[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Passaic 4-2-1987 as Ord. No. 971-87. Amendments noted where applicable.]
On and after the effective date of this chapter, all licensed real estate practitioners operating within the City of Passaic shall be required to be registered with the Department of Community Development. Such registration shall be made on forms provided by the Department of Community Development and shall include:
The name, business address and business telephone number of the real estate firm.
The name, address, telephone number and social security number of all principals of such firm.
The name and social security number of each licensed employee of the firm.
Such other information as the Department of Community Development shall determine.
Such registration shall be subject to renewal by January 31 of each year. Renewal shall require filing of a new registration form and payment of the required fee.
The fee for the initial registration shall be $50 for each firm with three or more employees, including the principal, and $25 for each firm with fewer than three employees. Renewal fees shall be $25 for firms with three or more employees and $15 for firms with fewer than three employees. Fees are for the calendar year, and there shall be no proration thereof.
Any change in the principals of any firm during any year shall require the filing of a new registration and payment of the initial registration fee. Any change in employees shall require filing of notification of change listing employees added or deleted. Such notification shall be filed within 10 days of the date of employment or date of termination of any employee. It shall be a violation of chapter for any employee of a real estate firm to engage in any aspect of real estate activities until such person is registered with the Department of Community Development.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this chapter:
- Door-to-door soliciting by the use of circulars, visitations or any other means where the canvasser or his employer has not been invited or requested by the owner, as defined below, to obtain a listing of a real property or to confer with the owner regarding a real estate transaction. The term "canvassing," as defined, shall not apply when such soliciting is restricted to a specific house on a particular day, nor shall it apply when a property owner has publicly advertised his house or real property for sale.
- The lessee, sublessee, assignee, managing agent or other person having the right of ownership or possession or the right to sell, rent or lease any real property.
- Any firm, association, partnership or corporation, as well as a natural person. The term "person," as applied to partnerships or other associations, includes their members and, as applied to firms and corporations, includes their officers and employees.
- Any occupant, prospective occupant, lessee, prospective lessee, buyer, prospective buyer or any agent of these.
Prior to undertaking or engaging in any activities to canvass in the city in an attempt to obtain listings of real property or in an attempt to bring about the sale or purchase of real property, any licensed real estate practitioner or employee or agent thereof shall file a notice of intent to canvass with the Department of Community Development of the City of Passaic. Such notice shall obtain the following information:
Such notice shall be completed and filed with the Department of Community Development no fewer than 20 days nor more than 30 days prior to the date on which the canvass will take place.
It shall be unlawful for any person to commit any one or more of the following acts:
To induce, directly or indirectly, or attempt to induce, directly or indirectly, the sale or listing for the sale of real property by representing that an adverse change has occurred or will or may occur with respect to the racial, religious or ethnic composition of the block, neighborhood or area in which the property is located.
To induce, directly or indirectly, or attempt to induce, directly or indirectly, the sale or listing for sale of real property by representing that the presence or anticipated presence of persons of any particular race, religion or national origin in the area will or may result in:
To make any misrepresentations concerning the listing for sale or the anticipated listing for sale or the sale of real property in the area for the purpose of inducing or attempting to induce the sale or listing for sale of real property.
To make any representation to any prospective purchaser that any block, neighborhood or area has, will or might undergo an adverse change with respect to the religious, racial or ethnic composition of the block, neighborhood or area for the purpose of discouraging the purchase of property in a particular area.
To place a sign purporting to offer for sale any property that is not in fact offered for sale.
To advertise for sale or rental property which is nonexistent or which is not actually for sale or rental.
To engage in or hire or conspire vith others to commit acts or activities of any nature, the purpose of which is to coerce, cause panic, incite unrest, create or play upon fear with the purpose of inducing or attempting to induce the sale or listing for sale of real property.
To solicit a listing from any homeowner who has previously requested, in writing, that such person refrain from soliciting such homeowner.
To engage in any economic reprisal or any other form of intimidation against any person because that person has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or conference under the terms of this chapter.
To aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce any person to engage in any of the practices forbidden by this chapter or to obstruct or prevent any person from complying with the provisions of this chapter.
The Director of the Department of Community Development shall have the following functions, powers and duties, in addition to those provided otherwise by law:
To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind suitable rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter, provided that such rules and regulations shall be approved by the Council and, upon approval, filed with the Clerk.
To receive and investigate complaints alleging violations of the provisions of this chapter.
To hold conferences and make investigations and, for this purpose, to call upon municipal officials and employees to aid and assist him therein.
To render each year to the Council a written report of activities pertaining to this chapter.
Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged unlawful practice forbidden by the provisions of this chapter may, by himself or by his attorney at law, make, sign and file with the Director of the Department of Community Development a verified complaint in writing which shall state the name and address of the person alleged to have committed the unlawful practice complained of and which shall set forth the particulars thereof and contain such other information as may be reasonably required by the Director of the Department of Community Development.
After the filing of a complaint by an aggrieved person or by any resident, the Director of the Department of Community Development shall cause a prompt investigation to be made of the alleged unlawful practice.
If, after such investigation, the Director of the Department of Community Development shall determine that no probable cause exists for crediting the allegations of the complaint, he shall, within 10 days from such determination, cause to be issued and served upon the complainant written notice of such determination.
If, after such investigation, the Director of the Department of Community Development shall determine that probable cause exists in accordance with the allegations of the complaint, he may elect to take action as set forth in Subsection F below, or, in his discretion, he may endeavor to eliminate the unlawful practice complained of by conference and conciliation. Such conference shall be opened to the public unless otherwise requested by one or both of the parties to the conference.
If the practice complained of is not eliminated, the Director of the Department of Community Development may:
Refer the matter to the Real Estate Commission of the state for such disciplinary action as may seem appropriate and make any records available to the Commission as may relate to the matter, notwithstanding any other action which the Director of the Department of Community Development may take or may already have taken.
Sign a complaint against the alleged offending person for trial before the Municipal Court.
Refer the entire file to the Municipal Prosecutor for such action as he may deem proper or necessary in the circumstances.
A person claiming to be aggrieved as set forth herein may elect to file a complaint directly to the Municipal Court and prosecute the same on his own behalf or to pursue any other proper procedure that he may elect.
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and imprisonment for not more than 90 days.
Each violation of a section or subsection of this chapter shall constitute a separate and distinct violation independent of any other section or subsection. Each day's violation of any section or subsection of this Code shall constitute a separate violation.