula set forth in subsection 14-1.6 (Tax Surcharge-ratio of square footage occupied by each tenant to the whole).
If the increase sought is the result of an increase in the cost of providing a utility service regulated by the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey, the landlord shall prove that the cost of providing such utility service has increased by more than six and one half (6.5%) percent per annum. Upon such proof, the landlord may be entitled to a rental increase equal to the amount by which the cost of providing such utility service exceeds six and one half (6.5%) percent more than the prior year's cost.
The landlord shall also present evidence in seeking an increase pursuant to this section concerning the actual rent being charged for each unit, a profit and loss statement for the premises for the last two fiscal years, the condition of premises, the rate of return on the landlord's investment, the steps taken to provide safe, healthful and adequate housing in addition to any other evidence that will assist the Board in making a fair decision. The Rent Control Board shall utilize all of the above information in determining whether or not to permit the additional rental increase sought. Any increases permitted by the Lakewood Township Rent Control Board pursuant to this subsection, shall be effective retroactive to the first rental pay period at the expiration of 30 days from the date the landlord's application for an increase is filed with the Board. Should the landlord revise his application:
Based on submission of expenses not related, in whole or part, to the premises in question; or
Because the original application deviates from accepted accounting norms; or
Resulting in an increase in the amount of relief sought, then and in that event, the increase permitted by the Board shall be retroactive to the first rental pay period subsequent to 30 days from the date the revised application is submitted to the Board. Any applications revised by the applicant or the Board for reasons other than as set forth hereinabove shall be deemed to have been submitted in its revised form on the original submission date. Any retroactive portion of the increase permitted by the Board as set forth hereinabove, shall be payable by the tenant in three equal monthly portions commencing with the first rental pay period subsequent to the Board's decision. The staggered payments shall be in addition to the prospective increased payments for which the tenant shall be responsible as a result of the Board's decision.
[1971 Code § 13A-6]
Without making application to the Rent Control Board, a landlord may take a tax surcharge pursuant to the following provisions.
Formula. A landlord may take a tax surcharge from a tenant because of an increase in Township property taxes. The tax surcharge shall not exceed that amount authorized by the following provisions. The landlord shall divide the increase in the present property tax over the property tax of the previous year by the number of square feet in the entire building. The tenant shall not be liable for a tax surcharge exceeding the tax increase per square foot multiplied by the number of square feet occupied by the tenant; provided however, that all common areas of the demised premises shall be included in the portion of the premises rented by each tenant on a pro rata basis.
Notification. Any landlord taking a tax surcharge shall in writing notify the tenant of the calculations involved in computing the tax surcharge including the present property tax for the dwelling, the property tax for the dwelling for the previous year, the number of square feet in the dwelling, the tax increase per square foot, the number of square feet occupied by the tenant and the maximum allowable surcharge at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the increase. The increase shall not be effective unless and until 30 days written notice is given.
Payment of Surcharge. The tax surcharge each tenant is liable for shall be paid in 12 monthly payments.
Tenancies of Less than one Year. The tax surcharge for tenancies of less than one year shall be computed in the same manner as provided in subsection 14-1.6a, but no tenant shall be liable in any month for more than one-twelfth (1/12th) of the tax surcharge so computed.
Surcharge Not Considered Rent. The tax surcharge shall not be considered rent for purposes of computing rental increases.
Tax Appeal. In the event of a tax appeal, the portion of the tenant's tax surcharge not being paid by the landlord to the government will be held in an interest bearing account. If the appeal is successful and the taxes reduced, the tenant will receive 50% 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 a check made payable to the tenant. If the tax appeal is successful, the landlord may retain 50% of the escrow amount as reimbursement for all expenses connected with the tax appeal.
[1971 Code § 13A-7]
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 the lease was entered into.
Any individual tenant or a class of tenants who is not receiving substantially the same standards of service, maintenance, furnishings or equipment may have the Rent Control Board determine the reasonable rental value of the housing space with the reduced services. The tenant or class of tenants shall pay the reasonable rental value as full payment for rent until the landlord demonstrates to the Rent Control Board that the deficiency has been corrected.
A provision of a lease or other agreement whereby any provision of this subsection is waived shall be deemed against public policy and shall be void.
[1971 Code § 13A-8]
No landlord shall, after the effective date of this section, charge any rents in excess of what he was receiving immediately prior to the effective date of the ordinance, except for increases authorized by this section.
A landlord re-renting housing space during a housing state of emergency shall not charge a new tenant a higher rent or tax other than the maximum he was permitted to charge the previous tenant pursuant to the provisions contained herein.
The provisions of this section being necessary for the welfare of the Township and its inhabitants shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.
[1971 Code § 13A-9]
The permissible rental increases pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not apply where they exceed or conflict with the increases allowed by any Statute or rule of the Federal government, State government, County government, or any agencies thereof.
[1971 Code § 13A-10]
It is hereby recognized that there may be major reductions in taxation of real property that would give a landlord an unexpected and unfair profit especially taking into consideration that his overall rental basically includes a sum allowable for cost of real estate taxes.
Therefore, should the landlord have a reduction in real estate taxes for a rental premises or project in any one year, not caused by extraordinary depreciation such as loss by fire, storm, and the like, the amount of reduction in taxes shall be apportioned over the number of units and such reduction then proportionately accredited to reduce the rental of each individual unit.
A tenant shall be permitted to make application to the Rent Control Board in the event of an extraordinary reduction in the cost of fuel, utilities or other specific service upon which the rental is based.
[1971 Code § 13A-11]
It is expressly recognized that an efficient landlord is entitled to a just and reasonable rate of return from his property. To that end, a landlord is permitted to make application to the Rent Control Board for rental increases on the basis that rents allowed by this section prevent the landlord from receiving a just and reasonable rate of return.
Landlords shall have the burden of proof as established through expert testimony or otherwise that the rate of return is unjust and not reasonable in accordance with the formula set forth below. This formula shall be the exclusive formula for determining a just and reasonable rate of return.
Definitions. As used in this subsection.
- FAIR NET OPERATING INCOME
- Shall mean gross maximized annual income less reasonable and necessary operating expenses, such expenses not to exceed fifty seven and one half (57.5%) percent of gross maximized annual income.
- GROSS MAXIMIZED ANNUAL INCOME
- Shall mean all income resulting directly or indirectly from the operation of a property or building, including, but not limited to, all rent received or collectible, all earnings from commissions, vending machines, deductions from security deposits, late fees, pet fees, parking fees, and any and all other fees or income derived from operation of the rental premises, less a three and one half (3.5%) percent deduction for vacancies and uncollectibles.
- REASONABLE AND NECESSARY OPERATING EXPENSES
- Shall mean all valid expenses incurred and paid by a landlord for a residential rental property during the period reflected in income computed in accordance with the provisions and limitations of this chapter. Interest and principal payments on mortgages, and depreciation, do not constitute operating expenses but municipal taxes and reserve for capital replacement are included.
Permitted Increase. Whenever a landlord shall determine that the reasonable and necessary operating expenses computed in accordance with the provisions of this section are greater than fifty seven and one half (57.5%) percent of the gross maximized annual income, an application may be made to the Rent Control Board for an increase of rent in order to re-establish the fifty seven and one half (57.5%) percent relationship. Any increase so granted shall be pro-rated to all of the units within the structure or on the property, and further, provided that where a written lease is in effect for a property, or for any portion thereof, no increase for that property or portion thereof, shall be permitted until the expiration of such written lease unless the following pre-conditions have been complied with:
The written lease agreement contains a provision permitting the landlord to make application for and collect from the tenant any increase in rental permitted pursuant to this section.
Service upon the tenant of a notice advising the tenant of his right to serve upon the landlord a written notice terminating the lease agreement effective 30 days subsequent to filing by the landlord of an application for rent increase pursuant to this section.
Indication in the separate notice referred to hereinabove of the landlord's right to file an application for rent increase pursuant to this subsection.
Application Requirements. In any application under this subsection, the landlord shall, in addition to those requirements mandated by this section, specifically certify:
Computation. In computing reasonable and necessary operating expenses under this section, the following limitations shall apply in all cases:
Taxes shall be limited to those amounts actually due and owing at the time of application.
Repairs and maintenance shall be limited to arms-length transactions and shall be reasonable and necessary. Cost of service contracts shall be pro-rated over the period covered. Painting costs shall be pro-rated over the number of years of actual painting cycle in the building, but in no event shall painting be pro-rated at a period of more than three years of the interior of dwelling units or five years for the exterior and common areas.
Purchase of new equipment shall be reflected and pro-rated over the useful life of the equipment.
Legal and auditing expenses shall be limited to reasonable and necessary costs of the operation of the property. A landlord may not deduct expenses incurred in litigating any declaratory or injunctive relief as to his rights under any State, local or Federal law, except for actions in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus. All costs shall be itemized on the application.
Management fees shall be limited to the actual services performed including the resident manager's salary, telephone expenses, postage, office supplies, stationery, and the value of any apartment provided. Where the landlord performs his own management and/or superintendent services, the amount allocated therefor shall be limited to the actual value of services performed. In no event shall management fees exceed 6% of the first $50,000 of gross maximized income, four and one half (4.5%) percent of the next $25,000 4% of the next $100,000, three and one half (3.5%) percent of the next $100,000, and 3% of any amount over $275,000.
Salaries not included in management fees shall be limited to actual services performed, shall be reasonable and comparable to amounts paid for similar positions in the area, including rental value, if included, in income and expenses and wages and benefits paid.
Advertising shall be limited to actual costs that are reasonable to ensure occupancy only.
Utilities including, but not limited to gas, electric, water, and oil shall derive from arms-length transactions and the landlord shall demonstrate that all reasonable efforts to conserve energy and fuels have been used.
Insurance shall derive from arms-length transactions pro-rated over the life period of the policy and shall not include any person's life, medical or other personal policies.
No penalties, fines, or interest for any reason shall be allowed.
The history of the income and expenses shall be consistent with the application or fully documented as to any changes.
"Reserve for replacement" shall be permitted as an expense only if:
The landlord produces at the hearing a savings account passbook or similar account verifying the existence of a reserve.
The landlord submits as part of his application a detailed explanation of how the reserve for replacement amount was arrived at, including particularly the useful lives of each capital item involved and the dollar amount attributable to them.
The landlord submits as part of his application documentation to show that the reserve fund has been utilized where replacement of any of the capital items has occurred, and that replacement of capital items has, in fact, occurred as their useful lives have expired.
The landlord submits to the Board annually thereafter a certification from the bank, savings and loan association or similar institution as to the amount in the reserve account and further submits a certified and detailed explanation of any withdrawals made from the account.
Should application for rental increase be made pursuant to this section, then and in that event, at the time of any sale of the rental property, the landlord shall submit to the Board a detailed accounting of the disposition or transfer of the reserve account. In no case shall the annual reserve for replacement exceed three and one half (3.5%) percent of the gross annual income from rent.
Payment of Permitted Increase. Any increases permitted by the Lakewood Township Rent Control Board pursuant to this subsection, shall be effective retroactive to the first rental pay period at the expiration of 30 days from the date of the landlord's application for an increase is filed with the Board. Should the landlord revise the application for an increase:
Based upon submission of expenses not related, in whole or in part, to the premises in question; or
Because the original application deviates from accepted accounting standards; or
Resulting in an increase in the amount of relief sought, then and in that event the increase permitted by the Board shall be retroactive to the first rental pay period subsequent to 30 days from the date the revised application is submitted to the Board. Any applications revised by the applicant or the Board for reasons other than as set forth hereinabove shall be deemed to have been submitted in its revised form on the original submission date. Any retroactive portion of the increase permitted by the Board as set forth hereinabove, shall be payable by the tenant in three equal monthly portions commencing with the first rental pay period subsequent to the Board's decision. The staggered payments shall be in addition to the prospective increased payments for which the tenant shall be responsible as a result of the Board's decision.
Improper Use of Reserve for Replacement. Should a landlord have been granted an increase in rent pursuant to this subsection after having alleged reserve for replacement as an expense item, and thereafter, a tenant believes that the landlord has failed to make proper use of the reserve for replacement as set forth in this subsection, then and in that event, the tenant may make application to the Rent Control Board for appropriate relief.
[1971 Code § 13A-12]
A landlord who finds that present rentals are insufficient to cover the cost of mortgage payments, taxes and maintenance may seek a hardship rental increase. The Rent Control Board may grant a hardship rent increase to meet these payments.
The Rent Control Board shall consider all relevant evidence including conditions of the premises, the degree of hardship to the landlord and financial records explaining the mortgage, tax or maintenance expense. Any landlord seeking a hardship surcharge shall petition the Rent Control Board after serving notice upon the tenants by certified mail or by personal service of such intent to seek a hardship surcharge and after full disclosure of all relevant financial information to the tenants. The Rent Control Board shall give reasonable opportunity for both the landlord and the tenant to be heard before making a determination.
Any increases permitted by the Rent Control Board pursuant to this section shall be effective retroactively to the first rental pay period at the expiration of 30 days from the date of the landlord's application for an increase is filed with the Board. Should the landlord revise the application for an increase:
Based upon submission of expenses not related, in whole or in part, to the premises in question; or
Because the original application deviates from accepted accounting standards; or
Resulting in an increase in the amount of relief sought, then and in that event, the increase permitted by the Board shall be retroactive to the first rental pay period subsequent to 30 days from the date the revised application is submitted to the Board. Any applications revised by the applicant or the Board for reasons other than as set forth hereinabove shall be deemed to have been submitted in its revised form on the original submission date. Any retroactive portion of the increase permitted by the Board as set forth hereinabove shall be payable by the tenant in three equal monthly portions commencing with the first rental pay period subsequent to the Board's decision. The staggered payments shall be in addition to the prospective increased payments for which the tenant shall be responsible as a result of the Board's decision.
[1971 Code § 13A-13]
All applications filed with the Rent Control Board must have attached thereto a statement signed by the applicant, officer of the applicant or representative having personal knowledge of the information contained in the application as follows:
"I certify that the foregoing information contained in this Rent Control Board application is true. I am aware that if any of the information set forth therein is willfully false, I am subject to punishment."
[1971 Code § 13A-14]
Prior to filing an application with the Rent Control Board all parties shall personally serve a copy of the application on each tenant or landlord affected by the application. In addition, the applicant shall include a notice that the information upon which the application is based is available for inspection at a specified location within the Township during normal business hours provided reasonable notice of a request to review is given the applicant. The applicant shall submit proof to the Rent Control Board that service has been made in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Personal service of the application may be accomplished by any and/or all of the following means:
Personally delivering a copy of the application to the tenant or tenants and having said tenant or tenants acknowledge receipt of same in writing.
Mailing a copy of the application to the tenant or tenants by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Service of a copy of the application on the tenant or tenants by a constable or other official licensed to serve process by the State of New Jersey, or any subdivision thereof.
Serving a copy of the application upon the tenant or tenants by ordinary mail.
Provided if ordinary mail is used, the applicant must bring a list of all tenants or landlords affected by the application to the Township Clerk's office along with a complete copy of the application and the sealed, addressed and stamped envelopes to be mailed containing the application. The Township Clerk or a representative thereof shall check the envelopes against the list of tenants to verify that each tenant is being mailed an application and if satisfied, shall deposit said envelopes in the mail and forward the master list of tenants or landlords to the Rent Control Board secretary with written confirmation that all tenants shall have been mailed an application.
[1971 Code § 13A-15]
The Rent Control Board secretary shall mail a notice to each affected party of the date, time and place that the matter will be heard by the Board. Such notice shall be mailed at least two weeks prior to the hearing date.
[1971 Code § 13A-16]
Each landlord shall post with the Township Clerk on or before July 1 of each year a list of the rentals being paid for each unit of dwelling space rented to a tenant.
[1971 Code § 13A-17; New]
[1971 Code § 13A-18]
If any of the provisions of this section shall be judged invalid by a Court of competent jurisdiction, such order or judgment shall not affect or invalidate the remainder of the section, and to this end, the provisions of each paragraph, article, section, or subsection of this section is hereby declared to be severable.
[1971 Code § 13-3.1]
This section shall be known and cited as the Rent Control Code for Substandard Housing in the Township.
[1971 Code § 13-3.2; Ord. No. 2003-26 § 1]
The Township Committee hereby finds and determines that the reports of the Department Head of the Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning and the respective Inspectors, Police Officers, the records of numerous Court proceedings, the investigation of the Welfare Department of the Township and an inspection of the various areas of the community clearly shows that the health and safety of numerous residents of this municipality are impaired or threatened by the existence of substandard multiple dwellings. The Township Committee further finds and determines that the conditions are such as to warrant the regulation of rents and the possession of rental space in such substandard multiple dwellings in the Township pursuant to the authorization procedures and regulations set forth in Chapter 168 of the Public Laws of the State of New Jersey, approved June 18, 1966 and the adoption of the minimum standards for multiple public housing promulgated by the Department of Conservation and Economic Development, Bureau of Public Housing, entitled State Housing Code (Rent Control) dated July 25, 1966.
[1971 Code § 13-3.3; Ord. No. 2003-26]
The Department Head of the Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning of the Township or his designee is hereby designated and authorized to act as the Public Officer to exercise and enforce the powers and regulations prescribed by this section and by the provisions of Chapter 168 of the Public Laws of 1966.
[1971 Code § 13-3.4; Ord. No. 2003-26 § 2]
As used in this section:
- BUREAU OF HOUSING
- Shall mean the Bureau of Housing of the State Department of Conservation and Economic Development.
- HOUSING SPACE
- Shall mean 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 be defined to or include public housing or dwelling space in any hotel, motel or established guest house.
- MULTIPLE DWELLING
- Shall mean 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.
- Shall mean the holder of the title in fee simple.
- PARTIES IN INTEREST
- Shall mean all persons 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
- Shall mean the Department Head of the Department of Code Enforcement and Zoning of the Township or his designee and shall also mean the authority designated by this section to exercise the powers prescribed herein and by Chapter 168 of the Public Laws of 1966.
- SUBSTANDARD MULTIPLE DWELLING
- Shall mean any multiple dwelling determined to be substandard by the Public Officer.
[1971 Code § 13-3.5]
The minimum standards for health and safety requirements including but not limited to water supply, plumbing, garbage, storage, lighting, ventilation, heating, egress, maintenance, use and occupancy in the Township shall be those minimum standards promulgated and set forth by the Bureau of Housing of the State of New Jersey, Department of Conservation and Economic Development, effective July 25, 1966, filed with the Secretary of State of the State of New Jersey, pursuant to Chapter 168 of the Public Laws of 1966, the minimum standards are entitled State Housing Code (Rent Control) Chapter 168, P.L. 1966, approved June 18, 1966. Three copies of the minimum standards have been placed on file in the office of the Township Clerk and are available to the public. The minimum standards are hereby adopted by reference.
[1971 Code § 13-3.6]
Whenever it appears by preliminary investigation that a multiple dwelling is substandard, the Public Officer shall cause a complaint to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such multiple dwelling, stating the reasons why the multiple dwelling is deemed to be substandard and setting a time and place for hearing before the Public Officer. The owners and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer and to appear and give testimony. The rules of evidence shall not be controlling in hearings before the Public Officer.
[1971 Code § 13-3.7]
If, after notice and hearing, the Public Officer determines 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 the 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.
Failure to complete such repairs, alterations or improvements within a reasonable time as fixed by the Public Officer shall be cause to impose rent control on the substandard multiple dwelling.
[1971 Code § 13-3.8]
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 the 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 is 15% or more in the case of a multiple dwelling containing five or more dwelling units. In determining the fair net operating income, the Public Officer shall consider the following expenses: heating fuel, utilities, payroll, janitorial materials, real estate taxes, insurance, interior painting and decorating, depreciation, and repairs and replacement and additions to furniture and furnishings which expenses shall be deducted from the annual income derived from the multiple dwelling. All items of expense and the amount of annual income shall be certified by the owner or other person entitled to receive the rents on forms provided by the Public Officer.
The imposition of rent control on any substandard multiple shall take effect at the expiration of the term of any lease and shall remain in effect thereafter so long as the multiple dwelling is subject to rent control.
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 dwelling 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. The owner or other person entitled to receive the rents shall not be prevented, however, from exercising legal 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 the rents shall be provided reasonable grounds to obtain possession of premises for his own personal use and occupancy and for purposes of substantially altering, remodeling or demolishing the multiple dwelling.
[1971 Code § 13-3.9]
Whenever the Public Officer finds that a multiple dwelling subject to rent control is no longer substandard, he shall inform the Township Committee and rent control for substandard housing of the multiple dwelling shall be removed.
[1971 Code § 13-3.10]
In the event the owner of a 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 a condition or conditions harmful to the health and safety of the occupants of the multiple dwelling or to the general public, the Public Officer may, with the approval of the Township Committee, 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 the harmful condition or conditions. The rents and income so collected by the receiver shall also be available for the payment of costs and expenses of the receivership, as may be adjudged by the Court, and for the payment to the Township of any fines or penalties which may have been imposed on the owner for violations of this section and which have not been paid by the person liable therefor. The Court may proceed in the action in a summary manner or otherwise. The receiver shall not be required to give bond and shall be appointed only for the above purposes.
Upon appointment, the receiver, by and with the approval of the Township Committee, in all cases where the real property in question is encumbered by a first mortgage shall appoint the first mortgagee if the mortgagee is a proper person and is willing to accept the appointment as the receiver's agent to collect the rents and income from the real property and manage the same. In all other cases the receiver, by and with the approval of the Township Committee, may designate the person in charge or 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, which mortgagee or other person shall account promptly to the receiver for the rents and income so collected. If the mortgagee or other persons so designated is 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 the designated mortgagee or other person and upon written notice the Court may remove such designated mortgagee or other person and 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, 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 Tax Collector or other Officer of the Township is such receiver. In any receivership proceeding under this act, the Court shall have jurisdiction to make such orders and directions to the receiver as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act and to conserve the real property during the pendency of the receivership.
[1971 Code § 13-3.11]
Any person aggrieved by an order issued by a Public Officer under this act may, within 60 days after the posting and service of such order, bring an action for injunctive relief to restrain the Public Officer from carrying out the provisions of the order and for any other appropriate relief. The Court may proceed in the action in a summary manner or otherwise. The remedy herein provided shall be exclusive, and no person affected by an order of the Public Officer shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken pursuant thereto, or because of noncompliance by any person with any order of the Public Officer.
[1971 Code § 13-3.12; New]
The owners and management of every multiple dwelling situated in the Township shall register with the Township Clerk. The registration shall be upon forms prescribed and furnished by the Township which forms shall include the following items, all of which must be furnished and completed in detail:
The name and residence address of any and all persons owning or claiming to own the lands on which the multiple dwelling is situated.
The names and addresses of any and all persons holding mortgages or other liens known to the owner.
The number of apartments in the multiple dwelling.
The number of rooms for each apartment and the use including a statement of the maximum number of persons to reside in each apartment or room and the number of persons to be permitted to sleep in each sleeping room.
The name and address of an agent designated by the owner to be in charge of the multiple dwelling house. The agent shall be for all purposes the agent for the owner in accepting any notice, complaint, summons or other process or any notice of requirements that may be necessary to be served upon the owner pursuant to this chapter.
A precise description of the location of the multiple dwelling by street and house number or if no street and house number of tax map block and parcel.
Every multiple dwelling in the Township shall be registered as above set forth with the Township Clerk within 30 days.
Failure to register a multiple dwelling as above set forth or failure to comply with any of the terms of this section shall constitute a violation of the Township Code and be punishable as set forth in Chapter 1, Section 1-5. This provision, however, in no way is to limit any other rights, proceedings or remedies, for the enforcement of this section otherwise provided herein.