At the April 9 meeting, the council voted to pass this ordinance which allows apartment owners to charge the appropriate amount that the market dictates for their apartments. This is covered under section 9 in the Code of the Borough of Little Ferry, which was added by the mayor and council.
Mayor Mauro Raguseo cited the borough experiencing a 1.75 percent decrease in its valuation from 2012 to 2013, which is approximately $20 million as a reason for the new ordinance.
“Having a moderate rent control policy, which the proposed ordinance is, brings forth the opportunity for the apartment owners within the borough to realize more value for their investment. Higher valued property in Little Ferry is good for the community as a whole,” said Raguseo.
The ordinance will not affect any current tenants in apartments, only those who move into a previously vacated unit. According to section 15-2.2, “any rental increase at a time other than at the expiration of a lease or termination of a periodic lease shall be void.”
Those who already live in apartments in the borough can continue to renew their leases without being subject to a rent increase. Tenants with leases of less than one year and those who rent on a month-to-month basis will also not be affected and cannot be subject to eviction “in order to create a market-rate unit,” as described in the ordinance.
“The ordinance protects all current tenants while allowing the property owner to secure future earnings on their investment,” said Raguseo. “An apartment will only be free of rent control when the current tenant vacates the apartment. Current tenants need not worry about having their rent increased to market rate. The council made sure the ordinance is clear and that current tenants are protected.”
Raguseo also stated that the appeals process has not changed and that resident can still file an appeal with the Rent Leveling Board if a landlord does try to raise their rent illegally.
The ordinance also requires the property owner to notify the Rent Leveling Board when a unit becomes a market rate unit, as well as a report due by Jan. 31 on the number of units in each building that are subject to rent control and as well as the number of apartments that are market rate.
Source: North Jersey.com