Posts Tagged ‘Rent control ordinance passes in Neptune Twp.’

California demonstration.  Date unknown.  cesinaction.org

California demonstration. Date unknown. cesinaction.org

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

“WHEREAS, a large portion of residents of the Township of Neptune live in apartment complexes and mobile home parks, and are in dire need of protection as tenants, especially in the area of rent increases and affordable, available housing.”

This is the opening paragraph of the new, effective today, rent control ordinance in Neptune Township.

From the August 3 issue of the Coaster:   “Committeeman Randy Bishop said, ‘This is in response to the Winding Ridge and other apartment complexes that recently had large rent increases. It made us look at where we are regarding rental housing prices in Neptune’

“Bishop said he hopes the township can keep rental units affordable and give tenants, not only protective rent control, but the ability to come forward to a board pertaining to issues with their units.”

Winding Ridge apartments in Neptune Township. Internet photo

Winding Ridge apartments in Neptune Township.

The NJ Supreme court has said that such ordinances are legal, but only a small number of N.J. municipalities have them  (98/565 in 2011). Around here, such laws exist in Red Bank and in Eatontown. But, throughout the country, only a few states actually have such laws.

Ironically, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2011 that such laws are being scaled back or phased out totally throughout the state of New Jersey.  They said that rental rate increases result in more tax dollars for communities, and beside, landlords tend to vote while tenants do not.

The Neptune ordinance provides for a Rent Leveling Board which will have five members and two alternates.  The ordinance spells out the limits for rent increases which are tied to the Consumer Price Index, which goes up about 1-2% each year lately.   Landlords can ask for bigger increases either because of capital improvements or hardship.

The ordinance is aimed at apartment complexes. The Township Attorney, Gene Vincent, is quoted in the August 3 Coaster regarding what kinds of units are affected by the ordinance:     “It defines what is subject to rent control, which is mostly multiple dwelling complexes with three or more units and mobile home parks. It doesn’t include commercial rentals; transitory rentals, like motel, hotels; and two-family homes,” he said.

As far as Ocean Grove is concerned, there will be little impact.  Hotels, B & B’s, inns and condo’s are not affected.  Commercial buildings are also not affected.  There is only one apartment complex in town, and private homes that rent out three or more apartments are  affected.

Code Enforcement and the Township Housing Authority will police this law and issue violations.

Mayor Eric Houghtaling said this morning, “There will be a few changes to the wording and perhaps the amount of multiple units required before the rent control comes into play.  We feel this is the best way to help those who rent and works the best with the property owners.  We hope to find a balance.”


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