Union City, NJ
Hudson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Union City Ord. No. 1996-1 (Ch. XIV of the 1996 Revised General Ordinances); amended in its entirety 5-21-2013. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 155.
Relocation assistance — See Ch. 323.
Rental property — See Ch. 329.
Income from pay phones — See Ch. 391, Art. II, § 391-11.
A. 
The character of the City of Union City has changed over the years; the governing body has revised and amended the Rent Leveling Ordinance to reflect those changes;
B. 
The original Rent Control Ordinance was enacted in response to a housing emergency crisis which existed in the early 1970s;
C. 
Hudson County has lost $1,000,000,000 in tax ratables since 1992 as a result of successful residential and commercial tax appeals. Since 1994, Union City has lost $40,000,000 as a result of successful residential and commercial tax appeals;
D. 
Housing conditions in the City have changed since the enactment of the original Rent Control Ordinance; and
E. 
In light of the current economic conditions in the existing housing market in the City, it is no longer in the public interest to maintain rent control on all types of residential units.
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.”
[Amended 1-5-2016]
B. 
Exceptions. This chapter shall not apply to:
(1) 
Units in one-, two- and three-family buildings.
(2) 
Units in four- , five- and six-family buildings that are owner-occupied. Owners of four- , five- and six-family buildings, as part of their registration, must file an affidavit, stating that they reside in the building and comply with the regulations established by the Rent Stabilization Board, which regulations shall set forth criteria to establish proof of residency. The affidavit shall be in a form provided by the office of the Rent Board Administrator. The burden remains on the owner to demonstrate residency.
[Amended 3-1-2016]
(3) 
Motels, hotels and similar type building and buildings intended for transient use, floor space used strictly for commercial purposes in any type building, including state-licensed rooming houses. 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.
(4) 
New construction, consistent with state law, shall be exempt from this chapter.
C. 
Existing tenants; establishment of basic rent. Existing tenants will continue to be protected by rent control while they remain in their units. For these tenants, a landlord must still comply with the requirements of this chapter. All rents established by landlords and tenants on March 1, 1973, and any subsequent increase shall represent the base rent from which permitted increases are calculated.
D. 
Tenure of rent stabilization. This chapter shall remain in effect until the Board of Commissioners determines, by ordinance, that rent control is no longer necessary in the City of Union City and that it is in the public interest to permit the unrestrained operation of the competitive rental market.
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 City, 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.
CONVERTER
The owner, or representative of the owner, of property containing dwelling units covered by this chapter, who proposes to or takes any action for the purpose of effecting a conversion of such property or dwelling units, from some other form of ownership into a cooperative or condominium form of ownership.
COOPERATIVE and COOPERATIVE CORPORATION
A cooperative housing association or corporation which entitles the holder of a membership interest therein to possess and occupy a unit of dwelling space owned and leased by such association or corporation.
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 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 outlined 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.
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 as of March 1, 1973, or other applicable date.
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 Hudson and City of Union City.
A. 
Established. The Rent Stabilization Board, consisting of five members as hereinafter established, is hereby continued in existence and maintained as the Rent Stabilization Board of Union City.
B. 
Composition; terms.
(1) 
The Board shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners by resolution adopted by a majority vote of the Commissioners. 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- , four- , and five-year term appointments.
(2) 
Thereafter the term of office of the members of the Board shall be for five years each. Each member shall serve without compensation, but each shall receive such expenses and per diem allowances as the Board of Commissioners, from time to time, may deem appropriate.
C. 
Alternate members. In addition to the five members of the Rent Stabilization Board, the Board of Commissioners, as it deems necessary, may appoint two alternate members to the Rent Stabilization Board, by resolution adopted by a majority vote of the Commissioners. The term of an alternate member shall be for one year. If any vacancy should occur among the regular members, then the Board of Commissioners may appoint either of the alternate members to fill the unexpired term. 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 participate in, and may vote upon, any determination made during the absence or disqualification of any regular member.
D. 
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.
E. 
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, in its description, providing that such rules are filed with the City 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 adjustments or additional rental, as herein provided.
(4) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from tenants for adjustment or reduced rental, as herein provided.
(5) 
To approve and accept a settlement or other agreement on the subject matter of a dispute between a landlord and tenant.
(6) 
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.
(7) 
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.
F. 
Quorums. A quorum for hearing shall consist of three members or alternate members, and a majority shall be authorized to issue orders relating to 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.
(2) 
Qualifications. The Rent Regulation Officer shall be appointed by and under the direction of the Director of the Department of Revenue and Finance.
(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 notify landlords that there is no record of compliance by the landlord 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 and process complaints from tenants of illegal rental increases and to investigate such complaints prior to any decision being rendered.
(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.
(j) 
To process all complaints regarding the withholding of certain residential units from the rental housing market with the City and forward them to the Construction Code Official or his/her duly appointed designee, whose responsibility shall be to conduct an investigation in accordance with law. Upon completion of such investigation, a report shall be issued to the Rent Regulation Officer, who shall be authorized to issue a complaint in accordance with the above section.
(k) 
With respect to any application that the Rent Regulation Officer receives from a tenant for a legal rent calculation complaint pursuant to §§ 334-4 and 334-5 above, a tenant shall in no case be entitled to a rent rebate for an illegally collected rent which accrues between the date of the filing of the legal rent complaint and the date of the final determination, which shall not be computed as part of the three-year rebate limitation.
(4) 
Compensation. The Rent Regulation Officer shall receive such compensation as established by the Board of Commissioners.
(5) 
Term. The term of the Rent Regulation Officer shall be one year and thereafter until a successor is chosen and qualifies.
(6) 
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.
(7) 
Appeal.
(a) 
In the event an affected party wishes to appeal that determination, that party shall have 30 calendar days from the date of that decision to file a formal appeal of the determination with a fee as set forth in Chapter 155, Fees, of the Code of the City of Union City for each unit which is the subject of the appeal. The notice of appeal shall be forwarded to the Rent Leveling Office by ordinary and certified mail within that thirty-day period.
(b) 
Upon receipt of the notice of 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.
B. 
Assistant Rent Regulation Officer.
(1) 
Position created. There is hereby created the position of Assistant Rent Regulation Officer in the Department of Revenue and Finance.
(2) 
Qualifications. The Assistant Rent Regulation Officer shall be appointed by and under the direction of the Director of the Department of Revenue and Finance.
(3) 
Duties. The duties of the Assistant Rent Regulation Officer shall be to assist the Rent Regulation Officer in any and all matters which may be required of him/her or delegated to him/her by the Rent Regulation Officer, including those duties performed by the Rent Regulation Officer.
C. 
Bilingual Principal Account Clerk/Typist, English and Spanish.
(1) 
Position created. There is hereby created the office or position of Bilingual Principal Account Clerk/Typist, English and Spanish, in the Department of Revenue and Finance.
(2) 
Appointment and salary. The appointment of the Bilingual Principal Account Clerk/Typist, English and Spanish, shall be made by the Director of the Department of Revenue and Finance. The person so appointed shall be under the direction of the Director of the Department of Revenue and Finance. The salary for this position shall be as set forth by ordinance.
(3) 
Qualifications. The qualifications of the Bilingual Principal Account Clerk/Typist, English and Spanish, shall be as follows:
(a) 
Have the ability to communicate in both English and Spanish and be able to type reasonably well.
(b) 
Have been a resident of the City for at least one year prior to the date of appointment.
(4) 
Duties. The duties of the Bilingual Principal Account Clerk/Typist, English and Spanish, shall be:
(a) 
To receive and categorize rent inquiries from tenants and landlords.
(b) 
To prepare an agenda for Rent Stabilization Board meetings.
(c) 
To schedule Rent Stabilization Board meetings and forward notification of the dates and times of the meetings to the appointed members of the Board and the Board's attorney.
(d) 
To prepare and distribute legally required notification of the meetings, such as newspaper advertisements, and the posting on designated buildings involved in rent matters to be reviewed by the Board.
(e) 
To calculate the proposed rent increases or reductions approved by the Board.
(f) 
To maintain files on all registered buildings covered under the present Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
(g) 
To assist tenants and landlords on the method and categories for which rent increases or reductions may be applied for and coordinate such request with the Rent Stabilization Board attorney.
(h) 
To interpret the provisions of the present Rent Stabilization Ordinance with the aid and assistance of the Rent Stabilization Board attorney.
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 City. 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 City of Union City. 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 City 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 City, and any time limitations set forth in this chapter shall be extended until all such escrow funds are deposited with the City.
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. 
Established; appointment.
(1) 
There is hereby established within the Department of Public Affairs the Office of Tenants' Advocacy Attorney. The Tenants' Advocacy Attorney shall be appointed by the governing body for the term of one year or until a successor is appointed and qualified.
(2) 
The Attorney shall be a duly licensed attorney at law and shall be compensated by the Mayor and Board of Commissioners.
B. 
Duties. The Tenants' Advocacy Attorney, among other duties, shall:
(1) 
Provide and distribute information to tenants regarding federal, state and municipal laws affection the rights and duties of landlords and tenants.
(2) 
Distribute information specifically dealing with tenants' legal rights.
(3) 
Write and publish information, pamphlets, leaflets or booklets providing information on tenant/landlord rights and duties.
(4) 
Operate a hotline to provide advice to tenants.
(5) 
Promote, sponsor and organize tenants rights workshops to disseminate information between tenants and tenant groups in organizing to protect tenants' rights.
(6) 
Receive and forward to appropriate agencies of the City complaints from tenants relating to the administrative action or inaction of any department.
(7) 
Give free advice and assistance to apartment dwellers in their dealings with the City Rent Stabilization Board and/or before any court or administrative tribunal as may be assigned by the appropriate official of the City.
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 shall be refunded or credited to the tenant.
B. 
Annual increases for covered units.
(1) 
The maximum permissible annual rent increase is 3.5%.
(2) 
Exception for qualified senior tenants. The maximum annual permissible rent increase for a senior tenant who satisfies each of the following requirements is 2%:
(a) 
Sixty-five years of age or older; and
(b) 
Eligible to receive benefits under the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD);[1] and
[1]
Note: Chapter 83, Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged, New Jersey Administrative Code 8:83-1.1 et seq.
(c) 
Whose annual income combined with the annual income of all other occupants of the unit does not exceed the combined annual income of an applicant and spouse to be eligible for PAAD except for a caregiver employed to provide care or services to the senior tenant.
(3) 
A landlord may apply for a hardship increase under Subsection C of this section in the event that the maximum annual rent increase for covered units does not allow the landlord a reasonable return on his investment.
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 City 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 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. 
Capital improvement surcharge.
(1) 
Application; notice.
(a) 
A landlord may apply for a 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 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 Union City Building 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 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 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 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 Building Department.
(6) 
Finding of improvement; apportionment of surcharge. Upon determination that the proposed improvement is a capital improvement 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 capital improvement or major addition 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 by each unit. If any such surcharge is granted, it shall not considered a part of base rent and shall not be included in calculating the rent increases allowable under § 334-2.
(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 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 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 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.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Original Section 14-10.5, Tax Surcharges; Section 14-10.6, Sewerage Utility Pass Along Charges; and Section 14-10.7, Agreements for Additional Services, were repealed 4-5-2005.
E. 
Maximum annual increase. The maximum annual increase from all sources listed under this § 334-10, 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% any twelve-month period.
F. 
Compliance with housing and building codes. Any landlord seeking an increase under this section must file, with its application, a letter from the Building Department that the building and grounds are in code compliance with City building and housing codes.
G. 
Applicability of Consumer Fraud Act.
(1) 
In addition to the rights conferred on a tenant herein, a tenant may seek redress against a landlord for reasonable attorneys' fees and damages pursuant to the Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.
(2) 
The Consumer Fraud Act shall act as an enforcement mechanism to an individual tenant who may seek redress by an award of attorneys' fees for a successful suit against a landlord for overcharging of rent. Therefore, tenants who successfully bring an action against a landlord for overcharging of rent may be awarded attorneys' fees pursuant to the Consumer Fraud Act.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 344-11, Rental unit renovation allowance, as amended, was repealed 6-17-2014.
A. 
A landlord of any dwelling in full compliance with this chapter that is participating in a complete rehabilitation program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shall be permitted, upon approval by the Rent Stabilization Board, to place a minimum of 20% of the units in the dwelling into the rental rehabilitation program. The base rent and all subsequent increases for all units that are placed in the rental rehabilitation program shall be the rent or increase allowed by the program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in which the landlord is enrolled.
B. 
Prerehabilitation application.
(1) 
A prerehabilitation application shall be filed prior to the commencement of the work which shall contain the following information and any other information deemed relevant by the Rent Stabilization Board:
(a) 
Photographs of each room of the apartment unit within the dwelling which that is vacant and is the subject of the application. A dwelling will only be eligible for the rental rehabilitation program if it is at least 50% vacant at the time the preapplication is filed. Additionally, the application must provide satisfactory proof that the landlord will relocate the tenants that are living in the building, at the landlord's cost, to a suitable apartment during the rehabilitation, and will return the tenants to the dwelling, at the landlord's cost, upon the conclusion of the rehabilitation. A suitable apartment shall include an apartment of a similar size, including number of bedrooms, and at the same rent, during the rehabilitation time period.
(b) 
The preapplication shall explain the need for rehabilitation, spelling out in detail the work that the landlord intends to perform, the estimated costs.
(c) 
The preapplication shall also include proof of enrollment and acceptance by HUD, or the governmental entity selected by HUD, of the rehabilitation program the landlord is receiving assistance by way of a grant, subsidized loan, or insured mortgage, for the complete rehabilitation of the dwelling.
(d) 
The Rent Regulation Officer in his discretion may require an inspection of the dwelling prior to the commencement of the work by the Community Development Agency or the Building Department of Union City. The Rent Regulation Officer may inquire as to the circumstances under which any unit became vacant and reject the application if the Officer finds that the landlord was engaged in harassing conduct in violation of § 334-13 of this chapter of any tenant for the three-year period prior to the filing of the preapplication. The prerehabilitation inspection and determination by the Rent Regulation Officer shall ensure that the proposed renovations will meet the criteria set forth in Subsection D. Cosmetic and ordinary repair-type work shall not generally qualify for approval under this section. Upon approval of the prerehabilitation application, the landlord may proceed with the rehabilitation and may file a final application for approval.
C. 
Final application procedure.
(1) 
Upon completion of the rehabilitation of the dwelling, the landlord shall file a final application for approval by the Rent Stabilization Board and acceptance into the rental dwelling rehabilitation program. The application shall contain the following information and any other information deemed relevant by the Rent Stabilization Board:
(a) 
A copy of the rent for each unit in the dwelling that has been approved by HUD or the governmental agency administering the rehabilitation program for HUD.
(b) 
A series of photographs which show the condition of the dwelling after the improvements.
(c) 
A copy of all bills, building permits, invoices and canceled checks associated with the renovation work.
(d) 
A copy of the certificate of approval issued by the Building Department.
(e) 
Documents to be filed.
[1] 
The landlord shall file with its final application a certificate of code compliance issued by the Building Department. The Building Department shall inspect the subject apartment and the common areas to certify to the Rent Stabilization Board that the apartments in the dwelling to be rented and the common areas and facade are in compliance with the appropriate housing inspection codes and all applicable federal, state, county or local laws or regulations.
[2] 
The landlord shall also file with its application a inspection performed by the Community Development Agency after work has been completed which will certify that the proposed work set forth in the prerehabilitation application have been performed in a good and workmanlike manner.
(f) 
The landlord shall file a certificate with the final application stating that he has agreed to maintain and preserve the dwelling as rental housing for a period of five years from the commencement of any rental increase granted pursuant to this section and has, prior to the application being submitted hereunder, withdrawn, canceled, dismissed, vacated or otherwise repudiated all notices to quit, dispossess actions, and judgments pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(k) and has further agreed not to commence any actions under N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(k).
(g) 
The application for approval shall be filed by the landlord with the Rent Stabilization Board not later than 20 days of the tenant taking occupancy of the apartment.
D. 
Criteria for reviewing application. In reviewing said application, the Rent Stabilization Board shall consider but not be limited to the following factors:
(1) 
Whether the landlord has made a complete rehabilitation of the dwelling which has improved the living conditions of the tenants living in the dwelling. The requirements of HUD or the governmental entity administering the rehabilitation for HUD shall be considered by the Board in determining the appropriateness of the rehabilitation;
(2) 
The amount of the increase, with the general policy that no increase should be approved which is unconscionable in relation to the prior approved base rent. The rent that is allowed by HUD or the governmental entity administering the rehabilitation program shall be considered an acceptable new base rent, provided that the landlord has provided proof to the Board that the landlord has complied with all the requirements of this chapter and HUD in obtaining the new rent, including notifications to the tenant. Upon proof that the landlord is in compliance with the regulations of the governmental rehabilitation program and this chapter, the landlord shall be required to use the governmental approved rent as the base rent, and for all subsequent rent increases the landlord shall be required to use the rent increase approved by the governmental entity. In the event a rent increase is allowed by the governmental entity and the landlord fails to notify the tenants of the increase, the landlord shall be considered to have waived the rent increase for the year in question. If the governmental rehabilitation program in question does not govern future rental increases and only establishes the initial base rent after a complete rehabilitation of a dwelling has occurred, then all increases shall be governed by § 334-10 of this chapter;
(3) 
In the event the governmental rehabilitation program in which the landlord is enrolled contains tenant qualification guidelines and the tenant does not quality pursuant to these regulations, the initial base rent after the complete rehabilitation has occurred will be the maximum base rent established by the governmental program, and each subsequent increase shall be governed by § 334-10 of this chapter; and
(4) 
That the landlord or its agents, employees or contractors have not engaged in any harassment, provocation, retaliation of the previous tenants of the subject unit or the new tenant to occupy the renovated space and other conduct more specifically set forth in § 334-13 of the chapter.
E. 
Notification procedures. The landlord shall serve a copy of the final application on each tenant by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 15 days before any hearing thereon, and the landlord shall be required to file a proof of service with the Rent Stabilization Board. Upon receipt of a complete application and proof or service of same upon the tenant, the Rent Regulation Officer shall schedule a hearing before the Rent Stabilization Board, and the landlord shall serve upon each tenant, personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 10 days in advance of said hearings, a second notice advising the tenants that the final application for approval previously served upon the tenant would be heard by the Board on that date. Said notice shall also advise the tenants that any objection to the proposed rental agreement will be heard on that date.
F. 
Filing fees. The prerehabilitation application shall be accompanied by the fees as set forth in Chapter 155, Fees. Inspection fees required under this section performed by the Building Department shall be billed by the Building Department.
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, 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 City shall assign one of its municipal prosecutors to investigate and/or prosecute complaints involving harassment filed by either tenants or landlords.
A. 
Required. No person shall occupy or use any residential unit after such unit has been vacated or sold or where there has been a change in occupancy until the landlord has applied for and secured a certificate of continuing occupancy. Upon receipt by the enforcement officer of an application for a certificate of continuing occupancy and payment of the required fee, an inspection of the premises shall take place. The inspection shall ensure compliance with all applicable building, health, safety and fire codes, regulations, ordinances and statutes of the City of Union City.
B. 
Criteria and standards for certificates of occupancy.
(1) 
Criteria for buildings with more than 50 units. The inspection shall focus on the habitability of the apartment itself and only health and safety standards will be applied to the common areas.
(2) 
Criteria in cooperatives and condominiums of more than 100 units. An inspection shall be conducted of the premises to ensure compliance with all applicable building, health, safety and fire codes, regulations, ordinances and statutes of the City of Union City. As to common area inspections, the inspection shall focus on the habitability of the apartment itself. The health and safety standard shall be applied to the common areas. Rent freezes shall only be applied to those violations related to fire and safety code violations. However, rent freezes shall not be applied to common area violations except for those endangering the health and safety of the occupants such as uninterrupted elevator service, emergency lighting, fire and smoke alarms and other items outlined in all applicable federal, state, county or local laws or regulations. However, all other remedies promulgated by state and municipal statutes, rules and regulations or those adopted by the Board of Directors remain in place.
C. 
Failure to obtain certificate. A landlord who fails to obtain a certificate of continuing occupancy shall be subject to any one or a combination of the penalties listed in § 334-21. Any fines shall be payable to the City of Union City.
D. 
Upon receipt by the enforcement officer of an application for a certificate of continuing occupancy and fee, an inspection of the premises shall take place. The inspection shall ensure compliance with all applicable building, health, safety and fire codes, regulations, ordinances and statutes of the City of Union City.
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 § 334-15, that the parking was a previously provided service, then the rent shall be decreased by 25% of the current monthly rent.
[Amended 1-6-2015]
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 § 334-15E 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 § 334-15E of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation.
A. 
Registration information; fee.
(1) 
All landlords of units governed by this chapter must file a registration statement with the Board in a manner and at a time prescribed by the Board. Any such statement shall include at least the following:
(a) 
The name of each tenant and the apartment number.
(b) 
The number of rooms for each apartment.
(c) 
The current rent for each apartment.
(d) 
The amount of the last increase for each apartment unit.
(e) 
The date of the last increase for each apartment unit.
(f) 
If applicable, the services provided to the building and the telephone number.
(g) 
If applicable, the superintendent's name, address and telephone number.
(2) 
This annual registration statement shall be filed with the Rent Regulation Officer once every 12 months on the anniversary date that the landlord may file for a permitted increase pursuant to § 334-10B. The Board shall establish a schedule of fees for the filing of said registration statement. Failure to register or the filing of false registrations shall be punishable pursuant to § 334-21 of this chapter.
(3) 
A landlord who shall fail to file the required annual rent registration statement shall not be entitled to file any application for a permitted increase under § 334-10 of this chapter. In addition, 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 related to a rise in the consumer price index pursuant to § 334-10B for that year that the landlord or prior landlord failed to file a rent registration statement.
(4) 
This section shall be applied to any rent calculation made by the Rent Regulation Officer or the Rent Stabilization Board to any determination that comes before it subsequent to the adoption of this section. In addition, the Officer and the Board shall also have the authority to disallow a rent increase a landlord is otherwise entitled to under this chapter for any year that a landlord has failed to file a rent registration statement prior to the effective date of the adoption of this section.
B. 
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 City Clerk.
A. 
Compliance required prior to granting increase.
(1) 
Any landlord who seeks a hardship or major capital improvement increase under § 334-10 shall file with an application a certification from the office of the Building Department to the effect that the building and grounds are in substantial compliance with City building and housing codes, which certification shall be based on an application made by the landlord to the Building 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.
B. 
Assistance of Board in obtaining certificate of code compliance. Whenever a party who is seeking a certificate regarding code compliance from the office of the Building Department notifies the Board that the party seeks the assistance of the Board in expediting that Department's inspection, then the Board shall utilize its best efforts to have the office of the Building Department expedite such inspection. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the Rent Stabilization Board from considering testimony by the landlord and tenants as to the condition of the property.
C. 
Tenant's right to return to premises rehabilitated after a fire.
(1) 
Repair of fire-damaged building. Whenever any building or buildings which contain residential units leased to tenants shall be injured or damaged by fire, the landlord shall repair same as speedily as possible.
(2) 
Tenant's right to return. In the event, as the result of injury or damage to the residential leased premises as a result of fire, a tenant is displaced, the tenant who is displaced shall have the right to return to his/her unit as soon as the building is in complete repair and has been approved for occupancy by the Construction Code Official of the City pursuant to the usual procedures for occupancy under applicable law.
(3) 
Rent.
(a) 
During the period of time that the tenant is displaced from the building, the tenant shall have no obligation to pay rent for his/her unit.
(b) 
In the event that the residential building is subject to rent stabilization, the tenant shall return to his/her unit upon its complete repair at the legal rent existing at the time of his/her vacation of the unit.
(4) 
Exception. The above provisions, which must be liberally construed in favor of tenants, shall not apply to any tenant whose fault caused the fire which resulted in the displacement of tenants.
(5) 
Violations and penalties.
(a) 
Any person found guilty of violating any part of this subsection shall be subject to a penalty existing of a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both, subject to the discretion of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) 
In the event of any continuing violation, which shall include each day a landlord prevents a former tenant from reoccupying the premises after those premises have been repaired and are ready for occupancy, each day shall constitute a separate offense for the purposes of the imposition of a fine and/or imprisonment.
D. 
Tenant's right to return to premises after abatement of UCC and Building Code violations.
(1) 
Abatement of UCC and Building Code violations. Whenever any building or buildings which contain residential units leased to tenants shall require the completion of work in order to abate UCC and/or Building Code violations, the landlord shall repair same as speedily as possible.
(2) 
Tenant's right to return. In the event, as the result of the need to abate UCC and/or Building Code violations, a tenant is displaced, the tenant who is displaced shall have the right to return to his/her unit as soon as the building is in complete repair and has been approved for occupancy by the Construction Code Official of the City pursuant to the usual procedures for occupancy under applicable law.
(3) 
Rent. During the period of time that the tenant is displaced from the building pursuant to this subsection, the provisions of § 334-17C(3)(a) and (b) herein shall apply.
(4) 
Exception. The above provisions, which must be liberally construed in favor of tenants, shall not apply to any tenant whose fault caused the need for the completion of work to abate UCC and/or Building Code violations which resulted in the displacement of tenants.
(5) 
Violations and penalties. The provisions of § 334-17C(5)(a) and (b) herein shall apply to violations of this subsection.
There is hereby established a schedule of fees for applications to the Rent Stabilization Board, which fees shall be as set forth in Chapter 155, Fees, and payable to the City of Union City.
Personal service or service by certified mail that is either refused or uncalled for may be remailed by ordinary mail and shall be effective as though personal service or notice by certified mail had been accepted.
A. 
Obligation to register vacant apartments.
(1) 
Owners of multifamily structures of five or more units shall report any vacancy or unrented apartment to the Rent Stabilization Board office if the vacancy or nonrental continues for 90 continuous days.
(2) 
Owners shall report the rental of the unit to the Rent Stabilization Board office within 90 days of the date of the new rental. The rental report shall include a copy of the inspection approval certificate issued by the Union City Community Development Office, address of building, date of rental, rent charged, name of new tenant, date of move-in by the new tenant.
B. 
Exempt structure or structure or units. The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
(1) 
Units in owner-occupied structures where there are six units or fewer and one of the units is owner-occupied.
(2) 
Units in newly constructed buildings which have complied with N.J.S.A. 2A:42-84.2.
(3) 
Units in hotels or motels that have been duly licensed by the City and the State of New Jersey.
(4) 
When owner has filed for and been preapproved for a rental unit restoration allowance (RURA).
C. 
Requirements. All such units shall be rented and occupied by a tenant within 90 days after the end of the preceding tenancy, which shall be defined as the last day of occupancy by the preceding tenant(s), except where an extension has been granted by the Rent Stabilization Board under the provisions of § 334-20D(4) below, in which event the unit shall be rented and occupied within the time period specified in the extension. Failure to comply with the requirements of this Subsection C shall be considered a violation of this section and subject the owner to the penalties set forth herein.
D. 
Extension of time period.
(1) 
An owner may apply for an extension of the time period set forth in § 334-20C where the condition of the structure or unit or other special circumstances make rental within such time period impossible. In order to obtain an extension, the owner must submit an application in writing to the Rent Stabilization Board within 90 days or less from the date the preceding tenancy ended, setting forth with specificity:
(a) 
The reasons that the structure or unit cannot be rented within such time period;
(b) 
The steps the owner shall take to remedy the conditions that make it impossible to rent the structure or unit; and
(c) 
The date by which the structure or unit shall be rented and occupied.
(2) 
The owner shall provide the Rent Stabilization Board with all documentation necessary to support the application, including but not limited to code violation reports, engineering or inspection reports, copies of advertisements, etc.
(3) 
Any extension granted by the Rent Stabilization Board shall specify the date by which the structure or unit must be rented and occupied. Additional extensions may be sought by the owner, but the total extension permitted in the aggregate shall not extend beyond six months from the date the previous tenancy ended.
(4) 
The following circumstances shall constitute grounds for the granting of an extension pursuant to this § 334-20D by the Rent Stabilization Board:
(a) 
An owner wishes to reserve a vacant unit for a family member. The owner shall provide in the time extension application full documentation including the name of the future tenant, the family relationship and the date of occupancy.
(b) 
An owner desires to maintain a unit vacant in order to improve the conditions of said structure or unit. The owner shall provide full documentation in the application, including up-to-date building and housing inspection reports, improvement plans, all related required permits and the date by which the structure or unit shall be rented and occupied.
(c) 
An owner maintains a vacant structure or unit in order to correct code violations in said structure or unit. The owner shall provide in the application full documentation such as code violation reports, correction plans, permits and the date by which the structure or unit shall be rented and occupied.
(5) 
Extension of the time period provided in Subsection C above beyond the maximum time prescribed by § 334-20D shall be only granted upon a clear and convincing showing by the owner that a good faith effort has been made to rent the structure or unit at the legal rent, and that no tenant can be found. In this circumstance, the maximum extension granted beyond the maximum time provided in this Subsection D shall be 60 days, renewable upon a new showing by the owner.
E. 
City to inspect vacant structure or units and buildings.
(1) 
If a structure or unit is not rented within 90 days, or filed for an extension, the recording agency will notify the Building Department, Health Department, Fire Official and Northwest Regional Fire and Rescue, which currently provides fire related services to Union City. The above departments shall send inspectors to the building to inspect the entire building and the unrented structure or unit in particular to assure compliance with all applicable codes. If violations are found or if a dangerous or unsafe condition exists, proper measures are to be taken.
(2) 
The above departments will continue to inspect both the building and the individual unrented structure or unit on a regular basis. The building and unrented structure or unit shall be inspected at least once every 10 business days until the structure or unit is rented and occupied.
F. 
Violations and penalties. A first violation of § 334-20A of this chapter or the conditions upon which a waiver has been granted by the Rent Stabilization Board shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 for each unit in violation. Subsequent violations shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500. Each day during which an owner is in violation of Subsection A of this section or the conditions upon which a waiver has been granted shall constitute a separate violation.
G. 
Vacancies upon effective date. Any landlord of any unit which has been vacant 30 days or more from the end of the preceding tenancy as of the effective date of this chapter shall be required to file the notifications required under § 334-20A of this chapter within 15 days of the effective date of this chapter.
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the filing with the Rent Stabilization Board or Regulation Officer of any material or statement of facts, shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both. A violation affecting more than one leasehold or tenancy shall be considered a separate violation as to each leasehold or tenancy.