Borough of Union Beach, NJ
Monmouth County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
[Ord. #515]
This chapter shall be known and may be sited as the rent control and establishment of a rent board ordinance.
[Ord. #515]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
a. 
MULTIPLE DWELLINGS - Shall mean and include a building containing three or more dwelling units.
b. 
DWELLING UNIT - Shall mean one or more rooms providing living facilities designed or used for one household.
c. 
RENT BOARD - Shall mean the board created by this chapter for the purpose of hearing appeals and complaints from owners and tenants dealing with rents, and issuing rulings on the same.
d. 
FAIR RENTAL - Shall mean the prevailing rental applicable to each dwelling unit in the borough as of June 1, 1986, and as may be increased in accordance with this chapter.
e. 
BASE RENT - Shall mean for each dwelling unit, the rent that was lawfully charged for that dwelling unit on the 31st day of December of the calendar year next preceding, if a dwelling unit was vacant on the 31st day of December immediately prior to the calendar year in question, the "base rent" shall mean the rent which was lawfully being charged for a dwelling unit on the last day of the last full month during which the dwelling unit was rented during the previous 12 months.
f. 
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX - Shall mean the consumer price index entitled, "New York, New York - Northeastern New Jersey," published periodically by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor.
g. 
LANDLORD -Shall mean the person who owns, purports to own or exercises control of any dwelling.
[Ord. #515]
The following residential units are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
a. 
Hotel or motel units.
b. 
A single-family dwelling or an owner occupied two family dwelling.
c. 
Any dwelling unit where a tenant is an employee of the landlord and the rental of the unit is customarily restricted to employees of the landlord.
[Ord. #515]
a. 
There is hereby created a rent leveling board in and for the borough consisting of three regular members and two alternate members. All members shall be residents of the Borough of Union Beach and shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to confirmation by the council. The term of each member shall be for one year, commencing with the effective date of this chapter. Members shall serve without compensation and may be removed for cause, upon written charges by the council, after a hearing. Alternate members shall be entitled to sit with and participate as members in all hearings before the board. An alternate member who has attended the full hearing or hearings shall participate in the board's decision during the absence or disqualification of any regular member. The two alternate members shall be designated at the time of their appointment as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2" and shall participate in the board's decisions in rotation during the absence or disqualification of any regular member.
b. 
Powers and Duties. The board is hereby granted all powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the specific provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to the following:
1. 
To organize within seven days of the appointment of its members by electing a chairman, vice-chairman and a secretary. The secretary may or may not be a member of the board.
2. 
To adopt rules for its own government not inconsistent with this chapter or with the law.
3. 
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it seems necessary to implement the specific provisions of this chapter.
4. 
To supply information and assistance to the landlords and tenants to assist them in complying with the provisions of this chapter.
5. 
To hear and decide applications and all hearings as provided by this chapter.
6. 
To administer oaths, examine witnesses and by subpoena compel the attendance and the testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, documents or tangible things, pursuant to the provisions of the County and Municipal Investigations Law (N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq.).
[Ord. #515]
Any person, firm or corporation placing upon the rental market housing space within the borough for the first time after the effective date of this chapter shall be entitled to charge any rent to any tenant that may be obtained by contract between the parties. For the purpose of this section, any rental unit which shall have been vacant for the twelve-month period next preceding its being placed on the market shall be considered a new rental unit.
[Ord. #515]
From and after the effective date of this chapter, no landlord shall charge a rent for a dwelling unit in excess of the base rent plus permitted rental increases as provided hereinbelow.
[Ord. #515]
Any rental increase at a time other than the expiration of a lease or termination of a rental period shall be void except as is otherwise set forth herein. Any rental increase in excess of that authorized by the provisions of this chapter shall be void. No owner or landlord shall increase the rental of any dwelling unit more than once in any twelve-month period.
[Ord. #515]
a. 
Every tenant shall be entitled to receive a written lease for a minimum period of one year. A lease longer than a one year period may provide for the annual increment permitted by this chapter.
b. 
Every lease shall clearly set forth the rent in effect on June 1, 1986 and the date and amount of any increase thereto.
[Ord. #515]
Housing space or a dwelling being rented for the first time shall not be restricted in the initial rent charge. Any subsequent rental increases, however, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
[Ord. #515]
The fair rental may be increased to the smaller figure of either 5% in each twelve-month period, or the increase shall be limited to 80% of the percentage increase in the consumer price index over the twelve-month period most recently reported and available to the landlord from the rent leveling board, or over such longer period if the lease is for a longer term, whichever is the new increase rent shall become the base rent for all subsequent rent increases.
[Ord. #515]
Any landlord seeking an increase in rent shall notify the tenant, in writing, of the calculations involved in computing the increase at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the increase. The increase shall not be effective unless and until 30 days' written notice thereof is given to the tenant.
[Ord. #515]
In order to encourage landlords not to increase rents annually, the rental increase shall be cumulative. That is, any landlord who does not raise the rent at a rate equal to the increase in the consumer price index shall have the right at a later date to increase the rent on a housing space to the full amount that would have been permitted if the full annual increase had been implemented. The new increase percent shall be determined on a pro rata basis based on the number of months that have expired since the last increase.
[Ord. #515]
An owner or landlord may make application to the rent board for a rental increase beyond that permitted herein on the following grounds:
a. 
Capital improvements that are not repairs or replacements and that increase the rental value of the dwelling unit.
b. 
Extreme hardship related to the building. There shall be a separate application for each dwelling unit. In support of an application to the rent board, the owner or landlord shall make all books and records applicable to the operation of the dwelling unit available to the board and to the tenant affected.
[Ord. #515]
a. 
At the expiration or termination of a lease, the landlord may seek a tax surcharge from the tenant because of an increase in municipal property taxes. The tax surcharge shall not exceed that amount authorized by the following provisions. The landlord shall divide the increase in the present property tax over the property tax of the initial year of the lease by the number of rented rooms in the dwelling to obtain the tax increase per room. The tenant shall not be liable for a tax surcharge exceeding the tax increase per room multiplied by the number of rooms occupied by the tenant.
b. 
Any landlord seeking a tax surcharge shall notify the tenant of the calculations involved in computing the tax surcharge, including the present property tax for the dwelling, the property tax for the dwelling for the previous year, the number of rooms occupied by the tenant and the maximum allowable surcharge.
c. 
The tax surcharge each tenant is liable for shall be paid in 12 monthly installments.
d. 
The tax surcharge shall not be considered rent for the purpose of computing the cost of living rental increases.
e. 
In the event of a tax appeal, the portion of a tenant's tax surcharge not being paid by the landlord will be held in an interest bearing account.
f. 
In the event the tax appeal referred to in this Ordinance is successful and the taxes reduced, the tenants shall receive 50% of said reduction as applied ratably to its tax portion and the failure on the part of the landlord to rebate to any tenant the amount of such reduction due, within 45 days of the final allowance of such appeal, and thereafter each year, shall be deemed a violation by the landlord of this chapter and render him subject to the penalty provided in section 17-18 hereof.
g. 
In the event the landlord receives interest on any tax overpayment, such interest shall be deemed to be part of the tax reduction for purposes of reimbursement under paragraph f above.
[Ord. #515]
A landlord shall only be entitled to the rental increases provided herein if it maintains the premises in accordance with this chapter and the other ordinances of the borough providing for the construction, maintenance or zoning of said property, with no decrease of any services.
[Ord. #515]
A provision of a lease or other agreement whereby any provision of this chapter is waived shall be deemed against public policy and shall be void.
[Ord. #515]
No landlord shall, after the effective date of the original ordinance, charge any rent in excess of what he was receiving from the effective date of the original ordinance except for increases authorized by this chapter or any subsequent ordinances.
[Ord. #515]
A violation of any provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to the filing with the rent leveling board of any material misstatement of facts shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 and imprisonment for not more than 30 days or both. A violation affecting more than one leaseholder, shall be considered a separate violation as to each leaseholder.
[Ord. #515]
Any person aggrieved by a decision or order of the board may appeal to the mayor and council of the Borough of Union Beach by filing a written notice of appeal with the borough clerk and by serving copies of the notice to all other interested parties within 10 days of the service of a copy of the decision or order upon the application to the board. A hearing thereon shall be had within 60 days of the filing of the appeal, on notice to all parties in interest who shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard. Within 20 days after such hearing, the council shall affirm or modify the decision or order of the board. An appeal hereunder shall stay the decision or order of the board for which the appeal is taken. Failure of the council to act within the time provided shall be deemed to be affirmance of the decision or order of the Board.
[Ord. #515]
All rental units within the Borough of Union Beach must be registered with the rent leveling board, and a landlord must include in the registration information the address of the rental property, the names of the tenants and the amount of the rental charge for said rental property. No dwelling unit shall have a rent increase or hardship award unless such unit has been registered with the rent control board.
[Ord. #515]
If any of the provisions of this chapter shall be judged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such order or judgment shall not affect or invalidate the remainder of this chapter, and, to this end, the provisions of each paragraph, article, section or subsection of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.
[Ord. #515]
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon its passage and publication required by law.