Dependable Erection

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Landlord registration

One of the the things i wrote in an email to the PAC2 list discussion on landlord registration recently was this:
I cannot imagine that Raleigh is the first municipality in the nation to
implement a program of this kind.

Personally, i'd prefer to see the data that comes in from Raleigh (and
other cities that may have similar programs) before i start throwing
around blanket generalizations like "this can never work."

Well, whaddayaknow?
Here's my favorite example:
New Jersey Landlord Registration Act - New Jersey Landlord Identity Law – N.J.S.A. 46:8-27 thru 37

The New Jersey Landlord Registration Act
The law requires landlords who rent (NON-OWNER OCCUPIED) houses, apartments, or buildings to register certain information with the clerk of the city or town where the building is located. If your building contains three or more apartments, the landlord also must register with the

New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (Bureau of Housing Inspection, PO Box 810, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0810

By law, every landlord of a dwelling, except owner-occupied premises with not more than two rental units, must file with the clerk of the municipality in which the residential property is situated, or with the Bureau of Housing Inspection in the Department of Community Affairs, a certificate of registration.
N.J.S.A. 46:8-28.
The certificate must contain the following information:

1. the name and address of the record owners. If such owners are a partnership, the name of all general partners. If such owners are a corporation, the name and address of the registered agent and corporate officers;
2. if the address of any record owner is not located in the county in which the premises is located, the name and address of a person who resides in the county in which the premises are located and is authorized to accept notices from a tenant and to issue receipt therefore and to accept service of process on behalf of the record owner;
3. the name and address of the managing agent of the premises;
4. the name and addresses, including the dwelling unit, apartment or room number of the superintendent, janitor, custodian or other individual employed by the record owner to provide regular maintenance service;
5. the name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the record owner or managing agent who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency; and
6. the name and address of every holder of a recorded mortgage on the premises.

The landlord must display this information at the property in a place where tenants can see it, and the landlord must give this information in writing to each tenant. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-28 and 29.

In addition to the filing of the registration statement, landlords are required to provide each tenant with a copy of the registration certificate.

Failure to register. LANDLORDS TAKE NOTE! The registration law prevents a landlord from evicting you if the building is not properly registered.

If your landlord has not registered the property or has not given you a copy of the registration, the court cannot enter a judgment to evict you in favor of the landlord. In most eviction cases where a landlord has not registered, the judge will postpone hearing the case to give the landlord time to register. Once the landlord registers, the court can then hear the case and enter a judgment for eviction. The postponement can give you extra time to move or to obtain the rent you may owe. Some judges do not follow this procedure and will enter a judgment anyway, if the landlord agrees to register the property later. This practice is clearly wrong. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-33 and Iuso v. Capehart, 140 N.J. Super. 209 (App. Div. 1976).

If your landlord is not registered, you can file a complaint in Superior Court or municipal court. A landlord can be fined up to $500 for failing to register. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-35

If there is any change in any of this information, a landlord must file an amended registration with the Bureau of Housing Inspection or, in the case of a one-or two- family dwelling, with the clerk of the municipality, within 20 days, correct with the information posted in the building and notify each tenant in writing 7 days after filing. No fee is charged by the Bureau for the filing of amended registration statement

In court, a judgment for possession cannot be entered if the landlord has not complied with this registration requirement. Non-receipt of the statement is almost a standard defense by tenants who are represented by competent counsel to avoid an immediate judgment of possession. The court has the authority to stay the proceedings for 90 days to allow the landlord to come into compliance. If the landlord has not come into compliance within this 90 day period, the landlord's action for possession will be dismissed.

Durham landlords have it pretty easy, from what i can tell.



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