Township of Jackson, NJ
Ocean County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Council) of the Township of Jackson 12-27-2000 by Ord. No. 36-00 (Ch. 86 of the 1972 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing standards — See Ch. 233.
Mobile home parks — See Ch. 280.
Mobile homes and trailers — See Ch. 285.
Trailers and campsites — See Ch. 400.
The Apartment Rent Leveling Board and Mobile Home Park Rent Leveling Board shall be abolished as of January 1, 2001, at the same time as the creation of an Apartment and Mobile Home Park Rent Leveling Board as provided for below.
[Amended 4-14-2015 by Ord. No. 08-15]
A. 
There is hereby created an Apartment and Mobile Home Park Rent Leveling Board within the Township of Jackson, effective January 1, 2001.
B. 
The Board shall consist of nine members and three alternate members who shall serve in the event of absence or disqualification of a regular member. The members of the Board and the alternate members shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Township Council, and their terms of office shall be for a period of three years each, commencing on January 1 of the year in which they are appointed. Each member shall serve without compensation. Each member shall be a resident of the Township. One member and one alternate member shall be a tenant of a mobile home park, and one member and one alternate member shall be a tenant of a housing or rental unit, as that term is defined in § 334-5.
A. 
The Rent Leveling Board is hereby granted and shall have and exercise, in addition to other powers herein granted, all of 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to implement the purposes of this chapter, which rules and regulations shall have the force of law until revised, repealed or amended, from time to time, by the Board in the exercise of its discretion, provided that such rules are filed with the Township Clerk.
(2) 
To supply information and assistance to landlords, owners and tenants to aid them in complying with the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
To hold hearing and adjudicate applications for additional rentals or such other relief as herein provided.
B. 
The Board shall give both the landlord or owner and tenant reasonable opportunity to be heard before making any determination and shall base its determination on the relevant credible evidence before it.
C. 
The Board shall meet twice per month. In the event that there are no pending applications, the Board Chairman shall cancel a scheduled meeting and shall provide public notice of such cancellation.
A. 
Any owner or tenant who is or may be affected by any action of the Rent Leveling Board may appeal the final decision or order of said Board to the Township Committee. Such appeals shall be made by filing a notice of appeal within 10 days of the date of decision or order of the Rent Leveling Board, which notice of appeal shall specify the grounds thereof and the name and address of the appellant or his attorney. In the event that such appeal is filed by the owner, the owner must mail to the tenants a copy of the notice of appeal. In the event that the appeal is filed by a tenant, the tenant shall be required to mail to the owner a copy of the notice of appeal within seven days of the filing thereof with the Township Clerk.
B. 
Such appeal shall be decided by the Township Committee only upon the record established before the Rent Leveling Board, and it shall be the obligation of the person filing the appeal to provide a verbatim transcript of the proceedings or the official minutes of the proceedings (or an agreed-to statement of proceedings in lieu of a transcript or minutes) before the Rent Leveling Board within 15 days of the date of filing the appeal to the Township Committee, unless extended by the Township Committee by good cause.
C. 
The Township Committee shall take final action on the appeal within 15 days of its receipt of the complete transcript (or statement) of proceedings before the Rent Leveling Board. In its discretion, the Township Committee may affirm, modify or reverse the decision or order of the Board, or take such other action as it may deem appropriate. In the event that the Township Committee determines that it will modify or reverse a decision or order of the Rent Leveling Board, it shall be required to specify those facts and reasons upon which it bases its modification or reversal, and it shall deliver a written statement of the reasons for its modification or reversal both to the Rent Leveling Board and to the appellant within seven days of the adoption of such reasons.
D. 
In the event that the Township Committee takes no action on the appeal of the decision or order of the Rent Leveling Board within 15 days of the date of delivery to the Township Clerk of the complete transcript or statement of proceedings before the Rent Leveling Board, the action taken by the Rent Leveling Board shall be deemed to be affirmed by the Township Committee.
E. 
The filing of an appeal with the Township Committee shall not stay the effect of any decision or order of the Rent Leveling Board; provided, however, that any rents or other increases collected during the pendency of an appeal with the Township Committee shall be deposited by the owner in an interest-bearing escrow account, and such rent or other increase shall be refunded by the owner with interest in the event that the increase is modified or reversed.
[Amended 6-28-2004 by Ord. No. 28-04; 3-27-2006 by Ord. No. 06-06; 6-24-2008 by Ord. No. 23-08]
For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
AVAILABLE FOR RENT TO TENANTS
Fit for rental as defined by the statutes, codes and ordinances in effect in the State of New Jersey, County of Ocean and Township of Jackson and occupied or unoccupied and offered for rent.
BASE RENT
The payable rent charged and received for the housing unit or rental unit or mobile home rental space over the previous twelve-month period, exclusive of any and all of the following: all real property taxes or license fees charged by the Township; any tax surcharges; and any increases for major capital improvements.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE OR IMPROVEMENT
Any amount paid out or to be paid out for permanent improvements made to increase the value of property and useful life in a manner greater in size, amount or importance than ordinary expenses or normal repairs as defined under the Internal Revenue Service Code and Regulations, provided that said expenditures are entitled to be depreciated under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Code and Regulations.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
That consumer price index (all items) for all urban consumers of the United States published periodically by the Bureau of Statistics of the United States Department of Labor as generally reported January 15.
DWELLING
Includes any building or structure, rented or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units, and not otherwise exempt under the provisions of this chapter.
ECONOMIC LIFE
The estimated period over which it is anticipated that a property may be profitably used.
ENFORCEMENT
Any violations of this chapter shall be reported by the Board to the Township Council and Zoning Officer for the Township. The Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officers are specifically granted authority to sanction violations of this chapter by a summons in Municipal Court or any other court permissible by law.
HOUSING UNIT or RENTAL UNIT
Includes a building or that portion of a building rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purposes to an individual or family unit, together with all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment and facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property.
LANDLORD
An owner, lessor, sublessor, receiver, trustee, executor, assignee or other person receiving or entitled to receive rent for the use or occupancy of a mobile home rental space or of the whole or a part of any housing unit or rental unit.
MOBILE HOME RENTAL SPACE
That portion of a trailer or mobile home park rented or offered for rent for the purposes of parking a trailer or mobile home for living and dwelling purposes to one individual or family unit, together with all privileges, services equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property. Mobile home rental spaces which are vacant or are newly constructed and rented for the first time are exempted, and the initial rent may be determined by the owner. All subsequent rents will be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
PROFESSIONAL FEES
Fees paid to an attorney, an engineer or an accountant.
REASONABLE AND NECESSARY OPERATING EXPENSES
All expenses actually incurred and paid by a landlord during the period reflected in gross income computed in accordance with the provisions and limitations of this chapter. In computing reasonable and necessary operating expenses, the following limitations shall apply in all cases:
A. 
Operating expenses shall not include mortgage amortization, mortgage or other interest, depreciation, fines or penalties.
B. 
Taxes should be limited to amounts actually paid solely on the mobile home park or dwelling less the amounts of any tax surcharges paid by tenants.
C. 
Repair and maintenance expenses shall not include expenditures for capital improvements.
D. 
Professional fees, including legal and accounting expenses, shall be limited to actual costs for the day-to-day operation of the park or dwelling. Legal and accounting expenses resulting solely from an application made pursuant to this chapter or resulting from legal attacks on this chapter shall not be considered reasonable and necessary operating expenses as defined in this chapter.
E. 
Management expenses shall be limited to amounts paid for actual services performed by a manager or management firm. In no event shall a fee for management services exceed 5% of the gross income.
RENT
Any and all sums paid by a tenant for the use of a dwelling, including the services in connection therewith. "Rent" shall not include sums paid into or collected from coin-operated machines. "Rent" shall also not include any amounts paid pursuant to a separate written agreement entered voluntarily by and between a landlord and tenant for use of furnishings and the like, exclusive of stoves, ranges, ovens, refrigerators and air-conditioning units. Such agreements shall be independent of and separate from the leasehold agreement.
SERVICES
Repairs, decorating and maintenance, the furnishing of equipment, appliances, light, steam, heat, hot and cold water, telephone, elevator service, cleaning service, linen service, janitor service, the removal of refuse and any other utility facility or privilege connected with and furnished by the landlord for the use or occupancy of the housing unit.
TENANTS
Mobile home owners and occupants who rent or lease a mobile home rental space from the mobile home park owner, or occupants who rent or lease a housing or rental unit from a landlord.
Establishment of rents for mobile home rental spaces and rents between a landlord and a tenant for housing or rental units used as dwellings, and which are available for rent to tenants and to which this chapter is applicable, shall hereafter be determined by the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
The landlord shall provide and disclose to all new tenants, in writing upon execution of a lease, the sums allocated in the gross rent paid to the landlord for the following items:
(1) 
Base rent.
(2) 
Tax surcharge.
(3) 
License fee.
(4) 
Any other special expense.
B. 
A copy of said disclosure shall be filed with the Rent Leveling Board within 30 days of execution of the same.
No landlord may demand, request or receive a rental increase for the occupancy of a mobile home rental space or housing or rental unit unless authorized pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Any rental increase at any time in excess of that authorized by the provisions of this chapter shall be void. Any rental increase must be approved by the Rent Leveling Board after application and review in accordance with the standards set forth in this chapter. Any rental increase implemented by a landlord without such review and approval by the Rent Leveling Board shall be void.
A. 
Exemptions. The following are exemptions from the provisions of this chapter to the extent set forth below:
(1) 
Hotels, motels, boardinghouses and all other premises if they primarily serve transient guests.
(2) 
Public housing units.
(3) 
New construction. Any person, firm, corporation or entity placing on the rental market for the first time any newly constructed residential housing space within the Township shall be entitled to charge any rent to any tenant that may be obtained by an agreement between the parties, and said unit shall remain exempt from the provisions of this chapter for seven years from the date of the initial certificate of occupancy for the unit. However, the landlord shall, during the exempt period, notify all prospective tenants, in writing, prior to commencement of any tenancy:
(a) 
That the unit is exempt from rent control pursuant to this chapter.
(b) 
The date upon which said exemption terminates.
(4) 
Existing housing space placed on the rental market for the first time. Any person, firm, corporation or entity placing on the rental market for the first time any existing residential housing space within the Township shall be entitled to charge any rent to any tenant that may be obtained by an agreement between the parties, and thereafter said unit shall remain exempt from the provisions of this chapter for seven years from the date of the initial certificate of occupancy for the unit. However, the landlord shall, during the exempt period, notify all prospective tenants, in writing, prior to commencement of any tenancy:
(a) 
That the unit is exempt from rent control pursuant to this chapter.
(b) 
The date upon which said exemption terminate(s).
(5) 
School dormitories.
(6) 
Apartment complexes containing 20 rental units or fewer.
(7) 
Rental units owned by a nonprofit corporation that is exempt from municipal taxation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.6.
(8) 
Government subsidized units.
(a) 
Existing units. The rent of any rental unit or mobile home rental space governed by this chapter and occupied by a tenant whose rent is subsidized by a governmental program, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 Housing Program, may be increased once a year, without applying to the Rent Leveling Board, in excess of the annual increases permitted by § 334-10 herein, provided that the increase is permissible under the rules and regulations of the government subsidy program and the tenant's share of the rent is not increased at a greater percentage than would be permitted by this chapter. Should the unit subsequently by occupied by a tenant whose rent is not subsidized, the rent for that unit shall be immediately reinstated to an amount that would have been permitted if this subsection did not govern.
(b) 
Rehabilitated units.
[1] 
The rent of any rental unit rehabilitated pursuant to a governmental housing rehabilitation/rent supplemental program, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Program, may be increased once, upon completion of the rehabilitation, in excess of the annual percentage increase permitted by § 334-10 herein, for the establishment of a new base rent, without applying to the Rent Leveling Board, provided that:
[a] 
The increase is permissible under the rules and regulations of the governmental rehabilitation/subsidy program; and
[b] 
The rent is established in accordance with the rent calculation formula prescribed by the program regulations.
[2] 
After the establishment of a new base rent for rehabilitated units, subsequent annual increases shall be treated as in Subsection A(8)(b)[1] above.
(9) 
Substantially rehabilitated buildings. An occupied building may be exempt from the provisions of this chapter if the landlord rehabilitates the building as to result in a fifty-percent increase in the assessed value thereof. The building shall be entitled to exemption from the provisions of this chapter, provided that the landlord makes application to the Rent Leveling Board for exemption pursuant to this subsection and the Rent Leveling Board determines that the building has been substantially rehabilitated so as to increase the assessed value thereof 50% over the assessment in effect immediately prior to the date the rehabilitation work was commenced. The exemption shall be for five years from the date of the Rent Leveling Board decision. The exemption permitted by this subsection shall not be granted to any substantially rehabilitated building if the rehabilitation is compelled by state or local health, building or housing laws, regulations or requirements.
(10) 
Office buildings, commercial buildings and similar type buildings in which 1/3 or more of the occupied floor space is used for commercial purposes.
(11) 
Where a landlord or owner and an individual tenant or several tenants mutually agree or negotiate a rental in excess of the rent permitted by this chapter, provided that any tenant or tenants who enter into any such agreement shall personally appear before the Rent Leveling Board or an official designated by the Board and shall affirm that the agreement is voluntary and uncoerced. Any such rental agreement shall be solely between such individuals and shall be deemed to be an exception to the provisions of this chapter, and is hereby authorized. Under no circumstances shall such agreement be applicable for any other purpose whatsoever.
(12) 
Where the landlord or owner of a rental property and the tenants thereof agree to a negotiated settlement of rents by the agreement of 2/3 of all occupied units in the rental property to such a negotiated settlement, on the basis of one vote per occupied housing or rental unit in the rental property, all tenants having been given an opportunity to agree thereto, such negotiated settlement shall have the effect of authorizing the landlord or owner to increase rentals at a percentage which is the same for all housing or rental units in the rental property. Such negotiated settlements shall take effect in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof, and a copy of any such negotiated settlement shall be filed with the Rent Leveling Board.
(13) 
The landlord of a newly constructed mobile home rental space, or of a mobile home that was obtained by the landlord through repossession, eviction or abandonment, or of a mobile home rental space being rented for the first time, or being rented as a result of the vacating of the mobile home rental space by a previous tenant by the removal by that tenant of his or her mobile home shall not be restricted in the rental he or she charges. Any subsequent rental increases to the tenant who takes possession, however, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. In addition, a landlord of a space rented by an individual who does not live in the mobile home community, but who rents a mobile home lot as a business for the purpose of renting homes to others, shall not be restricted in the rent he or she charges.
[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 23-10]
(14) 
All designated newly developed affordable housing inclusionary sites with a set-aside of a minimum of 15% of affordable housing shall be exempt from the rent control provisions of this chapter for any units receiving an initial certificate of occupancy after March 15, 2016. Mobile home parks shall not be eligible for this exemption.
[Added 6-28-2016 by Ord. No. 13-16]
B. 
Vacancy decontrol.
(1) 
Upon the voluntary, uncoerced vacation of a mobile home by any tenant for which rent increases are controlled by this Chapter 334, and upon compliance with this section, at the time of rerental of a lot pursuant to this section, a landlord may charge the succeeding tenant a new rent which is no higher than 7.5% of the highest rent in the park added to the prior tenant's rent for a single-wide or double-wide home, as applicable. This vacancy decontrol provision shall not apply to circumstances wherein the unit is inherited by a spouse, parent or child of the former owner.
[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 23-10; 3-11-2014 by Ord. No. 05-14]
(2) 
The landlord must file with the Rent Leveling Board, and provide a copy to the tenant in occupancy, if any, a vacancy decontrol certification within 15 days after entering into a lease agreement and accepting a deposit from a new tenant, which shall include the following information:
(a) 
Property address.
(b) 
Apartment number.
(c) 
Vacating tenant's monthly base rent.
(d) 
New tenant's monthly rent.
(e) 
Name of landlord.
(f) 
Address of landlord.
(g) 
Telephone number of landlord.
(h) 
A statement certifying that the vacancy was uncoerced or as a result of court-ordered eviction, which statement shall be provided to any tenant then occupying the subject housing or rental unit or mobile home.
(3) 
Vacancy decontrol certifications and the statement provided to any tenant then in occupancy shall be approved by the Rent Leveling Board unless a written objection to the certification is filed with the Rent Leveling Board within 10 days of the filing of a complete certification. In the event an objection is filed, a hearing shall be held and conducted in accordance with the applicable procedures of § 334-22.
(4) 
Once a unit has received vacancy decontrol pursuant to this section, it shall be subject to the remaining provisions of the chapter, and any future rental increases for the tenant in occupancy are limited to those increases permitted under the chapter.
(5) 
Anti-harassment provision. It shall be unlawful for a landlord, or his or her agents, to willfully do, or commit or cause to be done or committed, any of the following: any harassment, intimidation or other similar action to a tenant with the intent to have a tenant vacate the rental unit; any reduction by the landlord in services which causes the tenant to vacate the premises; and any vacation of the premises which is coerced; provided, however, that this provision shall not limit a landlord, or his or her agents, from any act specifically authorized under the laws of the State of New Jersey.
(6) 
Violation of anti-harassment provision.
(a) 
In addition to the penalties set forth in § 334-32, a willful violation of this section shall subject the landlord to:
[1] 
On the first offense, loss of privilege to apply for vacancy decontrol for any housing or rental unit or mobile home rental space at the subject property for a period of not less than one year;
[2] 
On the second offense, loss of privilege to apply for vacancy decontrol for any housing or rental unit or mobile home rental space at the subject property for a period of not less than two years;
[3] 
Upon a finding of any further offenses, loss of privilege to apply for vacancy decontrol for any housing or rental unit or mobile home rental space at the subject property for a period of five years.
(b) 
A complaint for the violation of this provision shall be brought in Municipal Court. A complaint may be initiated by the Rent Leveling Board or an affected tenant.
A. 
Computation of increases; limits.
(1) 
A landlord may receive on an annual basis a percentage increase for the occupancy of a mobile home park space or rental/housing unit, which increase is to be computed based upon the annualized percentage increase in the consumer price index (CPI) average for the prior year, as reported in January of the year in which an application is made. In no event shall such annual percentage increase exceed a maximum of 4.25%. The percentage of allowable increase calculated hereunder shall be applied to the tenant's existing base rent.
(2) 
The fair rental may be increased by only a maximum of 4.25% in each twelve-month period, said annual increases to be compounded annually.
B. 
Service of notice of request for increase.
(1) 
Any landlord seeking such an increase in rent shall serve notice upon the tenants and the Rent Leveling Board at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the increase of the calculations involved in computing the increase by advising them of the percentage increase in the consumer price index, the allowable rental increase, the amount of base rent before and after the proposed increase and the effective date of the proposed increase.
(2) 
In addition, the landlord shall submit to the Rent Leveling Board copies of all leases, together with the names and addresses of each individual or entity which owns 5% or more of the mobile home park, or housing and rental unit. The application shall also name any individual or entity with an ownership interest owning a dwelling in the particular mobile home park or housing and rental unit. The applicant shall also certify that the rental property is in a safe, sanitary condition and that the landlord is in full compliance with all state and local laws pertaining to tenant rights. The failure of the landlord to provide the tenant and the Rent Leveling Board with this information shall make any increase void, and the tenant shall recover any increase which the tenant may have paid.
C. 
Notice of the landlord's request for an increase shall also be posted in a prominent place within the mobile home park or dwelling. Proof of compliance with the notice request and service of the notice required in Subsection B above shall be submitted to the Rent Leveling Board.
D. 
In the event of a decrease in the consumer price index, any tenant may receive from the landlord on an annual basis a percentage decrease in the amount of base rent being charged for the occupancy of a mobile home rental space or housing or rental unit, which decrease is to be computed based upon the percentage decrease in the consumer price index average for the prior year. Said percentage decrease shall then be applied to the tenant's existing base rent.
E. 
Any tenant seeking such a decrease in rent shall notify the landlord and the Rent Leveling Board thereof at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the decrease of the amount of base rent before and after the proposed decrease and the effective date of the proposed decrease. The failure of the tenant to provide the landlord and the Rent Leveling Board with this information shall make any decrease void, and the landlord shall recover any such decrease.
F. 
Annual increases pursuant to this section may be obtained by a landlord on an interim basis during the pendency of an application for a rental increase under any other provision of this chapter.
G. 
Landlords who supply the tenants with heat shall be permitted to raise rents on rental units governed by this chapter once a year at a flat rate increase of 1.5% over the consumer price index. Landlords who do not supply tenants with heat shall be permitted to raise rents on rental units governed by this chapter once a year at a flat rate increase equal to the consumer price index calculation.
H. 
Optional two-year rental increase.
(1) 
Should the landlord and tenant mutually agree at the inception of any rental period, the parties may enter into a two-year lease agreement with rentals to be set at 3.5% over the consumer price index and 2.2% over the consumer price index where the landlord does not supply heat. The rental during the two-year term of said lease agreement shall remain at the rates set forth herein above, and the landlord shall not be entitled to any hardship or usual expense increases as would otherwise be permitted under this chapter. The landlord shall, however, be entitled to obtain a tax surcharge or the tenant shall be entitled to a tax decrease, as the case may be, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. In addition, at the termination of the two-year tenancy as set forth herein, the landlord shall not be entitled to an accumulation of that portion of the rental increase which would have otherwise been permitted pursuant to a one-year tenancy. The landlord shall, however, be entitled to the normal rental increase in effect at the time of the expiration of the two-year lease agreement.
(2) 
Should an initial two-year tenancy terminate prior to the expiration of the two-year term, then and in that event the landlord may charge a new tenant that amount that is permitted by Subsection A of this section, but may also make an application to the Rent Leveling Board for such other increases as are permitted pursuant to this chapter.
A. 
It is expressly recognized that an efficient landlord is entitled to a just and reasonable rate of return from his property. To that end, a landlord is permitted to make application to the Rent Leveling Board for rental increases on the basis that rents allowed by this chapter prevent the landlord from receiving a just and reasonable rate of return. Landlords shall have the burden of proof as established through expert testimony or otherwise that the rate of return is unjust and unreasonable in accordance with the formula set forth herein. This formula shall be the exclusive formula for determining a just and reasonable rate of return.
B. 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FAIR NET OPERATING INCOME
Gross maximized annual income, less reasonable and necessary operating expenses, such expenses not to exceed 57.5% of the gross maximized annual income.
GROSS MAXIMIZED ANNUAL INCOME
The gross maximum potential rent roll, less a maximum deduction of 3.5% for vacancies and uncollectibles, or the annual sum of rents collected, whichever amount is larger, and includes all income resulting, directly or indirectly, from the operation of a property or building, including, but not limited to, all rent received or collectible, all earnings from commissions, vending machines, deductions from security deposits, late fees, pet fees, parking fees and any and all other fees or income derived from operation of the rental premises.
C. 
Permitted increase. Whenever a landlord shall determine that the reasonable and necessary operating expenses computed in accordance with the provisions of this section are greater than 57.5% of the gross maximized annual income, he may make application to the Rent Leveling Board for an increase in rent in order to reestablish the fifty-seven-and-five-tenths-percent relationship. Any increase so granted shall be prorated to all of the units within the structure or on the property, and further, provided that, where a written lease is in effect for a property or for any portion thereof, no increase for that property or portion shall be permitted until the expiration of such written lease unless the following preconditions have been complied with:
(1) 
The written lease agreement contains a provision permitting the landlord to make application for and collect from the tenant any increase in rental permitted pursuant to this section of this chapter.
(2) 
Service upon the tenant of a notice advising the tenant of his right to serve upon the landlord at any time after the granting of an increase pursuant to this section a written notice terminating the lease agreement effective 30 days thereafter.
(3) 
Indication in the separate notice referred to hereinabove of the landlord's right to file an application for rent increase pursuant to this section of this chapter.
D. 
Application requirements.
(1) 
In any application under this section, the landlord shall, in addition to those requirements mandated by other sections of this chapter, specifically certify that:
(a) 
He/she is an efficient operator of the residential rental property.
(b) 
The residential rental property is in a safe and sanitary condition.
(c) 
The owner (he or she) is in full compliance with all state and local laws pertaining to tenants' rights.
(d) 
He/she is not earning a fair net operating income pursuant to the formula set forth herein.
(2) 
The landlord shall submit with the application the following:
(a) 
Proof of compliance with notice and service requirements.
(b) 
The amount of increase and percentage of increase requested.
(c) 
Detailed statements of income and expenses for the past two fiscal years.
E. 
At the time of the application, the landlord shall serve written notice, to include the date, time and location of the formal hearing, on all tenants that an application is being made and is available to any tenant requesting the same. The landlord shall also post the notice in a prominent place in the park or dwelling. The owner shall also make available to the tenants, at reasonable times, and the Rent Leveling Board all records and books supporting the application. If at any time during the course of consideration of an increase pursuant to the provisions of this section the Rent Leveling Board shall determine that a landlord is not in substantial compliance with any or all of the application requirements, the Board may temporarily withhold further consideration of the application for an increase until such time as the landlord has corrected any such deficiency.
F. 
Computation. In computing reasonable and necessary operating expenses under this section, the following limitations as appropriate for a mobile home park or apartment dwelling shall apply in all cases:
(1) 
Taxes shall be limited to those amounts actually due and owing at the time of the application. If the landlord is imposing a tax surcharge, only the base-year taxes may be included.
(2) 
Repairs and maintenance shall be limited to arm's-length transactions and shall be reasonable and necessary so as not to cause over-maintenance of the premises. The cost of service contracts shall be prorated over the period covered. Painting costs shall be prorated over the number of years of the actual painting cycle in the building, but in no event shall painting be prorated for a period of more than three years for the interior of dwelling units or five years for the exterior and common areas. In the event the landlord determines to perform maintenance and repairs, at least three written quotes from other vendors shall be provided to the Rent Leveling Board to evidence the monetary value of said work.
(3) 
Purchase of replacement appliances and equipment shall be prorated over the useful life of the item.
(4) 
Legal and auditing expenses shall be limited to those reasonable and necessary costs for the operation of the property. No legal expense or audit expense shall be allowed as a deduction that does not directly result from the landlord-tenant relationship. A landlord may not deduct expenses incurred in litigating any declaratory or injunctive relief as to his rights in the nature of a writ of mandamus. All costs shall be itemized on this application.
(5) 
Management fees shall be limited to the actual services performed, including the resident manager's salary, telephone expenses, postage, office supplies, stationery and the value of the apartment provided, if included in income. Where the landlord performs his own management and/or superintendent services, the amount allocated therefor shall be limited to the actual value of services performed. In no event shall management fees exceed 5% of the gross maximized income.
(6) 
Salaries for superintendents not included in management fees shall be limited to actual services performed and shall be reasonable and comparable to amounts paid for similar positions in the area, including rental value of any apartment provided, if included in income, and expenses and wages and benefits paid.
(7) 
Advertising shall be limited to actual costs that are reasonable to ensure occupancy only.
(8) 
Utilities, including, but not limited to, gas, electric, water and oil, shall derive from arm's-length transactions, and the landlord shall demonstrate that all reasonable efforts to conserve energy and fuels have been used.
(9) 
Insurance shall derive from arm's-length transactions prorated over the life period of the policy and shall not include any person's life, medical or other personal policies.
(10) 
No penalties, fines or interest for any reason shall be allowed.
(11) 
The history of the income and expenses shall be consistent with the application or fully documented as to any changes.
(12) 
Reserve for replacement shall be permitted as an expense only if:
(a) 
The landlord produces at the hearing a savings account passbook or similar account verifying the existence of a reserve.
(b) 
The landlord submits as part of his application a detailed explanation of how the reserve for replacement amount was arrived at, including particularly the useful lives of each capital item involved and the dollar amount attributable to them.
(c) 
The landlord submits, as part of his application, documentation to show that the reserve fund has been utilized where replacement of any of the capital items has occurred and that replacement of capital items has, in fact, occurred as their useful lives have expired.
(d) 
The landlord submits to the Board annually thereafter a certification from the bank, savings and loan association or similar institution as to the amount in the reserve account and further submits a certified and detailed explanation of any withdrawals made from said account.
(e) 
Should application for rental increase be made pursuant to this section, then and in that event, at the time of any sale of the rental property, the landlord shall submit to the Board a detailed accounting of the disposition or transfer of the reserve account. In no case shall the annual reserve for replacement exceed 5% of the gross annual income from rent.
G. 
In order to provide the Rent Leveling Board with sufficient time to review the required financial data and schedule a hearing, it is required that an applicant submit an application for a rental increase under this section at least 90 days prior to the effective date of the proposed rental increase.
H. 
The most recent current rents being charged by a landlord on uncontrolled rental spaces are admissible in evidence against such landlord at any hearings held in connection with applications for rental increases under this section, and such rates create a rebuttable presumption that the charging of the same rent on all rental spaces would provide the landlord with sufficient funds to pay all reasonable and necessary operating and maintenance expenses and provide the permitted rate of return.
I. 
In the event that the financial information submitted by the landlord reveals a loan made by the landlord (or by a shareholder if the landlord is a corporation) to the mobile home park, the interest expense on any such loan shall be computed based on a rate which is the current prevailing savings rate being paid on thirty-month savings institution certificates.
J. 
Payment of permitted increase. Any increases permitted by the Township Rent Leveling Board pursuant to this section shall be effective retroactive to the first rental pay period at the expiration of 30 days from the date of the landlord's application for an increase is filed with the Board. Should the landlord revise his application for an increase based upon the submission of expenses not related, in whole or in part, to the premises in question; or because the original application is substantially incorrect or incomplete or deviates from accepted accounting norms; or resulting in an increase in the amount of relief sought, then and in that event the increase permitted by the Board shall be retroactive to the first rental pay period subsequent to 30 days from the date the revised application is submitted to the Board. Any application revised by the applicant or the Board for reasons other than as set forth hereinabove shall be deemed to have been submitted in its revised form on the original submission date. Any retroactive portion of the increase permitted by the Board as set forth hereinabove shall be payable by the tenant in three equal monthly portions, commencing with the first rental pay period subsequent to the Board's decision. Said staggered payments shall be in addition to the prospective increased payments for which the tenant shall be responsible as a result of the Board's decision.
K. 
Improper use of reserve for replacement. Should a landlord have been granted an increase in rent pursuant to this section of this chapter after having alleged a reserve for replacement as an expense item and, thereafter, a tenant believes that the landlord has failed to make proper use of the reserve for replacement as set forth in this section, then and in that event the tenant may make application to the Rent Leveling Board for appropriate relief.
L. 
No landlord shall be permitted to receive an increase under this section until such time as the landlord has owned and operated the rental property for a period of at least 12 months or until the close of the first complete fiscal year of ownership by the landlord, whichever occurs first.
M. 
Increases authorized under this section shall be based only on financial information for the twelve-month period which closed immediately prior to the date of application under this section. Losses carried over from prior years or unrealized income for prior years shall not be included in computing interest under this section, except for second-year or subsequent-year losses incurred as a result of rental agreements exceeding one year.
N. 
Except for second-year or subsequent-year losses incurred as a result of rental agreements exceeding one year, no rental increase may be obtained by a landlord under any provision of this chapter to cover operating losses incurred in prior years resulting from the failure of the landlord to either apply for or obtain rental increases or surcharges under this chapter or resulting from the owner's charging of rents under § 334-27 which are insufficient to meet operational requirements and obtain a reasonable rate of return. The failure of the landlord to either apply for or obtain such rental increases or surcharges within three months of the close of the fiscal year in which the operating losses are incurred or in which the reasonable rate of return is not realized or the landlord's charging of such insufficient rents under § 334-27 during the fiscal year shall be deemed a waiver of the owner's right to such additional rents or surcharges.
A. 
When an efficient landlord finds that the gross maximized income from his property is insufficient to cover the cost of interest payments on a first mortgage or purchase money mortgage, and on any subsequent mortgages, the proceeds of which have been used to improve and upgrade the rental property; for reasonable and necessary operating expenses incurred in connection with the rental property or mobile home park; or for unusual or unexpected increases in the cost of providing heat or utilities or in the making of capital expenditures or improvements which may require a substantial investment or expenditure by the landlord to offset such expenses, such landlord may seek a hardship rental increase. The Rent Leveling Board may grant a hardship rent increase to meet these payments. For purposes of this section, "gross maximized income" shall be defined and calculated in accordance with the provisions of § 334-11 of this chapter.
B. 
The Rent Leveling Board shall consider all relevant evidence, including conditions of the premises, the degree of hardship to the landlord and financial records explaining the mortgage, tax or maintenance expense. Any landlord seeking a hardship surcharge shall petition the Rent Leveling Board after serving notice upon the tenants, in accordance with § 334-31, of his intent to seek a hardship surcharge and after full disclosure of all relevant financial information to them. The Rent Leveling Board shall give reasonable opportunity to be heard to both the landlord and the tenant before making a determination.
C. 
Any application based upon unusual or unexpected increases shall be allowed only for good cause shown. Clear proof of the cost must be furnished. If the increase sought concerns a capital expenditure, capital improvement or major repair requiring a substantial investment, the landlord shall prove the normal economic life expectancy of the expenditure, improvement or repair and shall determine the average cost per year of economic life. This average cost of the capital expenditure, improvement or repair may be apportioned among the tenants in the dwelling in accordance with the formula set forth in tax surcharge-ratio of square footage occupied by each tenant to the whole. In no event shall the cost of expanding or enlarging the rental property or a portion thereof be borne by the tenants. If the increase sought is the result of an increase in the cost of providing a utility service regulated by the Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey, the landlord shall prove that the cost of providing such utility service has increased by more than 6.5% per annum. Upon such proof, the landlord may be entitled to a rental increase equal to the amount by which the cost of providing such utility service exceeds 6.5% more than the prior years cost. The landlord shall also present evidence in seeking an increase pursuant to this section concerning the actual rent being charged for each unit, a profit-and-loss statement for the premises for the past two fiscal years, the condition of the premises, the rate of return on the landlord's investment and the steps taken to provide safe, healthful and adequate housing, in addition to any other evidence that will assist the Board in making a fair decision. The Rent Leveling Board shall utilize all of the above information in determining whether or not to permit the additional rent increase sought.
D. 
Any increases permitted by the Board pursuant to this section shall be effective retroactive to the first rental period at the expiration of 30 days from the date the landlord's application for an increase is filed with the Board. Should the landlord revise his application for an increase based upon submission of expenses not related, in whole or in part, to the premises in question; or because the original application is substantially incorrect or incomplete or deviates from accepted accounting norms; or resulting in an increase in the amount of relief sought, then and in that event the increase permitted by the Board shall be retroactive to the first rental period subsequent to 30 days from the date the revised application is submitted to the Board. Any applications revised by the applicant or the Board for reasons other than as set forth hereinabove shall be payable by the tenant in three equal monthly portions, commencing with the first rental pay period subsequent to the Board's decision. Said staggered payments shall be in addition to the prospective increased payments for which the tenant shall be responsible as a result of the Board's decision.
E. 
Where a written lease is in effect for a property or for any portion thereof, no increase for that property or portion thereof shall be permitted until the expiration of such written lease, unless the following preconditions have been complied with:
(1) 
The written lease agreement contains a provision permitting the landlord to make application for and collect from the tenant any increase in rental permitted pursuant to this section.
(2) 
Service upon the tenant of a notice advising the tenant of his right to serve upon the landlord at any time after the granting of an increase pursuant to this section of this chapter a written notice terminating the lease agreement effective 30 days thereafter.
(3) 
Indication in the separate notice referred to hereinabove of the landlord's right to file an application for rent increase pursuant to this section of this chapter.
F. 
No landlord shall be permitted to receive an increase under this section until such time as the landlord has owned and operated the rental property or mobile home park for a period of at least 12 months or until the close of the first complete fiscal year of ownership by the landlord, whichever occurs first.
Upon application to the Rent Leveling Board, a landlord may obtain a tax surcharge based upon an increase in municipal property taxes pursuant to the following provisions:
A. 
Formula.
(1) 
Housing/rental units. The tax surcharge shall not exceed that amount authorized by this section. The landlord shall divide the increase in the present property tax over the property tax of the base year by the number of square feet in the entire building. The tenant shall not be responsible for a tax surcharge exceeding the tax increase per square foot multiplied by the number of square feet occupied by the tenant; provided, however, that all common areas of the demised premises shall be included in the portion of the premises rented by each tenant on a pro-rata basis.
(2) 
Mobile home parks. The tax surcharge shall be equivalent to the increment of the current year's taxes over the preceding year's taxes divided by the total number of tenants residing in the mobile home park as of August 1 of the current year. In addition, the previous year's total taxes charged per resident shall be recalculated when there is a change in the total number of tenants in order to reflect the adjusted pro rata charge of real estate taxes to each tenant for the prior year's taxes. The sum of the current year's surcharge per tenant plus the adjusted pro rata charge of real estate taxes for the prior years shall be the total real estate charge to be assessed to each tenant. In no event may the total taxes paid by the tenants to the landlord exceed the total real estate taxes assessed.
B. 
An applicant for a tax surcharge shall comply with the notice requirements of § 334-10B and C and the application shall include the documents required in § 334-10B.
C. 
The tax surcharge each tenant is liable for shall be paid in 12 monthly payments.
D. 
Tenancies of less than one year. The tax surcharge for tenancies of less than one year shall be computed in the same manner as provided in Subsection A, but no tenant shall be liable in any month for more than 1/12 of the tax surcharge so computed.
E. 
Surcharge not considered rent. The tax surcharge shall not be considered rent for purposes of computing rental increases.
F. 
Tax appeal. In the event of a tax appeal, the portion of the tenant's tax surcharge not being paid by the landlord to the Township will be held in an interest-bearing account. If the appeal is successful and the taxes reduced, the tenant will receive 50% of the money held in escrow, together with the accrued interest on the total amount. Payment will be in the form of a credit against the monthly rent or a check made payable to the tenant. If the tax appeal is successful, the landlord may maintain 50% of the escrow amount as reimbursement for all expenses connected with the tax appeal.
A. 
A landlord may apply to the Rent Leveling Board for additional rental charges for the payment of the reasonable cost of capital improvements which are necessary for the proper operation of the park or housing/rental unit, upon completion of said capital improvements. A landlord may file an application to seek a determination whether proposed improvements would be subject to this section. The Board shall then review the concept of the application only and render a decision as to the applicability of the proposed capital improvement to this section. In the event the landlord determines to perform maintenance and repairs, at least three written quotes from other vendors shall be provided to the Rent Leveling Board to evidence the monetary value of said work.
B. 
A landlord seeking additional rent for a capital improvement shall apply within six months of the completion of said capital improvement for said additional rent to the Rent Leveling Board, which shall determine, after the landlord has served notice to the aforesaid tenants of a hearing date, if said improvement is a necessary major improvement and, if so, the amount of the increase granted for such major improvement, and which shall establish the terms and conditions of such increase.
C. 
At least seven days prior to the hearing by the Board on an application for additional rental charges under this section, the landlord must serve the individual tenants, in accordance with § 334-31, a notice of the application setting forth the date, time and location of the hearing and setting forth total cost of the completed capital improvement, number of useful years of the life of the improvement as established by Federal Internal Revenue guidelines using the straight line method and as claimed by the landlord for purposes of depreciation for income tax purpose, the average cost, including that service of the improvements (calculated by dividing the cost of the capital improvement by the total number of completed mobile home spaces in the mobile home park or total of rental/housing units in the building) and the capital improvement increase the landlord is seeking from each tenant.
D. 
Following a hearing, the Board may grant to the landlord an additional rental charge under this section for a specific period of time after considering the proofs presented by the landlord. If said increase is granted, it shall not be considered rental income and shall not be used in calculating allowable increases as otherwise set forth in this chapter. Any increase granted by authority of this section shall be paid over the period of the useful life of the completed capital improvement as established by Federal Internal Revenue guidelines.
E. 
In order to provide the Rent Leveling Board with sufficient time to review the required financial data and schedule a hearing, it is required that an applicant submit an application for additional rental charges under this section at least 90 days prior to the effective date of the proposed additional rental charges.
F. 
Where a proposed capital improvement exceeds $50,000 in cost and said capital improvement is not required by any law, ordinance or regulations, the tenants may disapprove the making of such capital improvement by a simple majority of those tenants who actually vote on such proposal on the basis of one vote per occupied mobile home or housing/rental unit, all tenants having been given an opportunity to vote thereon.
G. 
The cost of expanding or enlarging a mobile home park or apartment dwelling or a section thereof shalt not be borne by the tenants or utilized in computing additional rental charges under this section.
H. 
In connection with any application for rental increases or charges under this section and for the information of the tenants, the landlord shall serve on each individual tenant, within 30 days of the filing of such application, a summary of the basis for the rental increase, a statement of the amount of the proposed increase and its effective date and a statement breaking down the existing and proposed rent among property taxes, license fees, tax surcharges, if any, capital improvement charges, if any, operating expenses and return from property totaling the amount of rent currently paid and proposed to be paid by the tenant. In addition, the notice shall include the information required by § 334-14C. Said notice shall be served on individual tenants in accordance with § 334-31.
A. 
In any matter considered by the Rent Leveling Board under § 334-11 or 334-12, the landlord shall be required to submit the following financial information and statements:
(1) 
A statement of financial condition.
(2) 
A statement of operations (income and expense statements).
(3) 
A statement of retained earnings.
(4) 
A statement of changes in financial position.
(5) 
Such other financial data and information as may be required by the Board.
B. 
The financial statements, data and information which are required to be submitted shall be based upon financial data and information which are sworn to and verified by the landlord who has actual knowledge of the income, expenses and operations of the park or building, and in the case of applications under § 334-11, all such financial statements shall be certified and audited. Said financial statements shall be prepared, itemized, audited and signed by a certified public accountant or by a public accountant who is licensed by the State of New Jersey, Division of Consumer Affairs, and such statements will be sworn as to their accuracy to the best of his or her knowledge. Each financial statement, or other financial data, shall be accompanied by a written statement executed by the certified or licensed public accountant indicating that he or she has reviewed the financial data and information, that they are true, accurate and correct and that they reflect the actual financial condition of the park for the period shown. Any person who willfully and intentionally submits or supplies false figures, makes gross misrepresentations or misstates such actual facts or material required by this section to obtain any rental increase whatsoever shall be considered acting to defraud such tenants.
C. 
Certification of substantial compliance. All landlords of housing/rental units only making application to the Board for a rental increase or any other relief shall submit, at the time of filing of said application, a certification from the Township Housing/Building Inspection Department that the buildings' dwelling units and grounds are in substantial compliance with applicable housing, building and health codes. "Substantial compliance" means that the housing space and dwelling are free from all heat, hot water, elevator and all health, safety and fire hazards, as well as 90% qualitatively free of all other violations of all applicable codes.
The landlord shall, not less than 14 days after adoption of a resolution, serve tenants with a copy of the resolution of the Rent Leveling Board denying or modifying a requested rental increase and shall make due proof of service thereof by filing an affidavit of mailing with the Board.
A. 
It is hereby recognized that there may be major reductions in taxation of real property that would give a landlord an unexpected and unfair profit, especially taking into consideration that his overall rental basically includes a sum allowable for cost of real estate taxes. Therefore, should the landlord receive a reduction in real estate taxes for a rental premises, projector mobile home park in any one year not caused by extraordinary depreciation, such as loss by fire, storm and the like, the amount of such reduction shall be apportioned among the number of units or mobile home rental spaces, and such reduction shall then be proportionately credited to each unit or mobile home space to reduce the rental of each individual unit or mobile home rental spaces. A tenant shall be permitted to make application to the Rent Leveling Board in the event of an extraordinary reduction in the cost of fuel, utilities or of any other specific service upon which the rental is based is discontinued, reduced or eliminated, thereby affecting the maintenance of services as set forth in § 334-23. Any reduction in rent shall be equal to the value of the services or amenity that has been discontinued, reduced or eliminated or cost reduced as determined by the Rent Leveling Board.
B. 
Where a mobile home park or housing/rental unit or any part thereof is being operated in violation of municipal codes and where such violation adversely affects habitability, any affected tenant or tenants may apply to the Board for a reasonable reduction in rent, commensurate with any such effect on habitability. Upon receipt of such application, the Board shall schedule the matter for a hearing and notify the owner thereof. If, as a result of such a hearing, the Board determines that a violation of a municipal code exists and that such violation affects habitability, it may grant a reasonable reduction in rent to the affected tenant or tenants, which rent shall remain in effect until the owner corrects said violation or violations.
A. 
In the event that a successful municipal property tax appeal is taken by the landlord, the tenants involved shall receive 50% of said reduction after the landlord's costs of securing said tax reduction have been deducted. The landlord shall receive the remaining benefits of the tax reduction. Thereafter, in succeeding years, the benefit of each successful tax appeal shall be divided evenly between the tenants and the landlord.
B. 
Any such successful landlord shall serve the tenants, within 30 days after receipt of the judgment, with a notice of the calculations involved, including an itemization of the costs of securing a reduction and the reduction each tenant is entitled to, determined by dividing 1/2 of the remainder of the amount of said tax reduction by the number of completed mobile home spaces in the mobile home parks or number of housing/rental units in the dwelling.
A. 
Fees assessed by a landlord upon tenants for miscellaneous items, including but not limited to, parking, extra persons and pets, shall not be considered as part of the base rent for purposes of this chapter.
B. 
Tenants may be charged a parking fee for vehicles parked in a common area. Said fee shall not exceed $10 per month. This provision shall not apply to a separate agreement for the storage of recreational vehicles, boats, or similar vehicles.
C. 
An extra person fee shall not exceed $40 per person, per month, or $50 per month for each extra person when the landlord provides water or sewer service. There shall be no charge, however, for a credit check on any extra person. Furthermore, there shall be no extra person fee for a person who is a guest and remains 60 days or less in any one-year period.
D. 
A mobile home landlord may assess a pet fee not to exceed $10 per pet, per month, with a maximum fee in the amount of $20 per month. In a housing or rental unit a pet fee may not exceed $25 per pet, per month, or a maximum amount of $50 per month.
E. 
There shall be no other nonrefundable fees in connection with any fees assessed pursuant to this section.
A. 
A landlord is prohibited from gaining decontrol of rent by the movement of a trailer within a mobile home park.
B. 
A landlord shall disseminate the Federal Truth-in-Renting Law to all prospective tenants.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 46:8-43 et seq.
C. 
In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 10:5-4, tenants shall not be subject to discrimination.
There shall be a prehearing conference in all matters involving a rental increase under § 334-11 or 334-14 rental decreases, unless the Board accountant determines that such a conference is unnecessary or not required. The following procedures and requirements shall apply in the event that a prehearing conference is held:
A. 
The Board's Secretary shall give notice to the applicant of the date scheduled for the prehearing conference at least 14 days prior to the date thereof, and the applicant shall be required to post at a conspicuous location within the mobile home park or dwelling, as appropriate, a notice of the schedule of said prehearing conference at least 10 days prior to the date hereof.
B. 
The prehearing conference shall be attended by one or more members of the Rent Leveling Board, by the accountant for the Board, by the applicant or his representative and by the accountant for the applicant. Tenants or representatives of the tenants who will be affected by any rental increase, including the tenant's accountant, shall be permitted to attend and participate.
C. 
The purpose of the prehearing conference shall be to informally review the financial data and information upon which the application is based in an effort to narrow the issues to be brought before the Board. For this purpose, the parties are urged to stipulate such facts, financial data and information as are not in dispute.
D. 
The Board, its representatives or the Board accountant may require the applicant to submit additional data and information as a result of the prehearing review of the financial data. In addition, the Board may require an applicant to respond to additional inquiries which may be raised at the prehearing conference for the purpose of clarifying the application.
E. 
At the conclusion of the prehearing conference, or within 10 days thereafter, the accountant for the Board shall submit to the Board all matters stipulated between the parties, all facts and information which have been established as a result of the prehearing conference and shall further provide to the Board said Board accountant's professional review and recommendations as to any mailers which may be at issue before the Board. These recommendations shall be considered by the Board in its review of the application but shall not be binding.
A. 
The Rent Leveling Board shall be required to hold all necessary public hearings and make a determination on any application under §§ 334-10, 334-11, 334-14 and 334-17B within 90 days of the filing of a completed application by any applicant unless such applicant consents in writing to the extension of the ninety-day time period for an additional period. If, due to no fault of the landlord, the Rent Leveling Board does not render a decision on a properly filed and completed application for a rental increase within 90 days of receipt of same, the landlord shall be entitled to have any rental increase granted on said application applied retroactively to the first rental payment period 90 days after the filing of said application.
B. 
Prior to the hearing by the Board on any such application, the landlord must serve upon each tenant and must post, in a conspicuous place in or about the rental property, a notice of the hearing, setting forth the basis for said application and the date, time and location of the hearing. Said notice must be served and posted at least 14 days prior to the proposed date of the hearing. In order to provide the Rent Leveling Board with sufficient time to review the required financial data and to schedule a hearing, it is required that an applicant submit an application for a rental increase pursuant to these sections at least 90 days prior to the effective date of the proposed rental increase.
C. 
The Rent Leveling Board shall review all notices for annual increases under § 334-10, for surcharges under § 334-13, for reductions under § 334-17 and for negotiated settlements under § 334-9A(12) for completeness and accuracy within 45 days of the date of its receipt thereof. In the event that the Board finds that the notices or computations are incomplete, inaccurate or erroneous, it may make such order as it deems necessary and proper to correct such notices or to correct the rental increase or surcharge to the proper amount or to the proper effective date. The effect of the rental increase, surcharge or negotiated settlement shall not be stayed by this procedure, but shall be effective in accordance with its original terms until such time as it is corrected by the duly adopted order of the Board.
D. 
The Board shall keep and maintain minutes of its hearings and meetings. The Board shall provide for the stenographic or electronic recording of its hearings. The Board shall be required to specify those facts and reasons upon which it bases any decision.
E. 
No application for a rental increase of any type shall be considered by the Board unless such application and all necessary supplementary material is filed at least 10 days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.
F. 
Tenants are encouraged to provide written notice of any concerns or complaints to both the Landlord and Rent Leveling Board at least 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing.
A. 
During the term of this chapter, a landlord shall maintain the same facilities and standards of services, maintenance, furniture, furnishings and equipment in the housing unit or mobile home park, as appropriate, as he/she provided or was required to provide by law or lease at the date the lease was entered into.
B. 
Any individual tenant or group of tenants who is not receiving substantially the same standards of services, maintenance, furniture, furnishings or equipment may have the Rent Leveling Board determine the reasonable rental value as full payment for rent until the landlord demonstrates to the Rent Leveling Board that the deficiency has been corrected.
C. 
A provision of a lease or other agreement whereby any provision of this section is waived shall be deemed against public policy and shall be void.
D. 
Any individual tenant or group of tenants who are required by the landlord to convert the energy source of their housing or rental unit (e.g., a conversion from oil heat to gas heat) may be entitled to a reduction in rent. The Rent Leveling Board shall determine the amount, if any, of the reduction, taking into account the costs of the conversion (including equipment, labor, materials and permits) and any other relevant factors. In making its decision, the Rent Leveling Board shall consider the future increased costs of energy, the impact on the health, safety and welfare of the tenants, and the ability of the tenants to pay the new heating costs.
E. 
No mobile home park owner shall require any individual tenant or any group of tenants to pay any costs related to the removal, filling or destruction of underground storage tanks in the park, unless such tenant or tenants installed said underground tank or tanks. No mobile home park owner may make the removal, filling or destruction of an underground storage tank a condition of approving the sale of a mobile home for any individual tenant or group of tenants.
F. 
Any willful violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be punishable in accordance with § 334-32 herein.
A. 
The permissible rental increases pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall not apply where they exceed or conflict with the increases allowed by any other statute or rule of the federal government, state government, county government or any agencies thereof.
B. 
A landlord shall not enter into a lease with any tenant which contains provisions contradictory to any provision of this chapter.
[Added 8-26-2008 by Ord. No. 32-08]
A. 
Each landlord shall post with the Township Clerk on or before July 1 of each year a list of the rentals being paid for each unit of dwelling space rented to a tenant, the date of the last increase and the amount of the last increase.
B. 
No later than January 31 of each year, a landlord shall file with the Rent Leveling Board a copy of the lease or occupancy agreement for each housing/rental unit or mobile home space. In addition, a mobile home park landlord shall file a statement which includes the decontrolled rent for the present year.
A. 
No landlord shall, after the effective date of this chapter, charge any rents in excess of what he was receiving at the effective date of this chapter, except for increases as authorized by this chapter.
B. 
No new tenant shall be assessed any rental increase for the twelve-month period preceding the start date of occupancy. This shall not prevent a landlord, through appropriate application, from increasing rent as a result of real estate tax increases.
Only one rental increase of any type shall be permitted in any twelve-month period. This provision shall not only apply to surcharges authorized by § 334-13 or 334-14, but to rental increases authorized by § 334-28 or to interim increases obtained during the pendency of an application for a rental increase under any section of this chapter, provided that any such increase shall be reduced by the amount of the interim increase, and the interim increase shall be deemed to be an initial installment on any such increase.
A. 
No annual increase under § 334-9, no rental increase under § 334-11 and no rent charge for capital improvements under § 334-14 shall be applied for, considered or approved by the Rent Leveling Board or received by a landlord or operator of a mobile home park until all real property taxes and license fees for the current year are paid in full. No tax surcharge under § 334-13 shall be approved by the Rent Leveling Board or received by the owner or operator of a mobile home park until all real property taxes, except that portion of the taxes which are the subject of the tax surcharge, and all license fees are paid in full for the current year.
B. 
In addition to the foregoing requirements, when considering applications for an annual increase under § 334-10, rental increase under § 334-11 and rent charge for capital improvements under § 334-14, the Rent Leveling Board may consider, for jurisdictional purposes or otherwise, whether.
(1) 
A valid license has been issued and is effective for the mobile home park; and
(2) 
No outstanding violations are pending before the Township Municipal Court for code or zoning violations in the mobile home park which are the responsibility of the landlord and/or owner.
Whenever a landlord seeks an increase in either the monthly rental or other payments from the tenants under any of the provisions of § 334-10, 334-11, 334-13 or 334-14, and there has been an increase in the total number of tenants, the landlord shall be obligated to recalculate each tenant's pro rata share of license fees, taxes, tax surcharge, mandated expense surcharge or other fixed expense which is passed through to the tenants. No rental increase under any of the aforementioned sections shall be effective unless such recalculation has been made by the landlord and the monthly rental has been adjusted accordingly.
A. 
All applications required by this chapter shall be on a form provided by the Municipal Clerk. All applications shall be submitted to the Clerk and shall be in compliance with the application form and include all required documentation.
B. 
There shall be no fee for tenant applications. Landlords shall only pay a fee for hardship and capital improvements applications in the amount of $500.
A. 
In connection with any application for rental increases or charges under § 334-10, 334-11, 334-12, 334-13 or 334-14 of this chapter, and for the information of the tenants, the landlord, prior to filing an application with the Rent Leveling Board, shall personally serve a copy of the application on each tenant affected by the application. In addition, the applicant shall include a notice that the documents, records and other information upon which the application is based are available for inspection at a specified location within the Township during normal business hours, provided that reasonable notice of a request to review is given the applicant. The applicant shall submit proof to the Rent Leveling Board that service has been made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. In addition, each tenant shall be provided a summary of the basis for the rental increase, a statement of the amount of the proposed increase and its effective date and a statement breaking down the existing and proposed rent among property taxes, license fees, tax surcharge, if any, capital improvement charges, if any, operating expenses and the landlord's return, totaling the amount of rent currently paid, and the amount of rent proposed to be paid by the tenant.
B. 
In addition to the requirements of Subsection A above, the notice to all mobile park tenants shall include the decontrolled rent for the present year.
C. 
Personal service of the application may be accomplished by any or all of the following means on any one application so long as each and every tenant is personally served with the application by one of the following methods of service:
(1) 
Personally delivering a copy of the application to the tenant or tenants and having said tenant or tenants acknowledge receipt of same in writing.
(2) 
Mailing a copy of the application to the tenant or tenants by a constable or other official authorized to serve process by the State of New Jersey or any political subdivision thereof
(3) 
Serving a copy of the application upon the tenant or tenants by ordinary mail in accordance with the provisions set forth hereinbelow. If ordinary mail is used, the applicant must bring a list of all tenants affected by the application to the Township Clerk's office, along with a complete copy of the application and the sealed, addressed and stamped envelopes to be mailed containing the application. The Township Clerk or a representative thereof shall check the envelopes against the list of tenants to verify that each tenant is being mailed an application and, if satisfied, shall deposit said envelopes in the mail and forward the master list of tenants or landlords to the Rent Leveling Board Secretary with written confirmation that all tenants shall have been mailed an application.
D. 
In addition to the notice requirements above under Subsections A and B, if a hearing for which a landlord was required to give notice is canceled, postponed or otherwise rescheduled, the landlord is required to give additional notice for the rescheduled date by any of the methods in Subsection C.
[Added 3-11-2014 by Ord. No. 05-14]
A willful violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to the willful filing with the Rent Leveling Board of any material misstatement of fact, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. A violation affecting more than one rental space shall be considered a separate violation as to each rental space.
This chapter, being necessary for the welfare of the Township and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Art. III, Rent Control for Mobile Home Parks, of the 1972 Code, as amended, which immediately followed, was repealed 6-24-2008 by Ord. No. 23-08.