2016 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 2a - Administration Of Civil And Criminal Justice
Section 2A:42-77 - Authority To Adopt Ordinance Regulating Rents And Possession Of Space In Substandard Multiple Dwellings; Provisions
2A:42-77. Authority to adopt ordinance regulating rents and possession of space in substandard multiple dwellings; provisions
Whenever the governing body of a municipality finds that the health and safety of residents of that municipality are impaired or threatened by the existence of substandard multiple dwellings, it may adopt an ordinance setting forth such a finding and providing for the regulation of rents and the possession of rental space in substandard multiple dwellings. Such ordinance shall include in its provisions that:
(a) A public officer be designated or appointed to exercise the powers prescribed by the ordinance.
(b) Whenever it appears by preliminary investigation that a multiple dwelling is substandard the public officer shall cause a complaint to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such multiple dwelling, stating the reasons why said multiple dwelling is deemed to be substandard and setting a time and place for hearing before the public officer. The owners and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer and to appear and give testimony. The rules of evidence shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
(c) If, after notice and hearing, the public officer determines the multiple dwelling under consideration is substandard he shall state his findings in writing and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner or other person entitled to receive said rents an order requiring that such repairs, alterations or improvements necessary to bring such property up to minimum standards be made within a reasonable time.
(d) Failure to complete such repairs, alterations or improvements within a reasonable time as fixed by the public officer shall be cause to impose rent control on the substandard multiple dwelling.
(e) In establishing maximum rents which may be charged for housing space in a multiple dwelling subject to rent control, the permissible rents shall be sufficient to provide the owner or other person entitled to receive said rents with a fair net operating income from the multiple dwelling. The net operating income shall not be considered less than fair if it is 20% or more of the annual income in the case of a multiple dwelling containing less than 5 dwelling units or is 15% or more in the case of a multiple dwelling containing 5 or more dwelling units. In determining the fair net operating income, the public officer shall consider the following items of expense: heating fuel, utilities, payroll, janitorial materials, real estate taxes, insurance, interior painting and decorating, depreciation, and repairs and replacements and additions to furniture and furnishings which expenses shall be deducted from the annual income derived from the multiple dwelling. All items of expense and the amount of annual income shall be certified by the owner or other person entitled to receive said rents on forms provided by the public officer.
(f) The imposition of rent control on any substandard multiple dwelling shall not operate to impair leases existing at the time of the adoption of an ordinance under this act, but shall take effect at the expiration of the term of any such lease and shall remain in effect thereafter so long as the multiple dwelling is subject to rent control.
(g) It shall be unlawful for any person to demand or receive any rent in excess of the maximum rent established for housing space in multiple dwelling subject to rent control or to demand possession of the space or evict a tenant for refusal to pay rent in excess of the established maximum rent. The owner or other person entitled to receive said rents shall not be prevented, however, from exercising his rights to obtain possession of housing space from a tenant as a result of the tenant's violation of law or contract and the owner or other person entitled to receive said rents shall be provided reasonable grounds to obtain possession of premises for his own personal use and occupancy and for purposes of substantially altering, remodeling or demolishing the multiple dwelling.
(h) Whenever the public officer finds that a multiple dwelling subject to rent control is no longer substandard, he shall so inform the governing body and rent control on said multiple dwelling shall be removed.
L.1966, c. 168, s. 4.
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