[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hamilton 7-9-2012 by Ord. No. 1725-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Any tenant who receives a notice of eviction pursuant to Section 3 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.2) that results from zoning or code enforcement activity for an illegal occupancy, as set forth in Paragraph (3) of Subsection g of Section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1), shall be considered a displaced person and shall be entitled to relocation assistance in an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person. The owner-landlord of the structure shall be liable for the payment of relocation assistance pursuant to this section at the time the notice of eviction is served.
There is hereby established, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1a, a Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund in the Township of Hamilton.
Sums deposited into Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund. There shall be deposited into the Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund the following sums, less any money required to be repaid to the State of New Jersey:
Any relocation costs, and interest thereon, paid by an owner of real property who has been held liable for a civil or criminal penalty in the case of any displacement of persons by housing or construction code enforcement pursuant to Section 1 of P.L. 1983, c. 536 (N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1);
Any sums realized by the municipality upon enforcement of municipal liens or liquidation of any property acquired by virtue of enforcement pursuant to Section 1 of P.L. 1983, c. 536 (N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1); and
Any sums realized by the municipality relating to any relocation cost and interest thereon upon enforcement or liquidation of any property acquired by virtue of enforcement and collected pursuant to Section 1 of P.L. 1984, c. 30 (N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.2).
Purpose of fund. Monies appropriated from the fund shall be used by the municipality to provide relocation assistance pursuant to P.L. 1971, c. 362 (N.J.S.A. 20:4-1 et seq.) and this chapter.
Payment of relocation assistance from the Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund. In the event a landlord has failed to provide the relocation assistance required by § 248-1 of this chapter at the time the notice of eviction is served or, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1a, in case of any displacement of persons by housing or construction code enforcement, including any rehabilitation necessitated by that enforcement, the Township of Hamilton may pay the displaced person relocation expenses from the Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund.
Landlord's obligation to repay the Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund. When the Township of Hamilton pays relocation expenses to a displaced person pursuant to Subsection C of this section, it shall present a statement of relocation costs to the landlord along with a statement of when the costs shall be due and payable, and the landlord shall repay the relocation costs to the Township. In the event the landlord shall fail to repay the relocation expenses within 10 days of the date such expenses become due and payable, the same shall accrue interest at a rate of 18% per annum and become a lien against the subject real property as provided for in N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1; provided, however, that in the case of relocation expenses paid by the Township of Hamilton pursuant to N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1a, the owner shall only be required to repay the relocation expenses where the owner of the real property has, in any final court adjudication, been held liable for a civil or criminal penalty.
Civil action to recover unpaid relocation expenses. In addition to the remedies available under N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1 and § 248-2C of this chapter, the Township may proceed under N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.2 in a civil action to recover unpaid relocation expenses, attorney's fees, interest and costs from the owner-landlord of the real property as set forth in the statute.
Penalty to be paid into Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund. In addition to the other relief set forth in this chapter, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1g, whenever an owner-landlord is required to repay rental relocation assistance to the Township of Hamilton, the owner-landlord shall also pay an additional amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person, which shall be deposited into the Revolving Relocation Assistance Fund.
Additional penalty for second and subsequent violations.
In addition to the penalty set forth in Subsection A of this section, after affording the owner-landlord an opportunity for a hearing on the matter, for a second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy, a fine may be imposed upon the owner-landlord equal to the annual tuition cost of any resident of the illegally occupied unit attending a public school, which fine shall be recovered in a civil action by a summary proceeding in the name of the municipality pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L. 1999, c. 274 (N.J.S.A 2A:58-10 et seq.). The Municipal Court of the Township of Hamilton and the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this section. The tuition cost shall be determined in the manner prescribed for nonresident pupils pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-19, and the payment of the fine shall be remitted to the appropriate school district.
For the purposes of this chapter, the owner-landlord of a structure shall exclude mortgagees in possession of a structure through foreclosure.
For the purposes of this chapter, a "second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy" shall be limited to those violations that are new and are a result of distinct and separate zoning or code enforcement activities, and shall not include any continuing violations for which citations are issued by a zoning or code enforcement agent during the time period required for summary dispossession proceedings to conclude if the owner has initiated eviction proceedings in a court of proper jurisdiction.