Township of Montclair, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Township of Montclair 4-7-2020 by Ord. No. O-20-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
Approximately 40% of the residents of the Township of Montclair live in rental housing units, ranging from single-family houses to multiple dwellings of more than 100 apartments; and
B. 
The rapid upsurge in the market and speculation in multiple dwellings with rental apartments has resulted in a substantial increase in the amount of rents over a short period of time, causing and threatening to cause the dislocation of tenants unable to adjust to the higher rents; and
C. 
The governing body finds that intervention in the market is necessary to allow for a more gradual and orderly transition to higher rent levels without dispossessing existing tenants, and to maintain a supply of relatively affordable housing though the time of the rising market.
A. 
Applicability. The terms of this chapter apply to individual dwelling units within a building, including condominium or cooperative units in the process of being converted, or having been converted, rather than to an individual tenant occupying a dwelling unit. An agreement for occupancy of the dwelling unit shall not circumvent the application of this chapter by titling the agreement as other than a lease, such as, but not limited to a "use and occupancy agreement."
B. 
Exceptions. This chapter shall not apply to:
(1) 
Units in buildings with fewer than four residential units.
(2) 
Units for which the amount of rent is determined as a function of household income by a government program.
(3) 
Motels, hotels and similar-type buildings intended for transient use; floor space used strictly for commercial purposes in any type building, including state-licensed rooming houses.
(4) 
Dwelling units rented for the first time after the adoption of this chapter are exempt, and the initial rent may be determined by the landlord, but all subsequent rents shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(5) 
Dwelling units exempted by state or federal law.
C. 
Establishment of base rent. All rents established by landlords and tenants on March 10, 2020, and any subsequent permitted increase which by its terms becomes part of the base rent, shall represent the base rent from which permitted increases are calculated.
D. 
Tenure of rent stabilization. This chapter shall be reviewed by the governing body after 10 years to determine whether rent control legislation should be continued, modified or repealed.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AVAILABLE FOR RENT TO TENANTS
A dwelling unit is fit for habitation as defined by the statutes, codes and ordinances in full force and effect in the Township, and is occupied, or unoccupied and being offered for rent.
BOARD
The Rent Stabilization Board.
CODE COMPLIANCE
That the housing space and dwelling are free from all heat, hot water, elevator and all health, safety and fire code violations as well as free of all other violations of the chapter, the Property Maintenance Code and other applicable federal, state, county or local laws or regulations.
DIVISION
The Division of Housing and Urban Renewal of the New Jersey State Department of Community Affairs.
DWELLING
Any building or structure, including land, cooperative apartments and condominium apartments, or trailer, or land used as a trailer park, rented or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units. Furnished rooms are subject to the terms of this chapter notwithstanding the fact that furniture is provided by the landlord and/or rent is paid on a weekly or biweekly basis.
DWELLING UNIT
Any unit used for residential purposes, including both rental, cooperatively owned and condominium units.
EQUALIZED ASSESSED VALUATION
The value of the residential portion of real property, calculated by dividing the assessed value of the property for municipal tax purposes by the equalization ratio published by the Director of the Division of Taxation of the State of New Jersey, and multiplying the result by the fraction of the square footage of the floor area of the building and the area of the adjacent lot used for residential purposes, including corridors, storage space, stairwells and other such uses required in residential space, over the total square footage of the floor area of the building and the area of the adjacent lot, with areas used in common being allocated according to the same proportion.
GROUPS or ASSOCIATIONS
Combinations of building units or tenants which shall be recognized and permitted to proceed jointly if the Board finds a sufficient common basis of interest, facts or related connection; but such representation shall be established by an appropriate landlord, tenants or others with such direct interest in the premises. Persons without such direct interests shall not represent a landlord, tenants or others, nor shall the unauthorized practice of law or other profession be authorized or permitted.
A. 
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.
B. 
Includes a garage, carport or parking space, which garage, carport or parking space is included in the agreement for the rental of housing space.
JUST CAUSE FOR EVICTION
That the landlord recovered possession of a housing space or dwelling for one of the reasons and in accord with the procedures set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1, as amended. Removal of a tenant due to a change in ownership is not permissible unless said removal is done in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1.
LANDLORD
As used in this chapter, the person who owns or purports to own any building, structure or complex of buildings or structures in which there is rented or offered for rent housing space for living or dwelling purposes under either a written or an oral lease, provided that this definition shall not include owner-occupied two- and three-family dwelling premises.
LIVING AREA
The amount of total rentable space applicable to any given housing space, measured either in terms of rooms or square footage.
MAINTENANCE COSTS
Maintenance costs include real estate taxes, utility expenses, expenses for repairs, upkeep and maintenance respecting a dwelling unit, but shall not include principal or interest payments on any blanket encumbrance or other mortgage or encumbrance.
MAJOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
A permanent improvement that is reasonably expected to last more than three years. The improvement must benefit the dwelling and must be subject to an allowance for depreciation under federal income tax provisions, but the Rent Stabilization Board, taking all factors into consideration, will make the ultimate determination. Capital improvements shall include but not be limited to new construction relating to the dwelling, new bath fixtures, kitchen cabinets, kitchen fixtures, air-conditioning installation, heating system installation, electrical rewiring, electrical outlets, and replacement of doors, windows or other fixtures. Incidental repairs which are defined as expenditures that keep property in an ordinarily efficient operating condition and do not add to its value or appreciably prolong its useful life shall not be deemed capital improvements under this chapter.
MONTHLY MAINTENANCE CHARGE
The annual maintenance costs divided by 12.
PERIODIC TENANT
All tenants, including monthly tenants, who do not have a written lease.
RENT INCREASE, DECREASE OR ADJUSTMENT
The notice forwarded by the landlord to the tenant, or by the tenant to the landlord, by letter or in any other form, setting forth the proposed amount of rent increase, rent decrease or other rent adjustment. Each such notice shall state in detail the reasons justifying or requiring the rent increase, rent decrease or other rent adjustment.
RENTAL STATEMENT
The statement which the landlord shall be required to sign and deliver to the tenant, when requested by the tenant, and vice versa, describing the housing space rented, the related services and equipment involved, whether such include the use of the basement, garage, clotheslines, washing utilities, heat, hot water, garbage removal, repairs, maintenance and the like, and the base rent and charge.
RESALE
Resale of a dwelling unit means any sale subsequent to the original sale thereof.
SECRETARY
The Rent Stabilization Board Secretary.
SERVICES
The provision of light, heat, hot water, maintenance, painting, elevator service, air conditioning, storm windows, screens, superintendent service and any other benefit, privilege or facility connected with the use or occupancy of any dwelling or housing space.
UNINHABITABLE BUILDING
A structure which is completely vacant and unfit for human habitation as defined by the statutes, codes and ordinances in full force and effect in the State of New Jersey, County of Essex and Township of Montclair.
A. 
Established. A Rent Stabilization Board (the "Board") is established in the Township of Montclair.
B. 
Composition; terms.
(1) 
The Board shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the governing body by resolution. For reasons of continuity and in the best interests of the public, the terms of the first members appointed pursuant to this subsection shall be staggered terms of one-, two-, three-, and four-year term appointments, with two members receiving four-year terms. Thereafter the term of office of the members of the Board shall be for four years each.
(2) 
In addition to the five regular members, the governing body may appoint two alternate members to the Board. The term of an alternate member shall be two years. An alternate member shall be entitled to sit with, and participate as a member in, any meeting of or hearing before the Board. An alternate member who has attended the full hearing or hearings on a specific matter may vote upon any determination made during the absence or disqualification of any regular member.
(3) 
Members of the Board shall serve without compensation.
C. 
Disqualification of member. No member or alternate member of the Rent Stabilization Board shall be permitted to act on any matter in which that individual has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest.
D. 
Powers of Board. The Rent Stabilization Board is hereby granted and shall have and exercise all the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) 
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement the purpose of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the use of subpoenas, which rules and regulations shall have the force of law until revised, repealed or amended, providing that such rules are filed with the Township Clerk.
(2) 
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants to help them comply with the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords for rent increases or adjustments, as herein provided.
(4) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from tenants for rent adjustments or reductions, as herein provided.
(5) 
To hear and adjudicate appeals from determinations of the Rent Regulation Officer.
(6) 
To approve and accept a settlement or other agreement on the subject matter of a dispute between a landlord and tenant.
(7) 
To require a landlord to produce for examination his/her books, records, tax returns, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and such other records as the Board may require in connection with any application, hearing, proceeding or purpose, as set forth herein.
(8) 
The Rent Stabilization Board, upon an application by a landlord or tenant or upon its own motion, may set a date for a hearing, consider proofs and grant, deny, modify or otherwise adjust all rentals, by increasing or decreasing same, and the Board may make such determinations as to conditions, services, equipment, terms and related matters pertaining to rentals and controlled premises as may be warranted within the intent and purview of this chapter and applicable state laws.
E. 
Quorums. A quorum for hearing shall consist of three members or alternate members, and a majority of those present shall be authorized to issue orders pursuant to and consistent with the powers and functions of the Board.
A. 
Rent Regulation Officer; duties.
(1) 
Position created. There is hereby created the position of Rent Regulation Officer in the Department of Revenue and Finance, to be appointed by the Manager and compensated as provided in the then-current salary ordinance.
(2) 
Qualifications. The Rent Regulation Officer shall be appointed by the Manager.
(3) 
Duties. The duties of the Rent Regulation Officer shall be as follows:
(a) 
To obtain, keep and maintain all relevant records and other data and information.
(b) 
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants and to bring together tenants and landlords in formal conferences and suggest resolutions of conflicts between them in order to assist them in complying with the provisions of this chapter.
(c) 
To ensure compliance by the landlord and tenants with the provisions of this chapter.
(d) 
To remedy violations of this chapter by ordering rebates and increases and bring appropriate legal charges as provided by this chapter.
(e) 
To accept, process, investigate and determine complaints from tenants of illegal rental increases.
(f) 
To accept, process, review and investigate applications from landlords for rental increases or surcharges under the hardship increase or capital improvement recovery sections of this chapter.
(g) 
To coordinate and supervise all staff associated with the operation of this chapter.
(h) 
To attend all meetings of the Rent Stabilization Board.
(i) 
To perform such other duties as the Rent Stabilization Board may specifically direct and as allowed by this chapter.
(4) 
Determination. Any determination of the Rent Regulation Officer under this section or such duties as may be delegated to him/her by the Rent Stabilization Board, by regulation, will be rendered by the officer, in writing.
(5) 
Appeal.
(a) 
Any person aggrieved by a determination of the Rent Regulation Officer may appeal to the Rent Stabilization Board, which may sustain, vacate, modify or reverse said determination. An appeal shall be filed no later than 30 calendar days after the date that the determination is issued. The appeal shall be in the form detailed herein, and shall be accompanied by the fee as set forth in this chapter.
(b) 
Upon receipt of the appeal setting forth in detail the grounds for the appeal and the required fee, the matter shall be placed upon the Rent Stabilization Board agenda at the earliest convenient date for determination. During the pendency of the appeal, the rent for the subject unit shall be the rent as established by the Rent Regulation Officer.
A. 
Retention of professional services. In the event the Rent Stabilization Board determines that a landlord or tenant's application for relief contains calculations of a complex nature, then the Board, in the interest of fairness and efficiency, may determine that the services of professional experts are required to assist the Board in evaluating and processing the application.
B. 
Estimate of fee. Should the Board determine that professional assistance is required, then the Board shall forthwith send a copy of the application and supporting documents to any professional expert retained to assist the Board in evaluating and processing the application. Within five days of receipt thereof, the professional expert shall submit to the Board and to the applicant an estimate of funds necessary to undertake the professional services to be rendered.
C. 
Escrow funds. The applicant shall forthwith deposit such funds in an escrow account maintained by the Township. The professional expert shall submit vouchers for all reasonable and necessary fees for the professional services rendered, which fees shall be paid from the escrow account in the manner prescribed by N.J.S.A. 40A:5-16 through 40A:5-18 and the ordinances of the Township. The professional expert, at the time of submission of any such voucher, shall forward a copy of same to the applicant.
D. 
Appeal of fee. In the event that the applicant questions the reasonableness of any such voucher, the applicant may make written protest of such voucher to the Board. In no event shall the Board authorize the payment of any voucher submitted pursuant to this section sooner than 10 days after its submission. Any of the aforesaid moneys which are left in the escrow account upon completion of the application shall be returned to the applicant after the Board reaches its decision. Should additional funds be required after the original funds are exhausted, such funds as shall be necessary in the judgment of the Board shall be paid by the applicant to the Township and placed in the escrow account.
E. 
Action upon application. The Board shall take no formal action on any application unless and until all escrow funds have been deposited with the Township, and any time limitations set forth in this chapter shall be extended until all such escrow funds are deposited with the Township.
A. 
Opportunity to be heard. All interested persons shall be given the opportunity to be heard, with or without counsel, except that the Board, in its discretion, may limit repetitious testimony or ask that a spokesperson for the tenants be appointed.
B. 
The Rent Regulation Officer shall advise the appealing party of the date of the initial hearing on an appeal of his or her determination. The appealing party shall serve notice of the hearing date to the nonappealing party by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 20 days in advance of the hearing.
C. 
Oral decision by Board. In the event the Board renders its decision orally, immediately following the hearing, the landlord shall notify the tenants of the Board's decision if that decision affects the rent or term of any tenancy. The notice shall be by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested. Within 30 days thereof, the landlord shall provide the Board with a copy of any notice served upon any tenant. The Rent Stabilization Board shall not be required to render its decision in writing unless requested to by the landlord within 30 days of the hearing.
D. 
Reserved decision. In the event the Board reserves decision, the Board shall render a written decision within 45 days of the hearing unless the Board, in its discretion, determines that an additional hearing is necessary.
E. 
Additional hearings. If an additional hearing is necessary, the Board shall so notify the landlord within 20 days of the initial hearing. A copy of the notice of hearing shall be posted conspicuously in the lobby of the building. The landlord shall serve notice of the hearing date to the tenant, by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 20 days in advance of the hearing.
Either the landlord or a tenant may appeal the decision of the Rent Stabilization Board. All decisions of the Board are final. Any landlord or tenant wishing to appeal the decisions of the Board may do so in the Superior Court of New Jersey pursuant to its rules and procedures.
A. 
Rent control established. All units, unless otherwise specifically exempted, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. Any and all increases not in accordance with the provisions of this chapter are void and shall be refunded or credited to the tenant.
B. 
Annual increases for covered units.
(1) 
The maximum permissible annual rent increase is 4.25%.
(2) 
Exception for qualified senior tenants. For apartments in which at least one tenant is 65 years of age or older, the maximum annual permissible rent increase is 2.5%.
C. 
Hardship increase. This subsection applies where the annual operating expenses for any one building exceed at least 75% of the total annual gross income. Operating expenses shall include all reasonable expenses necessary to carry out the proper operation and maintenance of the property, including property taxes allocated to the year. Operating expenses shall exclude mortgage amortization, mortgage interest, interest or costs of financing, attorney's, expert's or engineer's fees related to the filing of hardship or capital improvement applications, depreciation or expenditures for capital improvements. In reviewing operating expenses, the Board shall consider normal and recurring expenses and may make adjustments for extraordinarily high or low operating expenses in any given year. Annual gross income shall include all income realized in connection with the operation of the premises, including rentals from all residential and commercial units, as well as fees collected for parking, rental from machines, concessions and garages or other services. As to cooperatives and condominiums, the rent charges shall be at least equivalent to the maintenance costs charged by the association. This figure becomes the new base rent and may be increased by 10% after the first year.
(1) 
In considering a hardship application, the Board shall give due consideration to any and all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) 
The level and quality of service rendered by the landlord in maintaining and operating the building.
(b) 
The presence or absence of reasonable, efficient and economic management. Total management fees may not exceed 6%.
(2) 
An applicant for hardship relief shall submit to the Board 10 copies of the following:
(a) 
A statement for three prior twelve-month periods of gross rentals and actual expenses incurred for that time in connection with the operation of the building, to be adjusted to reflect the actual period of time the applicant has owned the building if owned for less than three years.
(b) 
A list of all present owners of the property.
(3) 
A landlord shall not be entitled to apply for a hardship increase until (s)he has owned the property for at least 18 months.
(4) 
The Board's decision shall become effective after full 30 days' statutory notice to tenants.
(5) 
The Board shall promulgate rules, regulations and necessary forms to be utilized, notice to tenants of hardship applications and notice to tenants and landlords regarding hearings and general procedure. Those rules and regulations shall have the force of the law and shall be filed with the Township Clerk.
(6) 
With the filing of a hardship increase application, the landlord shall simultaneously deliver notice thereof to each affected tenant. At a minimum, a landlord seeking a hardship increase shall notify tenants, in writing, by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, and provide tenants with a summary of the application and state the increase sought. Any tenant who receives such notice shall have 30 days to file any written comments with the Board regarding the application.
(7) 
Within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, the Board shall notify the landlord, in writing, of the time and place for the hearing. The hearing shall be held not more than 90 days nor less than 30 days from the date of receipt of a complete application. The landlord shall immediately, upon receipt of such notification of hearing, serve such notice upon each affected tenant. The landlord shall serve notice of the hearing date to the tenant by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 20 days in advance of the hearing. Prior to any hearing on such application, the landlord shall present the Board with proof of service of notice to each affected tenant.
(8) 
No hardship application shall be considered or granted by the Board for a period of time more than one year after the expiration of applicant's last tax reporting year.
(9) 
The Board shall render a decision on a hardship application within 45 days of the conclusion of the hearing before the Board. Failure of the Board to render its decision within the time period, absent consent of the landlord, shall result in the application being deemed granted.
(10) 
A hardship increase shall become part of the base rent.
D. 
Major capital improvement or additional services surcharge.
(1) 
Application; notice.
(a) 
A landlord may apply for a major capital improvement surcharge or for a surcharge for major additional services not formerly provided to the tenants of units of housing space in the affected dwelling. The landlord shall make written application to the Board upon forms adopted by the Board for these purposes. Simultaneously with filing of a major capital improvement application, the landlord shall serve notice upon each affected tenant. The landlord shall submit with its application a letter of code compliance from the appropriate Township department.
(b) 
The Board shall promulgate rules, regulations, forms to be utilized and notice procedures to the tenant. At a minimum, a landlord seeking a major capital improvement surcharge shall notify tenants, in writing, by certified mail and provide tenants with a summary of the application and state the increase sought.
(2) 
Nature and cost of improvement. A landlord shall submit a detailed contract or proposal and proof of payment as to each improvement.
(3) 
Amortization of cost. The cost for a major capital improvement shall be amortized over the useful life of such capital improvement as determined by the Rent Stabilization Board and the Rent Stabilization Board's accountant.
(4) 
Notice of hearing. Within 30 days from receipt of all required application forms, the Board shall notify the landlord, in writing, of the time and place of the hearing. The landlord shall immediately, upon receipt of such notification of hearing, serve notice thereof upon each affected tenant. Prior to any hearing on this application, the landlord shall present the Board with proof of service of notice of the hearing upon each affected tenant.
(5) 
Time for application. No major capital improvement application shall be considered or granted by the Board for work completed more than one year before the date of filing of a request for a letter of code compliance from the appropriate Township department.
(6) 
Finding of improvement; apportionment of surcharge. Upon determination that the proposed improvement is a major capital improvement or that that the proposed service is a major additional service not formerly provided to the affected tenant or tenants, the Board may grant a surcharge based upon the cost of the major capital improvement or major additional service. These costs shall include reasonable interest thereon. Any surcharge granted by the Board shall be fairly apportioned among the affected units based on the size of the units and the benefit of the improvement to each unit. If any such surcharge is granted, it shall not be considered a part of base rent and shall not be included in calculating the annual rent increases allowable under § 257-9. A surcharge for a major capital improvement shall expire at such time as the cost of the capital improvement plus reasonable interest have been covered by the surcharge, which shall be determined by the Board as part of its decision. A surcharge for additional services shall remain in effect as long as the services are provided.
(7) 
Notice of decision. The Board shall notify the landlord, in writing, of its determination under this subsection, and the landlord shall forthwith deliver a copy of the determination by certified mail to each affected tenant, to become effective upon thirty-day notice.
(8) 
Protected tenancy status.
(a) 
No major capital improvement surcharge shall be imposed upon any tenant who has been granted protected tenant status pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.22 or 2A:18-61.40.
(b) 
Any major capital improvement surcharge awarded within two years prior to the date of notice to the municipal administrative officer required by N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.27 or 2A:18-40 shall immediately become null and void upon the grant of protected tenancy status. The protected tenant's rent shall be recalculated and reduced accordingly; however, no rebate of a previously paid surcharge shall be granted.
(9) 
Compliance with codes. Permits, as required by law, are to be secured from all agencies having control and jurisdiction for alterations, repairs, replacements, extensions and new buildings. All work done shall adhere to appropriate code standards and shall be inspected by any agency having control and jurisdiction, and their approval obtained. Copies of such permits shall accompany the capital improvement application.
E. 
Property tax increase surcharge. In the event of an increase in the real estate tax on the property from the previous year, the landlord may apply to the Rent Regulation Officer for approval of a surcharge to cover the increase only. The surcharge shall reasonably apportion the increase over all residential and commercial spaces in 12 monthly installments. Only one tax increase surcharge at a time may be charged to a rental space.
F. 
In the event that a tax appeal is taken by the landlord and the landlord is successful in the appeal and the taxes reduced, the tenant(s) shall receive 100% of the reduction as applied to its (their) proportionate share of the taxes, after deducting all reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord in prosecuting the appeal.
G. 
Maximum annual increase. The maximum annual increase from all sources listed under this § 257-9, Permitted increases, shall not exceed 15% unless an efficient landlord cannot meet operation expenses or make a fair return on his/her investment. A tenant shall not receive an aggregate increase from all sources of more than 15% in any twelve-month period.
H. 
Compliance with housing and building codes. Any landlord seeking an increase under this section must file, with its application, a letter from the appropriate Township department that the building and grounds are in code compliance with building and housing codes and regulations. No increase shall be permitted if the building or grounds are not in compliance with said codes and regulations.
I. 
Legal rent calculation. In calculating the maximum legal base rent, the Rent Regulation Officer and the Board shall allow all annual rent increases that may have been applied to an apartment, whether actually charged or not.
A. 
Continuation of services. During the term of this chapter, the landlord shall maintain the same standards of service, maintenance, furniture, furnishings and equipment in the housing space and dwelling as required under the lease or otherwise mandated by law.
B. 
Decline in services. When services, care or maintenance, or when the standards of service, maintenance, furniture, furnishings and equipment in the housing space or dwelling, are not substantially maintained as specified above, any tenant may apply to the Board for a decrease in rent. A copy of such application shall be served upon the landlord setting forth, in detail, the reasons for the application.
C. 
Applicability to parking spaces. The provisions of this section shall also apply to any on-site parking or garage space occupied by the tenant in conjunction with rental and occupancy of housing space. If it is determined, after a hearing of the Board, as described in this chapter, that the parking was a previously provided service, then the rent shall be decreased by 25% of the current monthly rent.
D. 
Hearing notice procedure. Upon receipt of the application by the Rent Regulation Officer, the Rent Regulation Officer shall schedule a hearing on the application and shall notify both landlord and tenant of the date, time and place of the hearing.
E. 
Maintenance of services. During a tenant's occupancy of a unit in which the landlord provides utilities to the units of the building, the landlord will be prohibited from constructing a separate apartment unit meter and billing for any utility service previously provided by the landlord as part of the services to the building, including but not limited to heat, hot water, water and sewerage.
F. 
Violation and penalties. A first violation of § 257-10E of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 for each unit in violation. Subsequent violations shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $2,000 for each unit. Each day during which an owner is in violation of § 257-10E of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation.
A. 
Notwithstanding any limitations on permissible rent increases under any other provisions of this chapter, upon the voluntary uncoerced vacation of any apartment, rent increases for which are controlled in this chapter, the landlord shall have the right to fix the rent for such vacated apartment at such sums deemed appropriate, subject to the following:
(1) 
In order to qualify for a vacancy decontrol rent increase, the landlord shall first be required to file with the Rent Stabilization 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 unit and that the vacating of such unit was a voluntary act on the part of the tenant.
(2) 
Such statement shall also include the rent paid by the vacating tenant and the date the tenant will be vacating the unit. For the purposes of this section a vacation caused or necessitated by substandard, unsafe or unsanitary conditions shall not be deemed a voluntary vacation. Such noncoercion certification shall not be required in order for the landlord to qualify for the vacancy decontrol increase if:
(a) 
The increase does not exceed the total of all permissible increases authorized by any other provisions of this chapter;
(b) 
The tenant has moved from the unit without notice to the landlord;
(c) 
The unit has been vacated pursuant to a judicially mandated eviction;
(d) 
The tenant has refused to sign such certification, and upon appeal by the landlord the Rent Stabilization Board has found that such refusal was unwarranted and that there was in fact no coercion exerted by the landlord upon the vacating tenant.
B. 
A hearing pursuant to Subsection A(2)(d) above shall be held before the Rent Stabilization Board upon at least seven days' notice to the public and the vacating tenant.
C. 
The new base rent established pursuant to this section shall not be increased more than 10% over the base rent charged to the prior tenant at the time the apartment was vacated.
A. 
Harassment; reduction of services prohibited. Any tenants desiring to remain in their units may do so without provocation or retaliation from landlords. For the purposes of this section, harassment of tenants shall mean conduct, whether direct or indirect, committed intentionally or negligently by a landlord, or anyone acting on his/her behalf. These actions include, but are not limited to:
(1) 
A reduction in the quality of basic services necessary to the health, safety and welfare of the tenants.
(2) 
Heat and hot water.
(3) 
Adequate security.
(4) 
Intermittent failures.
(5) 
Bothersome telephone calls or letters.
(6) 
Frivolous eviction threats or legal proceedings.
(7) 
Actions which would cause a reasonable person of like age and physical condition of a tenant to fear for his/her life, limb, property or home.
B. 
Investigation/prosecution of harassment complaints. The Township shall investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute complaints involving harassment filed by either tenants or landlords.
A. 
Registration information; fee.
(1) 
Every owner of a multiple dwelling shall be required to file with the Township Clerk (and to furnish a copy to the Rent Regulation Officer) a statement showing the amount of rentals charged for each rental unit as of June 1, 2020, and as of June 1 in each succeeding year referred to in this chapter as rent rolls. Such statement shall be filed by July 1 in each year, except that the initial rental statement shall be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the adoption of this chapter or any amendment to this chapter. Each statement shall remain on file with the Township Clerk as a matter of public record in accordance with state-mandated retention policies. The annual statement shall be filed on the approved form provided by the Clerk, which may also be available online, and all information shall be completed. In the event an owner fails to file the completed rent statement within 15 days of receiving written notice sent by the Clerk via certified mail, return receipt requested, notifying the owner of its failure to file, the owner shall be prohibited from increasing any dwelling unit rental for a period of 12 months and continue to be prohibited from increasing any dwelling unit rental until a valid registration statement is on file.
(2) 
In those instances where the tenant of a rental dwelling unit in a condominium or cooperative is subject to this chapter, the owner of the dwelling unit must similarly file a statement showing the rental charged for that dwelling unit.
B. 
Registration statement: contents. A registration statement shall include at least the following:
(1) 
The name of each tenant and the apartment number.
(2) 
The number of rooms for each apartment.
(3) 
The current rent for each apartment.
(4) 
The amount of the last increase for each apartment.
(5) 
The date of the last increase for each apartment.
(6) 
If applicable, the services provided to the building and the telephone number.
(7) 
If applicable, the superintendent's name, address and telephone number.
C. 
In the event a landlord or a prior property owner for the same property has not filed an annual registration statement, the Rent Regulation Officer, in determining a legal rent calculation, and the Board, upon any review of that determination, shall be permitted to disallow any increase for that year that the landlord or prior landlord failed to file a rent registration statement.
D. 
Public document. For the purpose of disclosure, the registration statement shall be considered a public document which shall be made available for inspection pursuant to reasonable regulations established by the Township Clerk.
A. 
Compliance required prior to granting increase.
(1) 
Any landlord who seeks a hardship or major capital improvement increase under § 257-9 shall file with an application a certification from the office of the appropriate Township department to the effect that the building and grounds are in substantial compliance with Township building and housing codes, which certification shall be based on an application made by the landlord to the appropriate Township department not more than one month before the filing of his/her application with the Board. No such increase may be granted until such certification had been filed and, if a tenant contests the accuracy of such certification, until the Board has determined that there is substantial compliance.
(2) 
The Board shall deny the application until there has been such compliance.
There is hereby established a schedule of fees for applications to the Rent Stabilization Board.
Annual registration statement filing
$10 per apartment
Legal rent determination
$25 per apartment
Appeal of Rent Regulation Officer decision
$100
Tax surcharge application
$100
Capital improvement or service increase application
$250
Hardship application
$300
Vacancy allowance application
$250
Personal service or service by certified mail that is either refused or uncalled for may be re-mailed by ordinary mail and shall be effective as though personal service or notice by certified mail had been accepted.
A. 
Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter or of willfully filing with the Rent Stabilization Board or Rent Control Officer any material misstatement of fact shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both. A violation affecting more than one leasehold shall be considered a separate violation as to each leasehold.
B. 
This section shall be in addition to any remedies for noncompliance or violation of this chapter set forth elsewhere in this chapter.