During the term of this chapter, the landlord shall maintain the same standards of service, maintenance, furniture furnishings and equipment on the housing space and dwelling as he provided or was required to do by law or lease at the date the lease was entered into.
No landlord shall, after the effective date of this chapter, charge any rents in excess of what he was receiving from the effective date of this chapter; nor shall such landlord charge any rents in excess of what he was receiving on January 11, 1973, if such excess is in excess of the rental which is authorized by this chapter.
[Amended 7-12-2000 by Ord. No. R-449]
Any landlord seeking a regular increase in rent pursuant to § 155-5 of this chapter must include in the notice of said increase a certification signed by either the landlord or a qualified inspector within the Division of Health to the effect that the dwelling is in substantial compliance with the Hoboken Building Code, Hoboken Housing Code, the Hoboken Fire Prevention Code and Property Maintenance Code of the State of New Jersey. The landlord may not charge or collect such rental increase if he has failed to provide any such certification, and, in such instance, the tenant may refuse to pay such rental increase without Board proceedings, though the tenant may file the notice with the Board for information. If a notice of rental increase should be served without a certificate of substantial compliance, then that notice shall be invalid. The landlord may serve a second notice of rental increase containing a certificate of substantial compliance, and the rental increase shall be effective no earlier than the date of increase contained in said second notice. If the tenant is served with a certificate of substantial compliance, as part of a notice of increase, and he wishes to challenge the accuracy of that certificate, he may file a complaint with the Rent Leveling Board, and said increase shall be paid by the tenant during the pendency of case. If the Board should determine, at hearing regarding the accuracy of such a certificate, that the dwelling is not in substantial compliance with the aforesaid codes, then the Board may order that the rental increase be rescinded and order that amounts previously paid towards said increase be withheld from future rent.
[Amended 4-19-1995 by Ord No. R-122; 7-12-2000 by Ord. No. R-449]
Any landlord who seeks a capital improvement or hardship increase from the Board, pursuant to § 155-8 through 155-13 or 155-14, must file with his application a certification from a qualified inspector within the Division of Health to the effect that the building and grounds are in substantial compliance with the aforesaid codes, which certification shall be based on an application made by the landlord not more than one month before the filing of his application with the Board's Division Chief of the Office of Rent Leveling and Stabilization. No such increase may be granted until said certification has been filed. If a tenant contests the accuracy of said certification, he may file a complaint with the Board. If the Board determines that the certification is not accurate, then the Board may deny the application and rescind any increase granted thereunder. If the landlord fails to file a certificate of substantial compliance with his application for hardship or capital improvement increase, but he later does so, then the Board may process the application, but any increase granted by this Board shall be retroactive to the date of the certificate.
[Amended 7-12-2000 by Ord. No. R-449]
Whenever there is an issue as to whether or not a landlord is in substantial compliance, that issue shall be determined by the Rent Leveling Board after hearing based on the evidence adduced at hearing. At that hearing, any certification or inspection a qualified inspector within the Division of Health regarding substantial compliance shall be evidential but shall not be determinative.