STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION
Assemblyman JERRY GREEN
District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)
Assemblyman KEVIN J. ROONEY
District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Assemblyman EDWARD H. THOMSON
District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)
Eliminates duplication and redundancy in registration of certain apartments.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning the registration of landlords and supplementing and amending P.L.1974, c.50 and amending P.L.1981, c.442.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. (New section) The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Current law requires the owners of residential rental property containing three or more units to register with the State and provide necessary and important information about the property including the name and address of the owner, the name, address and telephone number of an emergency contact, and the property’s fuel provider.
b. The Statewide registration of owners of residential rental property with the Department of Community Affairs is a necessary and appropriate task for State government.
c. The "Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law," P.L.1967, c.76 (C.55:13A-1 et seq.) requires the owner of each multiple dwelling containing three or more units to register with the Department of Community Affairs. Other provisions of law require the owner of one-unit and two-unit residential rental properties, except for owner-occupied properties, to register with the municipality in which they are located.
d. The February 2012 report of the bipartisan Red Tape Review Commission recommended eliminating duplicative landlord registration requirements at the State and local levels.
e. Timely sharing of registration information between the State and municipalities is critical to ensuring that public records are current, accessible, and accurate to facilitate code enforcement, emergency services, tax assessment, and local zoning.
f. It is appropriate for the State to be the primary governmental entity responsible for collecting, cataloguing, and organizing uniform registration information about the owners of residential rental properties of three or more units and for disseminating this information without delay to municipalities.
2. Section 2 of P.L.1974, c.50 (C.46:8-28) is amended to read as follows:
2. Every landlord shall, within 30 days following the effective date of this act, or at the time of the creation of the first tenancy in any newly constructed or reconstructed building, file with the clerk of the municipality, or with such other municipal official as is designated by the clerk, in which the residential property is situated, in the case of a one-dwelling unit rental or a two-dwelling unit non-owner occupied premises, or with the Bureau of Housing Inspection in the Department of Community Affairs in the case of a multiple dwelling as defined in section 3 of the "Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law" (C.55:13A-3), a certificate of registration on forms prescribed by the Commissioner of Community Affairs, which shall contain the following information:
a. The name and address of the record owner or owners of the premises and the record owner or owners of the rental business if not the same persons. In the case of a partnership the names of all general partners shall be provided;
b. If the record owner is a corporation, the name and address of the registered agent and corporate officers of said corporation;
c. If the address of any record owner is not located in the county in which the premises are 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 receipts therefor and to accept service of process on behalf of the record owner;
d. The name and address of the managing agent of the premises, if any;
e. The name and address, including the dwelling unit, apartment or room number of the superintendent, janitor, custodian or other individual employed by the record owner or managing agent to provide regular maintenance service, if any;
f. 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 affecting the premises or any unit of dwelling space therein, including such emergencies as the failure of any essential service or system, and who has the authority to make emergency decisions concerning the building and any repair thereto or expenditure in connection therewith and shall, at all times, have access to a current list of building tenants that shall be made available to emergency personnel as required in the event of an emergency;
g. The name and address of every holder of a recorded mortgage on the premises;
h. If fuel oil is used to heat the building and the landlord furnishes the heat in the building, the name and address of the fuel oil dealer servicing the building and the grade of fuel oil used.
This section sets forth a uniform and comprehensive system for the registration of the owners of residential rental properties and therefore supersedes the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1962, c.66 (C.40:48-2.12c) and preempts any municipal ordinance adopted pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1962, c.66 (C.40:48-2.12c) concerning the registration of owners of residential rental property of three or more units. However, nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the enforcement of a properly adopted regulation or ordinance as authorized pursuant the "Uniform Fire Safety Act," P.L.1983, c.383 (C.52:27D-192 et seq.) or prohibiting the registration of the rents charged to tenants when such information is required pursuant to a rent control ordinance.
(cf: P.L.2003, c.56, s.2)
3. Section 3 of P.L.1981, c.442 (C.46:8-28.1) is amended to read as follows:
3. In the case of a filing under section 2 of P.L.1974, c.50 (C.46:8-28) with the municipal clerk, or with such other municipal official as is designated by the clerk, the clerk or designated official shall index and file the certificate and make it reasonably available for public inspection. In the case of a filing with the Bureau of Housing Inspection, the filing shall be accompanied by the filing fee required pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1967, c. 76 (C. 55:13A-12). The bureau shall review the certificate and, if it is found to be in conformity with this law and any regulations promulgated hereunder, validate the certificate and issue a validated copy to the landlord and a validated copy to the clerk of the municipality in which the building or project is located. If at any time the certificate is updated or amended by the landlord, the bureau shall issue a validated copy of the updated certificate to the clerk of the municipality in which the building or project is located without delay within the timeframe prescribed by the Commissioner of Community Affairs. The clerk shall index the validated certificates, or forward them to the designated official for indexing, and the certificates shall be made available as with the certificates required of one and two dwelling unit nonowner occupied premises. A copy of the certificate may be provided to the municipality in an electronic format, and shall be updated frequently in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Community Affairs.
(cf: P.L.2001, c.264, s.2)
4. (New section) The Commissioner of Community Affairs shall promulgate those rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.
5. This act shall take effect immediately.
Since 1967, New Jersey has required the owner of every residential rental property of three or more units to register the property with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The "Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law," P.L.1967, c.76 (C.55:13A-1 et seq.), was the first of its kind in the United States and New Jersey continues to be the only state in the Nation with mandatory registration and inspection of rental units. Owners of one-unit and two-unit residential rental properties are required to register properties with the municipality in which they are located. State law also allows municipalities to require owners of all non-owner occupied residential rental units to register their properties locally, although those properties have already been registered with the State. This results in an unnecessary duplication of registration for properties of three units or more by two levels of government, creates confusion, and permits the imposition of unnecessary fees by two entities for a single purpose. The bi-partisan Red Tape Review Commission highlighted this redundancy in its February 2012 report, under the heading of "Reduce Governmental Overlap," and recommended correction so that State requirements are not duplicated at the local level.
This bill clarifies that owners of residential rental property with three or more units must register their properties with the State, not the municipality in which the property is located. Current law, section 3 of P.L.1981, c.442 (C.46:8-28.1), requires the State to issue a validated copy of a certificate of registration to the clerk of the municipality in which the property is located. The bill requires the DCA to provide the municipal clerk with a copy the certificate of registration any time the registration information is updated by the landlord. Current law authorizes the DCA to provide a paper copy of the certificate of registration to the municipality. As a cost-saving measure, the bill authorizes the DCA to forward valid registration certificates to the municipality in an electronic format. The bill also permits municipalities to continue the registration of rents charged to tenants, provided that the registration of rents is required by a rent control ordinance. The bill specifies that its provisions would have no effect on the administration of the “Uniform Fire Safety Act,” P.L.1983, c.383 (C.52:27D-192 et seq.). Finally, the committee amendments authorize the Commissioner of Community Affairs to promulgate administrative rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of the bill.