Township of Hazlet, NJ
Monmouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hazlet as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 172.
Development review — See Ch. 181.
Article I Licensing and Standards

§ 273-1 Definitions.

§ 273-2 Enforcement; authority to investigate.

§ 273-3 License required.

§ 273-4 Expiration of license; renewal.

§ 273-5 Application requirements; fee.

§ 273-6 Investigations prior to licensing.

§ 273-7 Issuance of license.

§ 273-8 Conditional license.

§ 273-9 Age restriction license.

§ 273-10 Adequate water supply, sewage disposal and fire protection facilities required.

§ 273-11 Limitation on licenses issued.

§ 273-12 Standards and requirements.

§ 273-13 Management.

§ 273-14 Revocation of license.

§ 273-15 Hearing; notification; decision.

§ 273-16 Effect on existing parks; annual renewals.

§ 273-17 Period of license.

§ 273-18 Violations and penalties; injunctive relief.

Article II Rental Control

§ 273-19 Findings.

§ 273-20 Definitions.

§ 273-21 Administration.

§ 273-22 Prohibited rent increases.

§ 273-23 Procedure for rent control increases.

§ 273-24 Application by landlord for rent increase.

§ 273-25 Application by tenant for rent decrease.

§ 273-26 Notice of hearing.

§ 273-27 Decisions.

§ 273-28 Hardship rent increase.

§ 273-29 Capital improvement surcharge.

§ 273-30 Automatic rent increases.

§ 273-31 Tax and utility increases.

§ 273-32 Landlord reporting.

§ 273-33 Illegal eviction.

§ 273-34 Prohibited acts applicable to landlords.

§ 273-35 Lease provisions; violations; remedy procedures.

§ 273-36 Construal of provisions.

§ 273-37 Violations and penalties.

§ 273-38 Filing of complaints.

§ 273-39 Vacancy decontrol.

§ 273-40 Effective period; extensions.

[Adopted 3-16-1982 by Ord. No. 555-82 as Sec. 9-1 of the 1982 Revised General Ordinances (Ch. 217, Art. I, of the 1993 Code)]

§ 273-1 Definitions.

Whenever used in this article, unless a different meaning appears from the context, the following definitions shall apply:
AGE RESTRICTION
Any restriction based on the age of any or all residents of a mobile home park imposed by a mobile home park owner.
[Added 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 838-91]
MOBILE HOME
Any vehicle or structure so designed and constructed in such a manner as will permit occupancy thereof as sleeping quarters for one or more persons, or the conduct of any business or profession, occupation or trade, or use as a selling or advertising device; and so designed that it is or may be mounted on wheels and used as a conveyance on public highways or streets, propelled or drawn by its own or other motive power, excepting a device used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
MOBILE HOME PARK
Any park, trailer park, trailer court, court, camp, site, lot, parcel or tract of land designed, maintained or intended for the purpose of supplying a location or locations or accommodations for one or more mobile homes, and upon which any mobile homes are parked, and shall include all buildings used or intended for use as part of the equipment thereof. "Mobile home park" shall not include mobile home, automobile or trailer sales lots on which unoccupied mobile homes or trailers are parked only for purposes of inspection and sales.
MOBILE HOME SITE
A section or plot of land in a mobile home park of not less than 800 square feet of unoccupied space in an area designated as the location for only one automobile and one mobile home.
PERSON
Includes individuals, partnerships, firms, companies, tenants, owners, lessees or licensees, their agents, heirs, successors or assigns.

§ 273-2 Enforcement; authority to investigate.

It is hereby made the duty of the Construction Code Official of the Township to investigate all applications for licenses pursuant to this article and to enforce all provisions as may hereafter be enacted. For the purpose of securing such information and enforcement, he or she shall have the right and he or she is hereby empowered to enter upon any premises on which any mobile homes are located or are about to be located and inspect such and all accommodations connected therewith at any and all reasonable times.

§ 273-3 License required.

No person shall establish, operate or maintain or permit to be established, operated or maintained upon any property owned or controlled by him or her a mobile home park within the limits of the Township without having first secured a license therefor from the Township Clerk in compliance with the terms of this article.

§ 273-4 Expiration of license; renewal.

Such license shall expire one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed under the provisions of this article for additional periods of one year.

§ 273-5 Application requirements; fee.

A. 
Application form. The application for such license or the renewal thereof shall be filed with the Township Clerk and shall be accompanied by a fee of $10 for each mobile home site in the existing or proposed mobile home park. The application for a license or renewal thereof shall be made on printed forms furnished by the Township Clerk and shall include the name and address of the owner in fee of the tract and such description of the premises upon which the mobile home park is or will be located as will readily identify and definitely locate the premises. If the fee is vested in some person other than the applicant, the application shall include a duly verified affidavit by that person that the applicant is authorized by him or her to construct or maintain the mobile home park and make the application.
[Amended 9-21-1993 by Ord. No. 923-93]
B. 
Additional required information. The application shall be accompanied by four copies of a plan or sketch showing the following, either existing or as proposed:
(1) 
The extent and area of the total premises used for mobile home park purposes.
(2) 
Roadways and driveways.
(3) 
The location, dimensions and area of each mobile home site.
(4) 
The location and dimensions of each mobile home existing on each mobile home site.
(5) 
The location and number of sanitary conveniences, including toilets, washrooms, laundries and utility rooms to be used by occupants of mobile homes.
(6) 
The method and plan of sewage disposal.
(7) 
The method and plan of garbage removal.
(8) 
The method and plan for potable water supply.
(9) 
The method and plan for electrical lighting of the mobile home park and the mobile homes located or to be located thereon.

§ 273-6 Investigations prior to licensing. [1]

The Township Clerk shall forthwith forward one copy of the application and accompanying data to the Monmouth County Health Department. The Construction Code Official shall investigate the premises for compliance with other pertinent ordinances of the Township. The Monmouth County Health Department shall investigate the premises for the purpose of determining compliance with the Monmouth County Health Department ordinances and for the purposes of making recommendations within the area of its expertise, within 30 days of the receipt of the applications and accompanying data. The Construction Code Official and the Monmouth County Health Department shall complete their investigations and shall forward their findings and recommendations to the Township Committee.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 273-7 Issuance of license.

If the Township Committee shall thereafter find that there has been compliance with this article and all other applicable ordinances of the Township, it shall grant the license to the applicant.

§ 273-8 Conditional license. [1]

In the event that there shall be one or more subjects of noncompliance with this article, other pertinent ordinances of the Township or ordinances of the Monmouth County Health Department, the Township Committee may, in its discretion, issue a license conditional upon the subject or subjects of noncompliance being remedied by the applicant within specified periods of time.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 273-9 Age restriction license.

[Added 7-16-1991 by Ord. No. 838-91]
In the event that a mobile home park owner wishes to impose an age restriction on the residents of that mobile home park, the mobile home park owner shall apply for an age restriction license. In addition to the information required by § 273-5, a mobile home park owner shall submit a certification stating that the mobile home park meets the requirements of the Federal Fair Housing Act and all applicable state laws, including but not limited to 24 CFR 100.300 et seq. Any mobile home park owner who submits a false or inaccurate certification shall be subject to revocation of his or her age-restricted license in accordance with § 273-15. Such mobile home park owner shall further be subject to § 273-18.

§ 273-10 Adequate water supply, sewage disposal and fire protection facilities required. [1]

No mobile home park shall be located within the limits of the Township unless there is available a public water supply and a proper sewage disposal system which shall be approved by the Monmouth County Health Department. There shall be available fire hydrant facilities or equivalent facilities for fire protection within 600 feet of all units.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 273-11 Limitation on licenses issued.

No more than nine licenses for mobile home parks shall be issued within the limits of the Township.

§ 273-12 Standards and requirements.

A. 
Park plan design.
(1) 
Every mobile home park shall be located on a well-drained area, and the premises shall be properly graded so as to prevent the accumulation of stormwaters or other waters.
(2) 
Mobile home sites shall be clearly designated and the mobile home park so arranged so that all mobile homes shall face or abut on a driveway of not less than 40 feet in width, giving easy access from all mobile homes to a public street. Driveways shall be surfaced and maintained in good condition, have proper drainage, be well lighted at night and shall not be obstructed.
B. 
Electric service. Every mobile home shall be furnished with an electric service outlet. Such outlets shall be equipped with an externally operated switch or fuse of not less than 30 amperes' capacity, and a heavy-duty outlet receptacle.
C. 
Water supply.
(1) 
An adequate supply of pure water, furnished through a distribution system connected directly with a public utility water main, shall be furnished for each mobile home for drinking and domestic purposes.
(2) 
No common drinking vessels shall be permitted, nor shall any drinking water faucets be placed in any toilet room or water closet compartment.
(3) 
An abundant supply of hot water shall be provided at all times for bathing, washing and laundry facilities.
D. 
Waste and garbage disposal.
(1) 
All waste from showers, toilets, laundries, faucets and lavatories shall be disposed of into a sanitary sewer system.
(2) 
All sanitary facilities in any mobile home which are not connected with a sewer system by means of rigid pipe connections shall be sealed, and their use is hereby declared unlawful.
(3) 
Each faucet site shall be equipped with facilities for drainage of waste and excess waste into a sewer. In no case shall any wastewater be thrown or discharged upon the surface of the ground or disposed of by means other than as herein provided.
(4) 
Every mobile home shall have a substantial flytight metal garbage depository from which the contents shall be removed at least once each week.
E. 
Fire and emergency precautions.
(1) 
Fire. There shall be maintained in convenient places hand fire extinguishers approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners in the ratio of one to each eight mobile homes.
[Amended 9-21-1993 by Ord. No. 923-93]
(2) 
Emergency. Rear exit doors from mobile homes shall either be equipped with movable stairs or shall be kept clear to permit easy access in case of emergency.
F. 
Site numbers; street signs.
(1) 
Prominent display of site numbers. Each mobile home shall have displayed prominently and facing the street its lot or site number in reflecting numerals.
(2) 
Street signs. Signs shall be erected at all street corners designating the street and the numbers of the lots or sites contained along the street.
G. 
Heating systems. Every mobile home shall be equipped with a heating system of the type and method of installation as shall meet the requirements of either Appendix I of the National Building Code, 1955 Edition, as amended, recommended by the National Board of Fire Underwriters, or the provisions of any act of the New Jersey Legislature, or regulations promulgated thereunder, and pertaining to the type of heating systems and method of installation thereof in mobile homes.

§ 273-13 Management.

A. 
Management office. In every mobile home park there shall be an office building in which shall be located the office of the person in charge. A copy of the mobile home park license and of this article shall be posted therein. The register, hereinafter described, shall be kept in such office at all times.
B. 
Management duties. It is hereby made the duty of the attendant or person in charge, together with the licensee, to:
(1) 
Keep at all times a register of all mobile home tenants showing their names and addresses, which shall be open at all times to inspection by state and federal officers and officials of the Township.
(2) 
Maintain the mobile home park in a clean, orderly and sanitary condition at all times.
(3) 
See that the provisions of this article are complied with and enforced and report promptly to the proper authorities any violations of this article or any other violations of law which may come to his or her attention.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 217-13B(4), which required management to report to the Board of Health all cases or suspected cases of communicable disease, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(4) 
Prevent the running loose of dogs, cats or other animals or pets.
(5) 
Prohibit the lighting of open fires on the premises.
(6) 
Prohibit the use of any mobile home by a greater number of occupants than that which it is reasonably designed to accommodate.

§ 273-14 Revocation of license.

The Township Committee is hereby authorized to revoke any license issued pursuant to the terms of this article if, after the investigation, it determines that the holder thereof:
A. 
Has violated any of the provisions of this article.
B. 
Has failed to remedy any areas of noncompliance within the periods specified in any conditional license.
C. 
Is maintaining any mobile home or mobile home park in an unsatisfactory or unsafe manner or as a nuisance.

§ 273-15 Hearing; notification; decision.

Any person aggrieved by an order of the Township Committee granting, denying, renewing or revoking a license of a mobile home park under this article may file a written request for a hearing before the Township Committee within 10 days after the issuance of such order. The Township Committee shall give notice of a public hearing upon this request to be held not less than 10 days nor more than 20 days after service of the notice on the person requesting the hearing. At such hearing, the Township Committee shall determine whether the action taken was in accordance with the provisions of this article, and all persons interested shall be given an opportunity to be heard concerning the same.

§ 273-16 Effect on existing parks; annual renewals.

A. 
On or before November 30, 1975, the Township Clerk shall provide applications pursuant to this article to each owner of an existing mobile home park within the Township advising that such licenses as may have been issued under the licensing ordinance of the Township originally adopted January 21, 1957, shall be deemed to terminate June 30, 1976, and that licenses pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be required from and after July 1, 1976, and that applications for such licenses shall be filed on or before May 1, 1976.
B. 
In ensuing years, the Township Clerk shall provide license applications to each owner of a mobile home park on or before April 1, and such applications shall be filed on or before May 1 of each year.

§ 273-17 Period of license.

Licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be effective for the period of one year, commencing July 1 and terminating on June 30 of the ensuing year.

§ 273-18 Violations and penalties; injunctive relief.

[Amended 9-21-1993 by Ord. No. 923-23]
For violation of any provision of this article, the maximum penalty, upon conviction, shall not exceed the maximum penalties set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III. In addition, there shall be a minimum mandatory fine of $100 for each violation. Every day such violation shall continue shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. In the event that any violation shall continue for a period of five days or more, appropriate injunctive relief may be sought in a court of competent jurisdiction restraining and enjoining such continued violation.
[Adopted 3-16-1982 by Ord. No. 555-82 as Sec. 9-2 of the 1982 Revised General Ordinances (Ch. 217, Art. II, of the 1993 Code)]

§ 273-19 Findings.

The following matters and things are hereby determined, declared and recited:
A. 
An emergency continues to exist within the Township with respect to the rental of mobile home spaces and mobile homes in mobile home parks by reason of continuing demands for increases in rent, as herein defined, which are determined by the Township Committee to be causing severe hardships to tenants of such mobile home parks and adversely affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the Township, thereby warranting legislative action by the Township Committee.
B. 
The number of mobile home parks and spaces permitted within the Township has been limited by the Township Committee so as to achieve a balance in the types of housing permitted in the Township. It is desirable to maintain such balance, and the present situation cannot be corrected by increasing the number of mobile home parks or the number of mobile home spaces within such parks.
C. 
Mobile home park owners continue to enjoy an unintended monopoly which could be abused by the charging of unregulated rents.
D. 
The continued regulation of rents in mobile home parks will prevent abuses and at the same time ensure the benefits of balanced housing and regulation achieved by the licensing of mobile home parks and limitation of their number.
E. 
The Township is empowered to regulate the rents in mobile home parks pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2, bestowing power to enact ordinances for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the Township and its inhabitants.

§ 273-20 Definitions.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
For the purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
AGE RESTRICTION
Any restriction based on the age of any or all residents of a mobile home park imposed by a mobile home park owner.
APPLICATION
All applications for rent increases shall be submitted by the landlord upon forms provided by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, and may include requests for increases due to hardship and/or capital improvements and/or unusual or extraordinary repairs and/or tax and utility and/or consumer price index (CPI), singularly or jointly.
BASE RENT
The lawful rent in effect for the mobile home space as of the previous year, together with all base rental increases granted by the Township pursuant to this article. The term "base rent" shall not include any amounts granted for major capital improvement surcharges or reimbursement of expense for unusual or extraordinary repairs.
GROSS INCOME
The annual income derived, directly or indirectly, from the operation of the mobile home park, including but not limited to all rents received, including the owner's share of interest on security deposits, income from vending machines and laundry facilities, deductions from security deposits, late fees, pool fees, finder's fees, extra-person occupancy fees, amounts received from successful tax appeals, tax and sewer rebates, capital improvement surcharges and insurance proceeds.
INCREASE
Not only an increase in rent but any increase in or addition to the rent or any other charges made by the landlord to the tenant, and shall include any rebate not passed along to the tenant by the landlord and any diminution of services rendered as incident to the letting or occupancy as of August 1, 1975.
LANDLORD
The mobile home park operator, owner or other person leasing a mobile home and/or a mobile home space to a tenant.
LEASE
Includes any written or oral agreement pursuant to which any person is permitted to occupy a mobile home and/or mobile home space.
MAJOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
This shall be an improvement which is depreciable pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of the United States (IRS) and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder and allowed as depreciable expenses by the IRS. A major capital improvement must be a substantial addition to the mobile home park housing accommodations such as would materially increase the rental value of the mobile home space and which provides an additional service or benefit to the residents of the park not previously accorded them. The term does not include repairs or replacements which merely maintain the mobile home park in efficient operating condition. In determining whether a particular expenditure constitutes a major capital improvement under this article, the following shall be considered:
A. 
The nature of the improvement.
B. 
The extent and cost of the improvement.
C. 
The additional service or benefit to the mobile home park and to the residents' enjoyment thereof gained as a result of the improvement.
D. 
The degree of permanency of the improvement.
E. 
Depreciation afforded to the mobile home park owner pursuant to the IRS Code.
MOBILE HOME SPACE
That portion of a trailer or mobile home park rented or offered for rent within the Township of Hazlet for the purpose of parking a trailer or mobile home thereon and/or occupying a mobile home for living or dwelling purposes by one or more individuals or family unit, together with all privileges, services, equipment, parking spaces, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such space or mobile home. The term "mobile home space," as defined herein, includes any mobile home located upon a mobile home space and offered for rent. The term "mobile home park" includes one or more mobile home spaces.
NET OPERATING INCOME
Gross income less reasonable and necessary operating expenses.
REASONABLE AND NECESSARY OPERATING EXPENSES
All expenses incurred and paid by the mobile home park or space owner to operate the park or space during the period reflected in gross income computed in accordance with the provisions and limitations of this article. In computing reasonable and necessary operating expenses, the following limitations shall apply in all cases:
A. 
Expenses incurred by the sales of new or used mobile homes shall not constitute a reasonable and necessary operating expense.
B. 
Operating expenses shall not include mortgage, amortization, mortgage interest or depreciation, or cost of mobile home units or amortization or depreciation of mobile home units, or charges for real estate taxes, mobile home license fees, sewer, water, trash removal or Township recycling fees.
C. 
Taxes shall be limited to amounts actually paid, including those paid in escrow pending appeal. Taxes shall not include the park owner's real estate taxes on his personal residences.
D. 
Repairs and maintenance expenses shall not include expenditures for major capital improvements or for unusual or extraordinary repairs.
E. 
Purchase costs for new equipment not qualifying as a major capital improvement under this article shall be prorated over the useful life of the item.
F. 
Legal and accounting expenses shall be limited to actual costs for the operation of the park. Legal and accounting expenses resulting solely from an application made pursuant to this article shall not be considered reasonable and necessary operating expenses as defined in this article.
G. 
Management expenses shall be limited to actual services performed and paid for, including the resident manager's salary, telephone expenses, postage, office supplies, stationery and the value of the resident manager's mobile home site, if said value is included in gross income. In the case of self-management by a park owner performing management duties from an on-site personal residence, management expenses shall be allocated between moneys expended in the operation of the park and moneys expended for the park owner's personal and household expenses. In no event shall a fee for management services exceed 8% of the gross income.
REBATE
Any reimbursement received by or credited to a landlord for any tax or utility charge paid by or assessed against him in connection with the operation of a mobile home park, or any reduction in the amount of any tax or utility charge or assessment a landlord is required to pay in connection with the operation of a mobile home park.
RENT
Includes any charge or charges made, fixed, demanded or charged for the use or occupancy of a mobile home space, whether or not commonly known as "rent," be it for a landlord- or tenant-owned mobile home.
REPAIR
The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing mobile home park for the purpose of its maintenance.
SERVICE
Either personal service or via certified mail with return receipt.
TAX AND UTILITY
Includes those amounts paid by the landlord for real estate taxes, mobile home license fees, sewer and water charges of the utility companies providing these services, trash removal and Township recycling fees.
UNUSUAL OR EXTRAORDINARY REPAIRS
Repairs to existing major park improvements that are necessary, unexpected and which do not include expenses for normal or anticipated maintenance of improvements. Unusual or extraordinary expenses for repairs shall be reimbursed to the landlord in accordance with its actual and reasonable cost, with interest, at the prime rate calculated on a declining balance method and prorated over the time period that the particular expense is not expected to reoccur and shall be assessed to the tenants as a surcharge for that amount of time, after which time the surcharge will cease. Any surcharge granted shall not become a part of the base rent and shall not be included for the purpose of calculating any future rent increases.
VACANCY
The vacancy of a tenant due to the following:
A. 
The sale of a mobile home by the owner of said mobile home.
B. 
The lawful termination of the lease of a periodic tenant.

§ 273-21 Administration.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
The Township Administrator, or his or her designee, is hereby granted and shall have and exercise all of the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purposes of this chapter. In addition, the Township Committee, or its designee, may, as required under this chapter or as it otherwise deems necessary:
A. 
Issue and promulgate such rules and regulations in accordance with this chapter as it deems necessary to implement the purpose of this chapter, which rules and regulations shall thereafter be deemed to be a part of this chapter as fully as if set forth herein, and any violation thereof shall be a violation of this chapter.
B. 
Hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords or tenants for adjustments of rental as herein provided.

§ 273-22 Prohibited rent increases.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
From and after the effective date of this article, no landlord shall demand or receive any rent for any mobile home space presently in existence in excess of the base rent in effect for such mobile home space as of the previous year's increase, less all rebates, except in conformity with the provisions of this article.

§ 273-23 Procedure for rent control increases.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
Rent control increases may be allowed by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, upon application thereto by the landlord in the manner and for the reasons set forth in this article.

§ 273-24 Application by landlord for rent increase.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
A. 
Landlord's statement filed with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee. Each landlord shall file with the Township Clerk a statement setting forth:
(1) 
His name and address.
(2) 
The location and description of the leased premises.
(3) 
The name and address of each tenant.
(4) 
The general provisions of all leases, and in subsequent years, the prevailing rents of each at that time.
B. 
Application procedures.
(1) 
A landlord seeking a rent increase over the base rent or an increase in any rent increased by the Township, shall file a written application with the Township Administrator or his or her designee. The landlord shall forward a check made payable to the Township of Hazlet in the amount of $500 or $100 per mobile home space, whichever is less, for a hardship increase request which may include request for reimbursement for major capital improvements, unusual or extraordinary repairs or for a request for increase for tax and utility and/or CPI to cover the cost of administration of the application.
(2) 
The application shall set forth:
(a) 
The name and address of the landlord.
(b) 
The name, address and unit number(s) of the tenant or tenants who will be affected by the increase.
(c) 
The location of the property and description of all the terms of the lease then in effect.
(d) 
The applicant shall submit copies of all rent increases granted by the Board, or after the passage of this amendment, the Township, for the two years prior to the date of filing the within application. The applicant shall identify all increases whether tax, utility, consumer price index (CPI) increase, granted by the Board or the Township, relative to major capital improvements or unusual or extraordinary surcharges approved by the Board or Township within the two-year period.
(e) 
The applicant shall furnish with each application a complete summary of all current surcharges assessed for major capital improvements and unusual or extraordinary repairs which shall include the date of assessment, the amount of assessment or surcharge, and when that assessment or surcharge is scheduled to expire.
(3) 
The applications shall also set forth the reason for which the increase is requested, the amount of the increase requested and all calculations necessary to justify the increase.
(4) 
At the time of the application, the landlord shall serve written notice of said application on each affected tenant by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, and supply the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, with three copies of said written notice and shall advise the affected tenant that a true copy is available for review with the Township Administrator. Within 10 days after filing the application, the landlord shall file with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, proof of such service in affidavit form.
(5) 
No landlord shall file an application for a rent increase for any leased premises within one year of any prior application for a rent increase for the same leased premises.
C. 
Time of filing application.
(1) 
All applications for increases shall be filed and received by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, by March 31 in each calendar year.
(2) 
The applicant may appeal the decision of the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, to the Township Committee, or its designee, by requesting a hearing, in writing no later than 15 days after the mailing of the decision. The fifteen-day period shall be calculated from the date of postmark. The written request shall state the facts and/or calculations that are disputed and the exact particulars of the manner in which they are disputed.

§ 273-25 Application by tenant for rent decrease.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
A. 
A tenant whose base rent has been increased, may similarly make written application to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, for decrease of this rent by filing an application with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, within 30 days after the increase is effective, setting forth:
(1) 
The name and address of the tenant.
(2) 
The name and address of the landlord.
(3) 
The location and description of the leased premises.
(4) 
The rent paid prior to the most recent rental increase.
(5) 
The term of the lease.
(6) 
The reason the tenant feels that the increase in rent was unjustified, with supporting documentation.
(7) 
The amount the tenant feels is the correct rental amount.
B. 
In determining whether or not the increase was justified, the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, shall apply the same criteria as this article requires he or she to apply to a request for an increase.
C. 
At the time of the application, the tenant shall serve written notice of said application on the landlord of the mobile home park by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within 10 days after filing the application, the tenant shall file with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, proof of such service in affidavit form.
D. 
At the time of the filing of said application for a rent decrease, the tenant or group of tenants making such applications shall forward a check made payable to the Township of Hazlet in the amount of $100 to cover the cost of administration of the application.

§ 273-26 Notice of hearing.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
A. 
The following shall apply to all requests for hearings, unless otherwise specified in this amendment.
B. 
The Township Administrator, or his or her designee, shall make a determination within 45 days of the filing of a completed application by either a landlord or tenant. The decision shall be sent to the applicant and shall also be memorialized in a resolution to be passed at the next public meeting of the Township Committee of the Township of Hazlet.
C. 
All documentation submitted shall be open to inspection by affected landlords and tenants or their legal representatives. Any such notice delivered to the landlord and tenant shall include a statement that all such documentation is available for inspection at the Township Clerk's Office. Requests for the appearance of any real-estate appraiser, either by the landlord or the affected tenant, shall be made, in writing, five days prior to the hearing date to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, and to the parties. Failure to request the presence of said appraiser shall be deemed as a waiver of the party's right to cross-examine the appraiser. Any application that, in the sole discretion of the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, fails to contain all the required information or otherwise comply with this article, shall be returned to the applicant, and the forty-five-day period shall not commence until after the application has been corrected and a completed application is resubmitted to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee.
D. 
Protest. The affected landlord or tenant shall have 20 days following the filing of an application to provide the Township Administrator, in writing, with any protest over the proposed increase, which shall include all facts and/or calculations that are disputed and the exact particulars of the manner in which they are disputed. A copy of the protest shall also be served on the landlord or tenant(s). Within 10 days after a protest is filed, the Township Administrator shall schedule a conference with the affected landlord and tenant(s) to review and discuss the application before a final determination is made. However, if no protest is filed by the affected landlord or tenant(s), an informal conference will not be held and the Township Administrator shall made a determination on the application filed.

§ 273-27 Decisions.

[Added 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
Within 15 days of receipt of a decision of the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, or, where applicable, a decision of the Township Committee, or its designee, the applicant shall cause true copies of said decision to be served, if a landlord of a mobile home park, upon the tenants of said mobile home park, or if a tenant, upon the landlord of the mobile home park, either by personal service or by regular mail. All applicants shall cause to be filed with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, within 10 days of receipt of the decision, an affidavit, duly notarized, specifying the method and manner of service of the decision as provided herein.

§ 273-28 Hardship rent increase.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
Upon application duly made pursuant to the requirements of this article, the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may grant a park owner a hardship rent increase upon a showing that his reasonable and necessary operating expenses for the last full calendar year exceeded 60% of his gross income. If the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, is satisfied that such a showing has been established, then the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may grant a rent increase sufficient to restore reasonable and necessary operating expenses to 60% of gross income. In considering such application, the following rules and restrictions shall apply:
A. 
No park owner may make application for a hardship rent increase until he has owned the park for a period of at least one year.
B. 
The Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may grant a hardship rent increase to a particular park owner only once in a twelve-month period.
C. 
In support of this application for a hardship rent increase, the park owner shall submit to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, at the time of application a detailed summary of gross income and operating expenses for each of the prior three one-year periods.
D. 
Copies of all documentation in support of the application shall be filed by the park owner with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee. True copies thereof shall be made available for inspection and copying by any interested tenant or his legal representative.
E. 
The hardship application fee, if not otherwise reimbursed to the landlord, may be included in the landlord's calculations pursuant to this section.
F. 
Any increase granted shall be effective on a date to be set in the discretion of the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, subject to the laws of the State of New Jersey regarding rent increases.

§ 273-29 Capital improvement surcharge.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
Upon application made in accordance with the provisions of this article, the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may grant a rent surcharge to reimburse the park owner for the cost of a major capital improvement. Any surcharge granted by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, shall be equal to the actual cost incurred by the landlord, with interest at the prime rate calculated on a declining balance method, and shall be collected by the park owner from the tenants in equal monthly installments over the actual useful life of the improvement, as determined by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee. Such surcharge shall not become a part of the base rent and shall not be included for the purpose of calculating any future rent increase. In considering such an application, the following rules and restrictions shall apply:
A. 
No park owner may make application for a major capital improvement surcharge, until he has owned the park for a period of at least one year.
B. 
The Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may grant a major capital improvement surcharge to a particular park owner only once in a twelve-month period.
C. 
Copies of all documents in support of the application shall be filed by the park owner with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, no later than 10 days after the filing of the application and, in the event of a hearing, no later than 20 days prior to the date of the hearing. Copies thereof shall be made available for inspection and copying by any interested tenant or his legal representative.
D. 
No expenses for a return on an investment shall be permitted.
E. 
Any surcharge granted shall be effective on a date to be set, in the discretion of the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, subject to the laws of the State of New Jersey regarding rent increases.

§ 273-30 Automatic rent increases.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
A. 
Calculation of allowable automatic increase. At the expiration of a lease or at the termination of the lease of a periodic tenant and upon application, the landlord may request and receive from the tenant a percentage rental increase equal to the difference between the consumer price index, as identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (available at www.bls.gov/cpi) not less than 120 days prior to the proposed date of implementation of the rent increase and the consumer price index 120 days prior to the last consumer price increase, not to exceed a maximum of 5%. The landlord shall utilize the same base month for the increase calculation that was utilized in its previous application. The percentage of allowable increase calculated hereunder shall be applied to the tenant's existing rental charge.
B. 
Limitation on frequency of automatic increase. No tenant shall be given more than one increase in rent in any twelve-month period pursuant to this section. This limitation shall not in any way affect other permitted rent increases pursuant to the terms of this article.
C. 
Notice to tenants of automatic increase. Any landlord seeking an automatic increase in rent under this section shall, at least 30 days prior to the date of the anticipated implementation of the automatic increase, shall serve the affected tenant(s) and the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, with a copy of the application and provide proof of service of the application upon each affected tenant to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, within 20 days of service. The application shall contain the following information in addition to the other application requirements of this article:
(1) 
The consumer price index as identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (available at www.bls.gov/cpi) 120 days prior to the last consumer price index increase.
(2) 
The consumer price index no less than 120 days prior to the proposed date of entry into the new leasing arrangement.
(3) 
The calculation of the allowable percentage increase in rent pursuant to this section.
(4) 
The calculation of the amount of the allowable rental increases.
(5) 
The calculation of the tenant's rent for the new leasing term.
(6) 
The date of the anticipated implementation of the automatic increase which is the date upon which the thirty-day notice period expires pursuant to Subsection C above.
D. 
Hearing on tenant challenge of automatic CPI increase.
(1) 
Notice and hearing. In the event that the facts and/or calculations required pursuant to this section are disputed by an affected tenant, the tenant shall have the right to a hearing by the Township Committee, or its designee, by mailing to the landlord and the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, not less than 20 days after service of the CPI application upon the tenant by the landlord, a notice that the facts and/or calculations are disputed and the exact particulars of the manner in which they are disputed. The aggrieved tenant shall attach thereto a copy of the notice served upon him by the landlord pursuant to this section. The aforementioned twenty-day period shall be calculated from the date of postmark and shall be a jurisdictional requirement for the Township Committee or its designee. In the event of a perfected appeal, the automatic increase will be stayed until the Township Committee, or its designee, has held a hearing and rendered a decision on the dispute, which shall occur within 45 days of filing the application. If the Township Committee, or its designee, renders a finding in favor of the landlord, the automatic increase shall, subject to any applicable statutory law, be effective as of the original scheduled date of implementation even though same may require a retroactive rent increase payment by the tenant. If the Township Committee, or its designee, renders a finding in favor of the tenant, the anticipated automatic increase shall be void; no further automatic increase may be sought or implemented until the erroneous fads and/or calculations have been corrected and a new notice of increase pursuant to Subsection C above is served upon the tenant.
(2) 
The Township Committee, or its designee, may, independently, direct the landlord to appear before it and appear and/or furnish such additional documentation as it requires substantiating the landlord's application pursuant to this section.
(3) 
No appeal filed. In the event that no tenant appeal is perfected, or no notification is received by the landlord from the Township Committee, or its designee, pursuant to Subsection D(2) above, the rental increase due to the increase in CPI sought by the landlord shall be effective at the expiration of the thirty-day period identified in Subsection C(6) above.
(4) 
Fee. At the time an aggrieved tenant files an appeal with the Township Committee, or its designee, pursuant to Subsection D(1) above, such tenant shall include therein an application fee by check or money order made payable to the Township of Hazlet in the amount of $100, which shall be subject to reimbursement by the landlord to the tenant in the event that the tenant shall prevail after the hearing by the Township Committee, or its designee, on the dispute. The application fee paid by the landlord and not otherwise reimbursed to it shall be included in any CPI increase approved by the Township Committee, or its designee.

§ 273-31 Tax and utility increases.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
A. 
At the expiration of a lease or at the termination of the lease of a periodic tenant and upon application to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may grant a rent increase for increases in the landlord's expenses in the preceding twelve-month period by reason of real estate taxes, mobile home license fees, sewer charges, water charges, trash removal, mobile home license fees and Township recycling fees and rent control application fees not otherwise reimbursed to the landlord (hereafter "tax and utility charges").
B. 
Contents of application.
(1) 
The application for such an increase shall contain the following information in addition to the other application requirements of this article:
(a) 
The actual increase in expense for tax and utility charges.
(b) 
The actual charge sought from each tenant.
(c) 
Whether any nonmobile home residential use is covered by any included expense.
(d) 
The date of any previous increases granted for tax and utility, the amount of the increases and identification of the two twelve-month periods covered by the increase pursuant to Subsection J below.
(e) 
The date of implementation of said proposed increase which is not less than 30 days after the date of filing of the application and service upon the tenants.
(2) 
The landlord shall supply the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, with all documentation supporting an increase in the charges listed in Subsection A above for two consecutive twelve-month periods preceding the application. The supporting documentation shall be current to a period of a maximum of 90 days prior to the date of application.
C. 
No more than one such tax and utility application may be filed by any landlord in any twelve-month period.
D. 
No landlord shall include any expenses for tax and utility charges as part of any application for a rent increase authorized by this section which is not a reasonable and necessary operating expense attributable solely to the operation of the mobile home park as a residential rental property.
E. 
The landlord shall serve a copy of an application made under this section on the tenants at the time of filing and provide proof of service of the application upon each affected tenant to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, within 20 days of said service.
F. 
Notice and hearing. In the event that the facts and/or calculations required pursuant to this section are disputed by an affected tenant, the tenant shall have the right to a hearing by the Township Committee, or its designee, by mailing to the landlord and the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, not less than 20 days after service of the tax and utility application upon the tenant by the landlord, a notice that the facts and/or calculations are disputed and the exact particulars of the manner in which they are disputed. The aggrieved tenant shall attach thereto a copy of the notice served upon him by the landlord pursuant to this section. The aforementioned twenty-day period shall be calculated from the date of postmark and shall be a jurisdictional requirement for the Township Committee, or its designee. In the event of a perfected appeal the automatic increase will be stayed until the Township Committee, or its designee, has held a hearing and rendered a decision on the dispute, within 45 days of the filing of said application. If the Township Committee, or its designee, renders a finding in favor of the landlord, the automatic increase shall, subject to any applicable statutory law, be effective as of the original scheduled date of implementation even though same may require a retroactive rent increase payment by the tenant. If the Township Committee, or its designee, renders a finding in favor of the tenant, the anticipated automatic increase shall be void; no further automatic increase may be sought or implemented until the erroneous facts and/or calculations have been corrected and a new notice of increase pursuant to this section is served upon the affected tenants.
G. 
The Township Committee, or its designee may, independently, direct the landlord to appear before it and appear and/or furnish such additional documentation as it requires substantiating the landlord's application pursuant to this section.
H. 
In the event that no tenant appeal is perfected, or no notification is received by the landlord from the Township Committee, or its designee, pursuant to Subsection G above, the rental increase due to the increase in tax and utility sought by the landlord shall be effective at the expiration of the thirty-day period identified in Subsection B(1)(e) above.
I. 
Fee. At the time an aggrieved tenant files an appeal with the Township Committee, or its designee, pursuant to Subsection F above, such tenant shall include therein an application fee by check or money order made payable to the Township of Hazlet in the amount of $100, which shall be subject to reimbursement by the landlord to the tenant in the event that the tenant shall prevail after the hearing by the Township Committee, or its designee, on the dispute.
J. 
Commencing with the landlord's first application for rent increase submitted pursuant to this section subsequent to the date of enactment herein, that amount determined by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, or where applicable, the Township Committee, or its designee, to equal the landlord's actual increase for tax and utility shall be doubled and granted as a rent increase, the intent being to reimburse the landlord for increased taxes and utility for the twelve-month period prior to and the twelve-month period beginning with the date of application. Each and every subsequent application of the landlord shall be adjusted by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, to reflect the actual increase or decrease for tax and utility bills actually paid by the landlord.
K. 
Sewerage rate adjustments. A net Hazlet Sewerage Authority (HTSA) surcharge can be granted to each mobile home. The granted net HTSA surcharge amount may be automatically increased or decreased by the amount of an increase or decrease in the amount charged by the HTSA for sewer service per unit quarterly, divided by three (to reach a monthly increase amount). Similarly, the next HTSA surcharge amount shall be decreased automatically by the amount of any reduction made by the HTSA for sewer service subsequent to the effective date of any surcharge imposed pursuant to this section, using the decreased quarterly rate divided by three (to reach a monthly reduction amount). Any landlord imposing any such surcharge need not apply to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, for approval, but shall supply the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, with a copy of notification sent to the residents implement any such rent increase within 10 days of such notification.

§ 273-32 Landlord reporting.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
All landlords shall provide to the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, within 30 days of the end of the twelve-month period following the landlord's last submission of a rent increase application, and each anniversary date thereafter, a complete accounting of the tax, utility, water, sewer, trash removal, mobile home license and recycling fees for said twelve-month period, or multiple periods if not timely filed pursuant hereto. No rent increase will be granted to any landlord who fails to provide the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, with the required accounting for the period commencing with the date of the landlord's last application.

§ 273-33 Illegal eviction.

The eviction, threatened eviction or attempt to evict any tenant or threat of any reprisal against any tenant for refusal to pay rent in violation of the terms of this article shall constitute a violation of this article.

§ 273-34 Prohibited acts applicable to landlords.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
The following prohibitions shall apply to landlords:
A. 
No landlord shall be entitled or permitted to charge rent for any mobile home space for which a valid mobile home park license and certificate of occupancy is not in effect.
B. 
No landlord shall refuse to rent any mobile home park space to any person who has not purchased his mobile home from the landlord or from any other person designated by the landlord.
C. 
No landlord shall demand or receive, directly or indirectly, any premium or other thing of value, other than the rent fixed by this article, as a condition to the rental of any mobile home and/or mobile home space governed by this article.

§ 273-35 Lease provisions; violations; remedy procedures.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
A. 
The provisions of any ordinance of the Township licensing and regulating mobile home parks shall be deemed and taken to be a provision of any lease of any mobile home space as fully as if therein set forth, and violation of any such provision shall constitute violation of the lease. Any tenant aggrieved by any violation may file a petition with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, in the manner hereinbefore prescribed for filing an application, specifying the violation and the manner in which the tenant or tenants are injured thereby. If the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, shall determine that such violation exists and is injurious to the tenant or tenants, the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may order that the tenant shall thereafter pay into a special fund of the Township the money reserved for rent then due, or becoming due, and shall order the landlord to correct the violation within a reasonable time. If the violation is not corrected, the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, may apply the money and any interest thereon to cause the violation to be remedied, returning any surplus to the landlord.
B. 
The procedure in all such matters, including a right of appeal, shall follow the procedure hereinabove set forth for processing applications.

§ 273-36 Construal of provisions.

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

§ 273-37 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this article or of willfully filing with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, or where applicable, the Township Committee, or its designee, any material misstatement of fact shall be punished, upon conviction, by the penalty as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III, in the discretion of the court. A violation affecting two or more mobile home spaces shall be considered a separate violation as to each mobile home space.

§ 273-38 Filing of complaints.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
Complaints may be filed by the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, or the Construction Code Official.

§ 273-39 Vacancy decontrol.

[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
Whenever a vacancy, as defined in § 273-20, occurs with respect to a mobile home space, said mobile home space will be removed from rent control and will no longer be governed by Chapter 273. Furthermore, all new mobile home spaces constructed after April 1, 2007, shall not be governed by Chapter 273. A landlord must comply with the follow procedure prior to removing a mobile home space from rent control:
A. 
A landlord shall notify the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, in writing, upon the decontrol of any mobile home space within 30 days of said mobile home space becoming decontrolled. Said notice shall include lot affected and the reason why the prior tenant vacated, including but not limited to, for example, eviction by court action, voluntary vacation at the end of the term of the lease or any other reason for vacation.
B. 
If the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, determines that the landlord has harassed the former tenant into leaving, the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, shall have the power to return the unit to rent control and to order the rent decreased to the maximum allowable amount under rent control.
C. 
Failure of the landlord to file the aforementioned notice with the Township Administrator, or his or her designee, shall nullify any rent increases which the landlord obtained as a result of a decontrolled rent, and the landlord shall be required to maintain the unit under rent control rates.

§ 273-40 Effective period; extensions.

[Last amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 1443-08]
This amendment shall take effect upon its final passage and publication according to law and shall remain in full force and effect for a period of one year therefrom and shall thereupon automatically terminate, cease and be of no further force and effect provided, however, that the term of this article may be terminated by an affirmative vote of the Township Committee at any time or this article may be extended for successive terms of not more than two years each by ordinances readopting this article.