Township of Middle, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Middle as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 100.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 112.
Dogs — See Ch. 121.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 146.
Garbage and recycling — See Ch. 158.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 193.
Sewers — See Ch. 204.
Subdivision of land and site plan review — See Ch. 218.
Zoning — See Ch. 250.
[Adopted 10-17-1985 by Ord. No. 526-85]
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MOBILE HOME LOT
A parcel of land designed to accommodate a mobile home, and includes the mobile home stand and the mobile home yard.
MOBILE HOME or MANUFACTURED HOME
A unit of housing which:
A. 
Consists of one or more transportable sections which are substantially constructed off site and, if more than one section, are joined together on site.
B. 
Is built on a permanent chassis.
C. 
Is designed to be used, when connected to utilities, as a dwelling on a nonpermanent foundation.
D. 
Is manufactured in accordance with the standards promulgated for a manufactured home by the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, P.L. 93-383 (42 U.S.C. § 5401 et seq.), and the standards promulgated by the Commissioner of Community Affairs pursuant to P.L. 1975, c. 217 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.).
MOBILE HOME PARK
A parcel of land which has been so designated and improved and contains mobile home lots available to the general public for the placement thereon of mobile homes for occupancy.
MOBILE PARK SPACE
Same as "mobile home lot."
MOBILE HOME STAND
That part of a mobile home lot which has been reserved exclusively for the placement of a mobile home.
MOBILE HOME YARD
That part of the mobile home lot excluding the mobile home stand.
OPERATOR
The mobile home park owner or his designated agent or manager who handles the day-to-day operating of the park.
PARK MANAGEMENT
The owner or his designated agent, being administrative officers of the mobile home park.
PERSON
Includes corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, partnerships and joint-stock companies, as well as individuals.
TENANT
Any person who rents or leases a mobile home lot from the park management.
TOWNSHIP CLERK
The Clerk of the Township of Middle.
TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE
The Township Committee of the Township of Middle.
No person shall operate or maintain any mobile home park within the Township of Middle without first obtaining a valid license therefor from the Township Clerk and satisfying all prerequisites for the same.
A. 
Annual fee. The annual license fee for a mobile home park shall be $750 per calendar year, base fee. There shall also be a municipal service fee of $10 per calendar month per mobile home, whether or not the mobile home is occupied. There shall be no proration of either fee for periods shorter than a calendar year or a calendar month. There shall be additional fees for the supplemental license as hereinafter set forth.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 545-86; 5-17-2010 by Ord. No. 1344-10]
B. 
License application fees shall be payable not later than December 1 of the year prior to the year for which the license is sought.
A. 
Forms and filing. Every application for a mobile home park license or renewal thereof shall be made upon forms supplied by the Middle Township Clerk and signed by the applicant.
B. 
Filing date. All applications shall be filed, with the requisite fee, in the Middle Township Clerk's office on or before December 1 of the year prior to the year for which the license is sought. Failure to file as aforesaid shall be grounds for revocation of the license.
C. 
License application form information. The application form shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant; if the applicant is a corporation, the name and address of each director, officer and each holder of 10% or more of corporation stock.
(2) 
The trade name, if any.
(3) 
The location and legal description of the mobile home park and the tax block and lot numbers.
(4) 
The total area of the premises.
(5) 
The number of mobile home spaces, regular and supplemental.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 545-86]
(6) 
A scaled diagram of the premises showing:
(a) 
The number of mobile home spaces used and the number of mobile home spaces allowed, regular and supplemental.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 545-86]
(b) 
The location of each space and the number of each space (numbered consecutively), space corners to be marked in a manner approved by the Township Engineer.
(c) 
Roads, driveways and storm drainage.
(d) 
The location and number of sanitary conveniences, including toilets, washrooms and laundries, and the location of utility rooms, swimming pool, playground, etc.
(e) 
The method and plan of sewage disposal.
(f) 
The method and plan of garbage and refuse removal.
(g) 
The plan of water supply.
(h) 
The plan for electrical lighting of mobile homes and the mobile home park, including roadways and driveways.
(i) 
The plans and specifications of all buildings and improvements to be constructed within the mobile home park.
(j) 
Such additional information as the Township Committee may require to determine if all legal requirements for the mobile home park are satisfied.
D. 
Certificate and approvals.
(1) 
Each license applicant shall certify the truth of all statements relating to the application and that a copy of the scaled plans with consecutively numbered spaces is posted in the mobile home park office.
(2) 
Each application shall be accompanied by certified approvals of all other governmental bodies and agencies other than the Township Committee, that are legally required for mobile home park operation.
(3) 
Renewal applications may reference previously filed information and approvals but must file certification of no change.
E. 
Other approvals. Licenses issued pursuant to this article convey no right to construct any building or do any plumbing or electrical work or any other work requiring governmental or municipal permits.
A. 
Monthly reports.
(1) 
Once each month, each license holder shall file a report on the number of occupied mobile home spaces and pay the proper monthly license fee at the Township Clerk's office.
(2) 
The report shall be filed and the monthly license fee shall be paid between the first and 10th days of the succeeding month.
(3) 
The report shall be filed regardless of whether any operations were conducted the previous months and regardless of whether any monthly license fee is due.
(4) 
The report shall be made on forms supplied by the Township Clerk and shall be signed by the operator of the mobile home park.
(5) 
Payment of the monthly license fee is the sole responsibility of the mobile home park operator, without regard to payment or nonpayment to the operator by the individual mobile home owner/occupant.
(6) 
Monthly license fees shall not be paid in advance.
B. 
Quarterly reports. Quarterly reports shall be filed at the Township Clerk's office between the first and 10th of each three-month period and shall contain the following:
(1) 
A list of the individually numbered mobile home sites, showing which mobile home sites are occupied and which are unoccupied.
(2) 
A description of the mobile home.
C. 
Failure to file a report and pay fees.
(1) 
Failure to make a timely filing of any report and pay fees herein required shall be grounds for revocation of a license.
(2) 
Where a mobile home park operator has been past due in filing reports or paying the necessary fees three times, the Township Committee may, in addition to any other penalty or remedy allowed, by resolution, require the mobile home park operator to post a cash bond with the Township Clerk. The amount of the bond shall be $48 for each mobile home and shall remain on deposit with the Township Clerk for so long as said operator continues to operate said mobile home park.
A. 
All mobile home parks shall comply with the following conditions and requirements:
(1) 
The mobile home park shall be in a minimum of 25 acres.
(2) 
Mobile home spaces shall be a minimum of 5,000 square feet for each space, and each space shall be a minimum of 50 feet in width.
(3) 
Mobile home spaces shall be arranged so as to face upon a driveway, with unobstructed access, using such driveway, to a public street or highway.
(4) 
Mobile homes shall be placed on each space so that there will be two side yards, unoccupied by anything other than underground utilities, each of a minimum of six feet, and front and rear yards, similarly unoccupied, of a minimum of 10 feet each.
(5) 
All mobile home park roads shall provide convenient circulation and be at least 24 feet wide. An unobstructed access road to a public street or highway is required. Emergency access may also be required.
(6) 
Roads and parking areas shall be constructed of gravel base and two inches of FABC or concrete. Roads shall be properly drained.
(7) 
Public walks, where provided, shall be constructed of concrete or other suitable material approved by the Township Engineer. Said walkways shall not be less than 30 inches in width.
(8) 
Skirting or other nonpermanent additions are permitted, provided that they are so constructed and installed as to facilitate underneath inspection and do not constitute a harborage for rodents or create a fire hazard. Permanent additions shall not be built onto or made part of any mobile home. Roofs shall not be constructed as a permanent addition for the purpose of this article but shall require the prior written approval of the mobile home park owner.
(9) 
A minimum of 50 square feet per mobile home space shall be provided in one or more places for recreation areas and shall be restricted to such use and be free of traffic hazards.
(10) 
Public areas of a mobile home park shall be adequately lighted so as to permit safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians at night.
(11) 
The number of mobile homes permitted in a mobile home park shall not exceed the number of mobile home spaces, and no more than one mobile home shall be permitted on a mobile home space.
(12) 
No mobile home shall be inhabited by a greater number of occupants than two permanent persons per bedroom.
(13) 
Each mobile home space shall have a patio of not less than 200 square feet, either open or enclosed.
(14) 
No automobile or other vehicle shall be parked in any space other than that provided for such purposes on a mobile home space at any time. Two parking spaces shall be provided for each mobile home space.
(15) 
A proper buffer strip shall be provided if required by the Township's Zoning and/or Site Plan Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 250, Zoning, and Ch. 218, Subdivision of Land and Site Plan Review.
(16) 
All electric, telephone and television service shall be so installed as to be beneath the surface of the ground.
(17) 
The area licensed for operation as a mobile home park shall be contiguous parcels and shall not extend across or be divided by any public highway or public toll road, either local, county, state or federal, nor shall a mobile home park extend across a railroad right-of-way unless a public crossing permit in a form approved by the Township Attorney and of a width and configuration approved by the Township Engineer is obtained from the owner of the railroad right-of-way in question. All other approvals of any and all governmental bodies having jurisdiction in the matter shall likewise be required.
(18) 
No area shall be licensed for operation as a mobile home park if any part of said area is less than 1,000 feet, when measured in a straight-line distance, from any part of another area licensed under a separate license for operation as a mobile home park; provided, however, that this restriction shall not prevent or interfere with renewals of licenses for areas presently licensed or the licensing of areas for which license applications have been filed. Application may be made for waiver of said minimum distance requirement of 1,000 feet in the following manner:
(a) 
Ten copies of a survey print, accompanied by a waiver request, and a waiver application fee of $5 shall be submitted to the Township Clerk.
(b) 
Said survey print shall show the entire area intended to be licensed by the applicant and shall also show the entire area covered by every other license, if any part of the other licensed area is within 1,000 feet, straight-line distance, of any portion of the area intended to be licensed. Said survey print shall show all highways, all highway exits and entrances, all roadways contained in any premises licensed and intended to be licensed, the direction of traffic flow and all traffic signals within the premises licensed and intended to be licensed or within 1,000 feet thereof. Said survey print shall be prepared by a New Jersey licensed engineer.
(c) 
Immediately upon receipt of said survey prints, the Township Clerk shall forward one of the same to each member of the Township Committee, the Cape May County Planning Board, the Township Planning Board, the Township Construction Official, the Township Police Chief and the Municipal Attorney and shall request their comments and recommendations concerning the waiver request within 30 days.
(d) 
Within 60 days following their receipt of said survey prints, the Township Committee shall hold a public hearing at which all comments received from the above-named officials shall be read into the record and at which hearing any resident, taxpayer or other interested party shall also be heard. A notice of said hearing shall be published twice, in two separate weeks, in the official newspaper of the Township not more than 30 days nor less than five days prior to the hearing.
(e) 
Immediately following said public hearing, the Township Committee shall adopt a resolution either granting or denying the waiver. In reaching its decision, the Township Committee shall give consideration to all comments received at the public hearing but shall not be bound by any comment or recommendation. The granting of the requested distance waiver shall not operate as an approval or waiver of the requirements of any other ordinance or regulation concerning the establishment, transfer or enlargement of a mobile home park.
(19) 
The plumbing of all mobile homes and for the mobile home park shall be in accordance with the requirements of the National Standard Plumbing Subcode of the Uniform Construction Code of New Jersey and all supplements and amendments thereto.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 112, Construction Codes, Uniform.
(20) 
The water supply and distribution shall be in accordance with the requirements of the New Jersey State Drinking Water Act regulations published by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
(21) 
Sanitary sewers and sewage treatment plants shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection rules and regulations for the design and construction of sanitary sewers and sewage treatment plants. Individual sewage disposal systems shall conform to the requirements of the Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewerage Disposal Systems, Department of Environmental Protection, Chapter 199.
(22) 
Storm drainage shall conform to all requirements of the Middle Township Subdivision of Land and Site Plan Ordinance[3] and all other applicable governmental regulations.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 218, Subdivision of Land and Site Plan Review.
(23) 
Refuse storage, collection and disposal. The storage and collection of refuse shall be so managed as to prevent health hazards, rodent harborage, insect breeding, accident hazards or air pollution. The following shall apply:
(a) 
Refuse containers. All refuse shall be stored in durable, fly-tight, watertight and rodent-proof containers. Where separation of refuse is required, separate marked containers shall be provided and be appropriately identified.
[Amended 4-5-1990 by Ord.No. 720-90]
(b) 
Collection. All refuse shall be collected at least once weekly. In the event that collection service is not available from the municipality or a private contractor, the mobile home owner or operator shall arrange for all refuse to be collected and transported to the disposal site in covered vehicles or covered containers. Refuse disposal shall be effected in accordance with local requirements.
(24) 
Insect, rodent and weed control.
(a) 
Insect, rodent and weed control shall be in accordance with the Public Health Nuisance Code[4] and all other applicable statutes, ordinances and regulations.
[4]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 273, Nuisances, Public Health.
(b) 
Storage areas shall be maintained in such a manner as to eliminate the possibility of rodent harborage. The space beneath mobile homes shall not be used to store supplies.
(25) 
Electricity shall be governed by the National Electrical Subcode of the Uniform Construction Code of New Jersey[5] and all amendments and supplements thereto (Uniform Construction Code of New Jersey, Electric Subcode).
[5]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 112, Construction Codes, Uniform.
(26) 
Fuel, flammable liquids and gases.
(a) 
Storage and handling of fuel oil and flammable liquids. In the absence of applicable municipal ordinances, state statutes or rules and regulations, the handling and storage of gasoline, fuel oil or other flammable liquids shall be in compliance with the pertinent standards of the Uniform Construction Code of New Jersey.
(b) 
Storage and handling of liquefied petroleum gases. The handling and storage of liquefied petroleum gases shall be in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of the New Jersey State Department of Labor, Division of Workplace Standards.
(c) 
Racks. Fuel oil racks shall be of noncombustible material.
(27) 
Fire protection. The owner of every mobile home shall equip said mobile home at all times with one fire extinguisher rated for Class B and C fires as a minimum and in good working order.
(28) 
Illumination shall be in accordance with the National Electric Subcode of the Uniform Construction Code of New Jersey and its amendments and supplements.
(29) 
Signs. Each mobile home park operator shall cause to be constructed and affixed to each individual mobile home space one wooden, metal or plastic signboard not less than four inches in height or 18 inches in width upon which shall be painted or otherwise permanently affixed the number of said individual mobile home space, which number shall correspond to the number of said individual mobile home space as shown on the diagram filed with the Township Clerk. The numbers used on said signboard shall be at least four inches in height and have a thickness enabling them to be read at a distance of 20 feet. All such signboards shall be uniformly erected in each mobile home park, being attached to a post or other permanent object, between three feet and six feet from the ground and shall be kept clearly visible from the nearest driveway. Signboards shall be numbered in a light color on a dark background.
(30) 
Replacements. As of the effective date of this article, replacement of a mobile home by another mobile home on an approved mobile home lot shall be limited to replacement by a mobile home of the same size as the mobile home being replaced. However, if mobile homes of the same size as the mobile home being replaced are no longer being constructed, then the replacement mobile home may be of a different size than the one being replaced, provided that all yard requirements and other site requirements are met. The aforesaid shall apply to all mobile home replacements whether involving a mobile home lot approved under prior ordinances and regulations or a lot approved under this article.
(31) 
Prevailing setback. In any mobile home park where residential blocks have been established and within any such block where more than 50% of the street frontage has been built upon at the time of the adoption of this article, then any dwelling hereafter erected shall have a front yard equal in depth to the average depth of the front yards of the lots immediately adjacent thereto on either side.
[Amended 5-19-1988 by Ord. No. 624-88]
[Added 1-5-1989 by Ord. No. 656-88]
A. 
Variance defined. Where compliance with § 175-6A(2), (3), (4), (8), (9), (11), (12), (13), (14), (29) and/or (30) of this article and all amendments thereto would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to or exceptional and undue hardship upon any park owner or tenant, said park owner or tenant (hereinafter "applicant") may make application to the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Township of Middle for a variance hereafter from the requirements of the said section or sections.
B. 
Condition. No variance or other relief may be granted under the terms of this section unless such variance can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of this article.
C. 
Application.
(1) 
The applicant shall submit a completed application form, fee and 14 copies of the sketch plat to the Middle Township Zoning Officer at least 21 days before the meeting at which the application is to be considered.
(2) 
All plats shall be based on accurate information, at a scale of not less than one inch equals 100 feet. They shall be drawn by a licensed New Jersey professional engineer or land surveyor and shall depict the proposed improvement or improvements to the site.
D. 
Notice. Public notice of a hearing on any application for variance filed pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be provided to every tenant or owner within 200 feet of the site which is the subject of said hearing. Said notice shall be provided by mailing a copy thereof to each of said tenants by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personally serving a copy thereof upon each said tenant or owner, as the case may be. Each park owner shall provide a list of said tenants within 200 feet upon request. Each park owner may charge a fee of up to $10 for preparation of said list. Any notice made by certified mail pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed complete upon mailing.
E. 
Time for decision. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall grant or deny approval within 75 days from date of submission.
F. 
Fees. Every applicant for a variance under the provisions of this section shall pay a fee as established by the Middle Township Subdivision of Land and Site Plan Ordinance.[1]
[Amended 4-5-1990 by Ord.No. 720-90]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 218, subdivision off Land and site Plan Review.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 545-86; 4-5-1990 by Ord.No. 720-90]
A. 
In addition to the regular mobile home park license, the owner of an approved mobile home park may apply for supplemental licenses. Applications for such supplemental licenses will be received by the Township Committee up to and including December 31, 1986. Thereafter, no such applications will be received nor will any additional supplemental licenses be issued.
B. 
All application forms and documentation required to be submitted for the regular license shall likewise be required for the supplemental license, and the respective applications shall be titled so as to distinguish between the two types of licenses. All supplemental licenses issued shall be subject to all terms and conditions of this article, including, inter alia, all chapter requirements relating to mobile home park design, facilities and improvements.
C. 
The annual fee for said supplemental license shall be $500 in addition to the regular annual license fee. A monthly fee of $7 for each mobile home shall likewise be charged. The supplemental license fee shall cover the same time period as the regular license fee, and there shall be no pro rata reduction of said fee for any shorter period.
D. 
Any violations of any type existing in a mobile home park must be corrected prior to the Township's approval of any additional spaces.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 545-86; 4-5-1990 by Ord.No. 720-90]
As of the date of passage of this article, Township records reflect the following with respect to mobile home parks: 15 licenses
Owner/operator/trade name:
Regular mobile home spaces:
Supplemental license spaces:
Number
Name
Acres
Number of Sites
1
Briarwood Trailer Park
6.5
73
2
Grand Woods South
16
100
Grande Woods South - Supplemental
16
150
3
Grande Woods North
16.25
100
4
Cedar Springs Mobile Home Park
3
36
5
Village Mobile Court
1.11
18
6
Delsea Woods
50
100
Delsea Woods - Supplemental
50
150
7
Capt. Walt's
3
36
8
Rio Grand Trailer Parks
4.5
50
10
A & J Mobile Home Court
10.4
56
11
Edgewood Village
10.4
85
12
Rio Grand Boulevard Trailer Park
5
32
13
Park View Mobile Home Park
7.195
100
14
Garden Lake Mobile Home Park
48
100
Garden Lake Mobile Home Park - Supplemental
48
150
15
Presidential Courts
3.5
39
16
Stout's Mobile Home Court
4
41
A. 
The maximum number of mobile home parks at any given time within the Township shall be 15.
B. 
The maximum number of mobile home spaces for which each mobile home park may be licensed is as follows:
(1) 
Regular spaces: 150.
(2) 
Supplemental spaces: 200.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 5486]
C. 
A person-to-person or place-to-place transfer or acquisition of additional lands alone shall not be grounds for licensing more spaces under the mobile home park license in question. An existing (prior to this article) mobile home park may expand through acquisition of a supplemental license in accordance with the terms of § 175-8 by the purchase of additional contiguous land and the number of spaces so increased, up to the maximum spaces allowed herein. However, the additional spaces on the newly purchased lands must comply with all requirements of this article. A license may be transferred place to place by an existing or a new owner, but the mobile home park established at the new site must conform in all regards to the requirements of this article. (Also see § 175-14.) For purposes of this article, lands which are separated by the right-of-way of the Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines Cape May Branch shall be deemed to be contiguous.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 545-86; 1-4-1990 by Ord. No. 706-89]
D. 
Any change, including place-to-place and/or person-to-person transfers, in the information required under § 175-4 shall be submitted to the Township Committee for approval, and such approval may be granted only after notice and public hearing to be held at a date, time and place designated by the Township Committee. Operation of any mobile home park prior to obtaining such approval shall subject the violator to the penalties set forth below. The applicant shall have a notice of transfer and/or change published once in the official newspaper of the Township, at least seven days before the date of the public hearing, and said notice shall contain the date, time and place of hearing as well as all the information required under § 175-4. Proof of said publication shall be filed with the Township Clerk prior to the date of the public hearing.
E. 
Any violation of any type existing in a mobile home park must be corrected prior to the Township's approval of any supplemental license.
[Amended 7-3-1986 by Ord. No. 545-86]
A. 
Failure to operate any mobile home park for a period of one full calendar year is hereby specifically declared to be grounds for revocation of the license.
B. 
In the event of a failure or refusal to comply with any of the terms of this article, the Township Committee may, on written notice and hearing, refuse or revoke any license applied for or granted hereunder.
A. 
In the event that, following written notice and hearing as above (§ 175-11B), the Township Committee either fails to grant or renew any license which has been applied for or revokes any license which has been granted and said revocation or failure to grant or renew is based upon continuing violation or violations of this article or other ordinances or statutes incorporated herein by reference, then the Township Committee shall be authorized to take the action hereinafter set forth.
B. 
Upon the Township Committee finding, by resolution, that the violation or violations have not been corrected after notice and hearing upon the same and the violation or violations have continued for at least 90 days after said hearing and the existence of the violation or violations is the basis for the revocation or failure to grant or renew said license and the continued existence of said violation or violations constitutes a hazard to the health and safety of the occupants of said mobile home park, then the Township Committee may find that it is necessary to remove the operation of said mobile home park from the operator thereof, and upon making such a finding, the Township Committee shall name the Construction Official or some other Township official to act as rent custodian for the mobile home park in question. A copy of said resolution shall be served upon the operator of said mobile home park, and a copy thereof shall be published for two successive weeks in the official newspaper of the Township, together with a notice directing all occupants of said mobile home park to make rental payments in accordance with the provisions of this article.
C. 
Forthwith following the adoption of said resolution and the naming of a rent custodian, said rent custodian shall give written notice, either by personal service or by ordinary mail, to the occupant of every individual mobile home space within the mobile home park advising each such occupant that all payments of any kind then due or to become due to the operator of the mobile home park or his assignee or agent shall be paid to the rent custodian, at the Middle Township Hall, 33 Mechanic Street, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, until further notice. Each such occupant shall forthwith pay to the rent custodian all sums which are then due, as above set forth, and each such occupant shall thereafter pay to the rent custodian the amount of the designated monthly payment or payments as the same shall fall due. An occupant who makes any payment to any person, firm or corporation other than the rent custodian shall be in violation of this article. Any person, firm or corporation who accepts any such payment and fails to pay it over to the rent custodian within 24 hours shall be in violation of this article.
D. 
The rent custodian shall be bonded in an amount equal to six months' estimated receipts from all such occupants, and the rent custodian shall promptly deposit all receipts in an interest-hearing account designated "Rent Custodian Account," followed by the name of the particular mobile home park.
E. 
The funds deposited in said account and the interest on said funds shall be subject to withdrawal upon the signatures of the rent custodian and the Township Treasurer and shall be used for the following purposes and no other:
(1) 
Payment of annual and monthly license fees due the Township of Middle.
(2) 
Payment of real estate taxes, utility charges and insurance premiums reasonably required for the operation of said mobile home park and the protection of the persons and property of those residing in said mobile home park or otherwise being upon the premises.
(3) 
Payment of engineering and consulting engineering fees for preliminary studies and for preparation of plans and specifications of all work required for the correction of said violation or violations and for the supervision of such work.
(4) 
Payment of the contractor's charges for labor and materials to correct said violation or violations in accordance with said plans and specifications.
(5) 
Payment of the cost of advertising for bids for such work and for the preparation of the contract documents.
(6) 
Payment to the Township of Middle of the sum equal to 2% of all amounts deposited in said account to defray the recordkeeping expenses of the Township of Middle.
F. 
Following the adoption of said resolution, the Township shall be authorized to engage the Municipal Engineer or some other engineer or firm of engineers, together with the necessary consulting engineers, to make preliminary studies and to prepare plans and specifications of all work required for the correction of said violation or violations and to supervise the performance of such work. Such professional services shall not be required to be advertised for bids, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5.
G. 
Upon receipt of plans and specifications of all work required to be done for the correction of said violation or violations, the Township Committee shall advertise for bids for the performance of said work in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:11-4 and shall contract for the performance of said work and shall pay all proper charges in connection therewith out of the rent custodian account.
H. 
The rent custodian shall continue to collect said rents until such time as all proper charges in connection with said work have been paid and all other proper and necessary charges authorized in Subsection E above have been paid, at which time any remaining funds shall be returned to the operator of the mobile home park, and all occupants shall be notified to make future payments to said operator.
A. 
In every mobile home park there shall be an office established which may be either in a mobile home or permanent building which shall be the office of the person in charge of said park. A copy of the park license and of this article shall be posted therein, and the park register as hereinafter referred to in this section shall at all times be kept in said office.
B. 
It is hereby made the duty of the attendant or the person in charge of the office, together with the licensee, to:
(1) 
Keep at all times a register containing a record of all mobile home owners located within the park. Said register shall be kept available for inspection at all times by state, federal and Township law enforcement officers, public health officials and other officials whose duties necessitate the acquisition of the information contained in the register. The register records shall not be destroyed for a period of three years following the date of registration. The register shall contain the following information: the names and permanent addresses of all mobile home owners.
(2) 
Maintain the park in a clean, orderly and sanitary condition at all times.
(3) 
See that the provisions of this article are complied with and enforced and report promptly to the proper authorities any violation of this article or any other violation of law which may come to his attention.
(4) 
Report to the Health Officer all cases of persons or animals affected or suspected of being affected with any communicable disease.
(5) 
Prevent the running loose of dogs, cats or other animals or pets.
The lawful use of a mobile home park existing at the time of the adoption of this article, although such mobile home park does not conform to the provisions hereof, may be continued; provided, however, that:
A. 
If the use as a mobile home park is discontinued for a period of three months, any future use of said lands thereafter shall be in full and complete conformity with the provisions of this article.
B. 
All such nonconforming mobile home parks shall pay a licensing fee as herein provided.
C. 
A nonconforming mobile home park which, prior to the date of adoption of this Article or to such subsequent date as may be established by resolution of the Township Committee, has been granted approval to increase its facilities and mobile home spaces by the Township Committee and the Planning Board, if applicable, may so increase its facilities, pursuant to such approvals granted, notwithstanding the terms and conditions of this Article. However, any further increase in the facilities of such nonconforming mobile home park pursuant to a supplemental license subsequent to the date of the adoption of this Article shall be made and conducted pursuant to the terms and requirements of this Article, as applied to such increased portion of said mobile home park.
Upon its becoming effective, this Article shall repeal such parts of Ordinance No. 193, its amendments and supplements, as related to mobile home parks as are in conflict with this Article. Should this Article be inconsistent with any other ordinances of the Township, which are not specifically repealed by this Article, the more stringent provisions of the ordinances in question shall apply. In addition to complying with all terms and conditions of this Article, mobile home parks shall be required to secure site plan approval as well as all other approvals as may be required by any governmental body or agency.
[Amended 4-5-1990 by Ord. No. 721-90]
The violation of any provision of this Article shall, upon conviction, be punishable by one or more of the following: imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or a fine not to exceed $1,000 or a period of community service not to exceed 90 days. Each twenty-four-hour period that any violation continues to exist shall be deemed a separate offense.
[Adopted 9-20-1990 by Ord. No. 742-90]
The following definitions shall apply to this Article:
BASE RENT
The payable rent charged and received for the mobile home rental space over the previous twelve-month period, exclusive of any or all of the following: all real property tax increases, municipal service fee increases and supplied utility increases, any tax surcharges and any increases for major capital improvements accrued subsequent to the enactment of this Article.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI)
The percentage increase in cost-of-living adjustment ( COLA) for social security benefits and SSI payments for the prior year as published by the Social Security Administration.
[Amended 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93; 12-3-2018 by Ord. No. 1577-18]
INVESTMENT
The fair market value of the mobile home park.
MOBILE HOME SPACE
Includes that portion of a mobile home park rented or offered for rent for the purpose of parking or positioning a trailer or mobile home for living and dwelling purposes to one or more tenants or family units, together with all the privileges, services, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property. "Mobile home spaces" which 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 Article.
REASONABLE AND NECESSARY OPERATING EXPENSES
All expenses of the mobile home park owner for the operation of the park during the period reflected in gross income computed in accordance with the provisions and limitations of this section. Only one year's expense in any expense category will be allowed. In computing "reasonable and necessary operating expenses," the following limitations shall apply in all cases:
A. 
Operating expenses shall not include mortgage amortization, depreciation, fines or penalties.
B. 
Taxes shall be limited to amounts actually paid solely on the mobile home park.
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. Legal and accounting expenses resulting solely from a legal attack on this Article shall not be considered "reasonable and necessary operating expenses" as defined in this section.
E. 
Management expenses shall be limited to amounts paid for actual services performed by a manager or management firm.
REASONABLE RATE OF RETURN
The rate to be applied by the landlord when computing a "reasonable rate of return" shall be six percentage points above the maximum statement savings account interest rate available at National Westminster Bank of New Jersey, located in Cape May Court House, New Jersey, at the time the application for said increase is submitted to the Board.
RENTAL INCOME
The payable rent charged and received for the mobile home space over the previous twelve-month period.
SERVICE
Mailing to the home address, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or in-hand delivery certified to by affidavit or an acknowledgment of service executed by the person serviced, which affidavit or acknowledgment or service must be retained in the records of the person causing service.
SUPPLIED UTILITIES
Fuel, electrical, sanitation, water and sewer services supplied directly to the individual mobile home, for which services the landlord is responsible to the supplier for payment.
TENANTS
Mobile home owners and occupants who rent or lease a mobile home rental space from the mobile home park owner.
A. 
Establishment of rents between landlord and a tenant to whom this section is applicable shall hereafter be determined by the following provisions:
(1) 
Except as permitted by this Article, at the expiration of the tenancy for a mobile home space, no landlord may request or receive any increase in the rental income and additional charges for that mobile home space from any tenant which is greater than a combination of the following:
(a) 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection A(1)(a), regarding increased utility costs, was repealed 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93.
(b) 
Any increased cost to the landlord in real estate taxes, municipal service fees (pad fees) or municipal sewer fees charged by the Township of Middle pursuant to any duly adopted ordinance.
[Amended 6-17-1993 by Ord. No. 859-93]
(c) 
Any amount equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index as heretofore defined herein during the previous calendar year times the base rent or 3.5%, whichever is less.
[Amended 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93; 5-17-2010 by Ord. No. 1344-10]
(2) 
Any tenant, at the termination of a tenancy, shall not suffer or be caused to pay any rent increase for the mobile home space in any twelve-month period which exceeds the above permitted increase for the twelve-month period.
(3) 
Any increase authorized pursuant to Subsection A(1) above shall be submitted in writing to the Rent Control Officer at least 60 days prior to implementation. The submission shall reflect the manner in which the increase was calculated. The Rent Control Officer shall review the calculations and report the calculations the Rent Leveling Board.
[Added 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93]
B. 
CPI increases.
(1) 
Notice to tenants of automatic increase.
(a) 
Any landlord seeking an automatic increase in rent under this section shall, at least 30 days prior to the date of the anticipated implementation of the automatic increase, serve the affected tenants with notification, which shall clearly set forth the following information:
[1] 
The consumer price index for the previous calendar year.
[Amended 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93]
[2] 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(1)(b), requiring certain CPI information, now designated subsection B(1)(a)[2], was repealed 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93.
[3] 
Calculation of the allowable percentage increase in rent pursuant to this section.
[4] 
Calculation of the amount of the allowable rental increases rounded to nearest dollar.
[5] 
Calculation of the tenant's rent for the new leasing term.
[6] 
Date of the anticipated implementation of the automatic increase.
(b) 
Park owners shall be required to notify residents by first-class mail of any rent increase.
[Added 7-6-1995 by Ord. No. 935-95]
(2) 
Hearing on tenant challenge of automatic increase.
(a) 
Notice of hearing. In the event that the facts and/or calculation required pursuant to this section are disputed, the aggrieved tenant shall have the right to appeal to the Board by mailing to the landlord and the Board, not less than 15 days prior to the anticipated date of implementation of automatic increase, a notice that the facts and/or calculations are disputed and the exact particulars of the manner in which they are disputed. The aggrieved tenant shall attach thereto a copy of the notice served upon him by the landlord pursuant to Subsection B(1) above. The aforementioned fifteen-day period shall be calculated from the date of postmark and shall be a jurisdictional requirement for the Board. In the event of a perfected appeal, the automatic increase will be stayed until the Board has held a hearing and rendered a decision on the dispute. If the Board renders a finding in favor of the landlord, the automatic increase shall, subject to any applicable statutory law, be effective as of the original scheduled date of implementation even though the same may require a retroactive rent increase payment by the tenant. If the Board renders a finding in favor of the tenant, the anticipated automatic increase shall be void, no further automatic increase may be sought or implemented until the erroneous facts and or calculations have been corrected and a new notice of increase pursuant to Subsection B(1) above is served upon the tenant.
(b) 
Fee. At the time an aggrieved tenant files an appeal with the Board, pursuant to Subsection B(2)(a) above, such tenant shall include therein an application fee by check or money order made payable to the Township of Middle in the amount of $250, which shall be subject to reimbursement by the landlord to the tenant in the event that the tenant shall prevail after the hearing by the Board on the dispute.
(3) 
No CPI increase shall be based upon any pass through increase granted pursuant to the provisions of § 175-18C of this Article.
[Added 4-4-1991 by Ord. No. 771-91]
C. 
(Reserved)[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, regarding increases in taxes, pad fees, governmentally mandated expenses and utilities, was repealed 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93.
Any rental income or additional charge increase at a time other than when approved by the Rent Control Board shall be void, except as otherwise provided in this Article. Any rental income or additional charge increase in excess of that authorized by the provisions of this Article shall be void.
A tenant shall be entitled to a rent reduction from a landlord because of a decrease in the municipal property taxes or cost of supplied utilities or any decrease in space fees or license fees charged by the municipality. The reduction shall not exceed that amount authorized by the following provisions:
A. 
Where the decrease consists of a decrease in the municipal property tax due to aid received from the State Aid for Schools Fund and where said decrease is subject to the provisions of P.L. 1976, c. 63 (N.J.S.A. 54:4-6.2 et seq.), as may be amended from time to time, the landlord shall make such rebate upon such terms as P.L. 1976, c. 63, provides.
B. 
Where the decrease consists of a decrease in the municipal property tax other than that decrease provided for in Subsection A above, the landlord shall divide the decrease in the present tax over the tax for the previous years by the total number of completed mobile home spaces in the mobile home park. The decrease each tenant is entitled to shall be a credit to rent in 12 monthly installments commencing September of each year. Any tenant entitled to a rent decrease hereunder shall be served with a notice of the calculations involved in computing such reduction and the effective date of such reduction.
C. 
Where the decrease consists of a decrease in the cost of supplied utilities, space fees or license fees, the landlord shall divide the decrease in the present cost of supplied utilities, mobile home space fees or license fees of the previous year by the total number of completed mobile home spaces in the mobile home park to obtain the decrease per space. The decrease each tenant is entitled to shall be a credit to rent in 12 monthly installments commencing from the effective date of said reduction. Any tenant entitled to a rent decrease hereunder shall be served by the landlord with a notice of the calculations involved in computing such reduction and the effective date of such reduction.
D. 
Where the decrease consists of termination of payments on a capital improvement granted pursuant to § 175-22C of this Article, the landlord shall divide the cost of the capital expense by the total number of completed mobile home spaces in the park to obtain the dollar amount of decrease per space. Any tenant entitled to a rent decrease hereunder shall be served by the landlord with a notice of the calculations involved in computing such reduction and the effective date of such reduction.
[Added 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93]
A. 
In the event that a municipal property tax appeal is taken by the landlord and the landlord is successful in said appeal and the taxes reduced, the tenants involved shall receive 50% of said reduction after the landlord's cost 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 such 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 said 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 park.
A. 
Hardship.
(1) 
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 Control Board for rental increases on the basis that rents allowed by this section prevent the landlord from receiving a just and reasonable rate of return. Such rental increases shall be allowed only on the basis of the formula set forth in this provision for determining a just and reasonable rate of return. Upon application duly made pursuant to the requirements of this section, the Rent Control Board may grant a park owner a rental increase upon his showing that his rental income is insufficient to provide him with a reasonable rate of return on his investment after payment of his reasonable and necessary operating expenses. If the Rent Control Board is satisfied that such a showing has been established, then the Board may grant a rental increase which would result in a reasonable rate of return.
(2) 
Application requirements.
(a) 
In any application under this section, the owner shall, in addition to those requirements mandated by other sections of this Article, specifically certify:
[1] 
That he is an efficient operator of the mobile home park.
[2] 
That the mobile park is in a safe and sanitary condition.
[3] 
That the owner is in full compliance with all local ordinances.
(b) 
The owner shall make application to the Rent Control Board, together with all necessary certifications, and shall further certify that the owner is not receiving a just and reasonable rate of return pursuant to the formula set forth herein. The application shall include the amount of increase and percentage of increase requested, together with detailed statements of income and expenses for the current fiscal year and for the past two fiscal years. If, at any time during the course of consideration of an increase pursuant to the provisions of this section, the Rent Control Board shall determine that a landlord is not in substantial compliance with any or all of the above requirements, the Board may delay further consideration of the application for an increase and may delay the effective date of the increase until such time as the landlord has corrected any such deficiency.
(3) 
Prior to the hearing by the Board on an application under this section, the owner must post, in a conspicuous place in or about the mobile home park, a notice of said application setting forth the basis for said application and the date, time and location of the formal hearing. Said notice must be posted at least seven days prior to the proposed date of the formal hearing.
(4) 
In order to provide the Rent Control 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 60 days prior to the effective date of the proposed rental increase.
(5) 
In determining the need for a rental increase under this section, penalties, fines and depreciation shall not be considered as reasonable and necessary operating expenses and shall not be included as proper expenses.
(6) 
The most recent current rents being charged by a landlord on uncontrolled rental spaces are admissible in evidence against such owner at any hearings held in connection with applications for rental increases under this section, and such rents create a rebuttable presumption that the charging of the same rent on all rental spaces would provide the owner with sufficient funds to pay all reasonable and necessary operating and maintenance expenses and provide the permitted rate of return.
(7) 
In the event that the financial information submitted by the owner reveals a loan made by the owner, or by a shareholder if the owner is a corporation, to the mobile home park, the interest expense on any such loan shall be computed based on the prime rate which is currently prevailing at National Westminster Bank of New Jersey located in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.
(8) 
Increases authorized under this section shall be based only on financial information of park operation 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 increases under this section, except for second year or subsequent year losses incurred as a result of rental agreements exceeding one year.
(9) 
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 an owner under any provision of this section to cover operating losses incurred in prior years resulting from the failure of the owner to either apply for or obtain rental increases or surcharges under this section which are insufficient to meet operational requirements and obtain a reasonable rate of return. The failure of the owner 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 during the fiscal year shall be deemed a waiver of the owner's right to such additional rents or surcharges.
B. 
Negotiated settlements.
(1) 
Where the owner of a mobile home park and the tenants thereof agree to a negotiated settlement of rents by a simple majority of those tenants who actually vote on such a negotiated settlement, such negotiated settlement, upon the approval of the Middle Township Rent Control Board, shall have the effect of authorizing the owner to increase or decrease rentals for all mobile home park rental spaces. 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 and heard within 45 days and approved by the Rent Control Board of the Township.
(2) 
As a precondition to entering into a negotiated settlement, the affected tenants must form a negotiation committee of at least three tenants, who shall conduct the negotiations with the landlord or his representative on behalf of the tenants.
(3) 
Prior to seeking approval of any such negotiated settlement from the Board, a landlord must post in a conspicuous place, in and about the mobile home park, a copy of said negotiated settlement, setting forth in full the settlement arrived at and advising the tenants of the voting procedure. Each occupied mobile home space shall be entitled to one vote.
(4) 
The landlord must thereafter post a notice of the hearing date before the Rent Control Board, including a designation of where the hearing is to be held, in a conspicuous place at the mobile home park, at least five days prior to the negotiated settlement hearing date.
(5) 
In order to obtain the approval of the Rent Control Board of the Township, the negotiating committee and the landlord must be present at the hearing to present the negotiated settlement. The parties must provide at the hearing sufficient, credible evidence in writing that all tenants were notified of the proposed negotiated settlement and further must provide at the hearing sufficient credible evidence in writing that the negotiated settlement was approved by a simple majority of those tenants who actually voted.
C. 
Rental charges for capital improvements.
(1) 
An owner may apply to the Rent Control Board for additional rental charges for the payment of the reasonable cost of major capital improvements which are necessary for the proper operation of the park upon completion of said capital improvements. An owner seeking additional rent for a major capital improvement may apply to the Board for prior approval of said capital improvement and additional rent. If the Board determines that approval is to be granted, and subject to all requirements of this Article, said owner may proceed with said major capital improvement. In no instance may an owner impose additional rent for said capital improvement until such time as the improvement has been completed and the Board has determined that all requirements of this Article and the Board's terms and conditions have been complied with in full.
(2) 
For the purpose of this section, "capital improvements" shall be any item considered as such under the Federal Internal Revenue enactments and regulations. The replacement of an existing item or facility with an item or facility which has a more serviceable and useful life shall be considered a capital improvement unless the Board, in its discretion, determines that such replacement consists of normal and necessary maintenance and repairs.
(3) 
An owner seeking additional rent for a capital improvement shall apply within one year of the completion of said capital improvement for said additional rent to the Rent Control 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 Board shall establish the term and conditions of such increase.
(4) 
At least seven days prior to the hearing by the Board on an application for additional rental charges under this section, the owner must post, in a conspicuous place in or about the mobile home park, a notice of the application setting forth the date, time and location of the hearing and setting forth the total cost of the completed capital improvement, the number of useful years of 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 debt service, of the improvement, calculated by dividing the cost of the major improvement by the total number of completed mobile home spaces in the mobile homes park, and the capital improvement increase he is seeking from each tenant.
(5) 
Following a hearing, the Board may grant to the owner an additional rental charge under this section for a specific period of time after considering the proofs presented by the owner. 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 Article. 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.
(6) 
In order to provide the Rent Control 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 60 days prior to the effective date of the proposed additional rental charges.
(7) 
The cost of expanding or enlarging the mobile home park or a section thereof shall not be borne by the tenants or utilized in computing additional rental charges under this section.
D. 
Financial information and statements.
(1) 
In any matter considered by the Rent Control Board under § 175-22A of this Article, the owner of a mobile home park shall be required to submit the following financial information and statements:
(a) 
Statement of financial condition.
(b) 
Statement of operations (income and expense statements).
(c) 
Statement of retained earnings.
(d) 
Statement of changes in financial position.
(e) 
Such other financial data and information as may be required by the Board.
(2) 
The financial statements, data and information which is required to be submitted shall be based upon financial data and information which is sworn to and verified by the park owner who has actual knowledge of the income, expenses and operations of the park, and all such financial statements shall be a compilation prepared by a licensed or certified public accountant. 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.
E. 
Governmentally mandated expense and supplied utility increase.
[Added 6-3-1993 by Ord. No. 855-93]
(1) 
Upon application, the Rent Leveling Board may grant a rent increase for increases in the landlords' expense during the preceding twelve-month period by reason of the imposition of or increase in governmentally mandated expenses and/or supplied utilities.
(2) 
Contents of application.
(a) 
The application for such an increase shall state:
[1] 
The additional increase in expense.
[2] 
The additional charge sought from each tenant.
[3] 
Whether any non-mobile-home residential use is covered by any included expense.
(b) 
The landlord shall supply the Rent Leveling Board with all documentation supporting an increase in governmentally mandated expense and/or supplied utility increases for two consecutive twelve-month periods preceding the application.
(3) 
The Board shall conduct a hearing on the application within 60 days of the receipt thereof. The landlord shall have the burden of proving that the governmentally mandated expense and/or supplied utility increase falls within the definitions contained in this Article and should appropriately be passed on to the tenants. No such increase or expense shall be approved if it constitutes a normal increase in the operating expense of the park.
(4) 
The landlord shall serve a copy of any application made under this section upon each tenant at the time of filing.
A. 
Board created.
(1) 
There is hereby created a Rent Leveling Board within the Township of Middle. The Board shall consist of five regular members of whom one shall be a mobile home park landlord and one a tenant of a mobile home park. The Chairman shall be chosen by the Township Committee from among the nonlandlord/nontenant members; the Board shall designate its own Vice Chairman to serve, when needed, as the Acting Chairman. All members shall be appointed by the Township Committee and shall serve, commencing with the initial appointments, terms of one year, two years, three years, four years and five years, respectively, and thereafter terms of five years, commencing the first day of January of the year of their appointments.
(2) 
There shall be six alternates appointed by the Township Committee to serve in the absence or disqualification of a corresponding regular member, two of whom shall be neither a landlord nor a tenant of a mobile home park, two of whom shall be a landlord and two of whom shall be a tenant of a mobile home park, but neither alternate landlord nor alternate tenant members of the Board shall be of the same mobile home park as a regular member. Three of the alternates, one from each of the categories above mentioned, shall be appointed for a term to expire on December 31, 1990, and their successors appointed for terms of two years thereafter; the remaining three alternates shall be appointed for a term to expire on December 31, 1991, and their successors appointed for terms of two years thereafter. In the event that any regular member of the Board shall be unable to attend any meeting, the senior alternate of that category shall attend in the place and stead of the absent regular member. In the absence of both the regular member and the senior alternate member, the junior alternate member shall serve in the place and stead of the regular member. Until December 31, 1990, the senior alternate member shall be that member whose term expires December 31, 1990.
(3) 
Vacancies shall be filled for the balance of the terms. Members shall not hold any other elective office or elective position in the Township. The members of the Board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses. The Board shall have available to it such clerical assistance, legal assistance and auditors' services as are budgeted annually by the Township Committee. No member shall vote upon or enter into discussions as to any matter in which he has a direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise.
B. 
Powers and duties.
(1) 
The Rent Leveling Board is hereby granted and shall have and exercise, in addition to other powers herein granted, all the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purposes of this section, including but not limited to the following:
(a) 
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement the purposes of this section, such rules and regulations being subject to the approval of the Township Committee.
(b) 
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants to help them comply with the provisions of this section.
(c) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords for additional rental income or charges as hereinafter provided.
(d) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from tenants for reduced rental income or charges as herein provided.
(2) 
Said Board shall give both the landlord and tenant reasonable opportunity to be heard before making any determination and shall base its determination on the reasonable, credible evidence before it, although the strict rules of evidence shall not apply. The Board shall render an oral decision within 30 days after the close of hearings. The Board shall maintain minutes of its hearings and/or meetings.
(3) 
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.
(4) 
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.
Where there exists a disparity in rents within a mobile home park for substantially similar facilities due to the enactment of this Article, combined with the differing expirations and renewals of certain tenancies, any affected party may petition the Board for a hearing consistent with the terms of this Article. If, as a result of such hearing, the Board finds a disparity in rents for the reasons aforesaid, the Board may, in its discretion, raise those low rents to the level of the majority of rents within the mobile homes park for similar facilities. A petitioner requesting such hearing shall serve every party to be affected with a written notice of the reasons for his petition, including the calculations involved in the proposed increase, at least 60 days prior to the proposed effective date of any such increase. Upon the scheduling of a hearing on such petition, the petitioner shall post, in a conspicuous place in or about the mobile home park to be affected, a notice of said hearing date at least five days prior to the proposed date of hearing and shall serve every party to be affected with such notice of hearing date.
The owner shall maintain the same facilities and the same standards of service, maintenance and equipment in the mobile home park and rental space as he provided or was required to do by law or by lease at the date the lease was entered into.
No owner shall charge any rents in excess of what he was receiving at the effective date of this Article, except for increases as authorized by this Article.
A. 
The Rent Leveling Board shall have no jurisdiction over the rent charged for a newly constructed mobile home rental space or of a mobile home rental space being rented for the first time or being rented to a new tenant as a result of the vacating of the mobile home and/or rental space by a previous tenant. Any subsequent rental increase to the tenant who takes possession, however, shall be subject to the provisions of this Article.
B. 
An owner and an individual tenant or several tenants may mutually agree or negotiate a rental in excess of that otherwise permitted by this Article, provided that any tenant who enters into any such agreement shall sign a statement to the effect that the owner has disclosed the rental permitted by this Article and the tenant voluntarily agrees to a rental in excess of the permitted rent. Any such rental agreement shall be solely between such individuals and shall be deemed to be an exception to the provisions of this Article and is hereby authorized. Under no circumstances shall such agreement be applicable for any other reason whatsoever. Such disclosure statement shall be filed with the Rent Control Board prior to the increase in rent becoming effective. Such disclosure statement shall be in the following form and may be included in a lease or rental agreement:
TO: Rent Control Board of the Township of Middle:
I, the undersigned tenant, hereby state that (insert name of park owner) has disclosed to me that the monthly rental permitted by the Township Rent Control Ordinance on the rental space which I am renting is (insert amount of approved monthly rental), that under the terms of the ordinance, I can insist that the landlord accept the approved monthly rent of (insert agreed upon amount of monthly rent) which exceeds the approved rental.
DATE:
Signature of Tenant
Only one rental increase of each type shall be permitted in any twelve-month period.
No increase of any kind shall be applied for, considered or approved by the Rent Control Board or received by the owner 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 shall be approved by the Rent Control 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.
A. 
A landlord's application filed pursuant to § 175-22A of this Article shall be accompanied by an escrow deposit computed by multiplying the number of proposed affected housing spaces by $5 per housing space, but in no event shall the escrow deposit be less than $500. The Board shall have the discretion to increase the escrow to $1,000 at any time.
B. 
The total escrow deposit collected shall be placed in an escrow account by the Rent Control officer to be applied to the payment of any services rendered by an accountant, auditor, real estate appraiser or other reasonably retained by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this Article. The balance, if any, of the amount deposited in the escrow account for payment to such persons shall be returned to the party depositing the money in escrow upon final decision of the Board.
There is hereby constituted and established the position of Rent Control Officer. Such Rent Control Officer shall be appointed by the Township Committee of the Township of Middle and shall serve at the pleasure of said Township Committee. The duties of the Rent Control Officer, by way of illustration but not limitation, shall be to:
A. 
Serve as liaison among the tenants, landlords and the Board.
B. 
Accumulate and maintain such statistics as are necessary to carry out the functions of the Board.
C. 
Enforce the provisions of this Article against any person or entity by filing complaints, issuing cease-and-desist orders and such other actions as are reasonably appropriate to bring about compliance with this Article. The Solicitor to the Township shall serve as the attorney for and represent the Rent Control Officer.
D. 
Mathematically determine the appropriateness of any annual automatic rent increase request.