Senator NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Expands municipal authority to license and inspect residential rental property.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning municipal licenses and amending R.S.40:52-1.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. R.S.40:52-1 is amended to read as follows:
40:52-1. The governing body may make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances to license and regulate:
a. All vehicles used for the transportation of passengers, baggage, merchandise, and goods and chattels of every kind, and the owners and drivers of all such vehicles; and the places and premises in which or at which the different kinds of business or occupations mentioned herein are carried on and conducted. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as modifying or repealing any of the provisions of chapter 4 of Title 48 of the Revised Statutes (R.S.48:4-1 et seq.);
b. Autobuses, and the owners and drivers of all such vehicles, and to fix the fees for such licenses, which may be imposed for revenue, and to prohibit the operation of all such vehicles in the public streets or places of such municipality, unless such ordinances are complied with, whether such vehicles are operated over routes wholly or partly within the territorial limits of such municipality; the powers conferred by this section shall not be in substitution of but in addition to whatever other right, power and authority any such municipality may at any time have as to licensing, regulating, or control of the operation of such autobuses, commonly called jitneys, and this section shall not be construed as modifying or repealing any of the provisions of chapter 4 (R.S.48:4-1 et seq.) or article 3 of chapter 16 (R.S.48:16-23 et seq.) of Title 48 of the Revised Statutes;
c. Cartmen, expressmen, baggagemen, porters, common criers, hawkers, peddlers, employment agencies, pawnbrokers, junk shop-keepers, junk dealers, motor vehicle junk dealers, street sprinklers, bill posters, bill tackers, sweeps, scavengers, itinerant vendors of merchandise, medicines and remedies; and the places and premises in which or at which the different kinds of business or occupations mentioned herein are conducted and carried on; provided, however, no ordinance regulating solicitation for services shall be applicable to solicitations, whether written or oral, for snow shoveling services made within 24 hours of a snowstorm that has been predicted by a commonly recognized commercial or governmental weather reporting entity;
d. Hotels, boardinghouses, lodging and rooming houses, trailer camps and camp sites, motels, furnished and unfurnished rented housing or living units and all other places and buildings used for sleeping and lodging purposes, and the occupancy thereof, restaurants and all other eating places, and the keepers thereof;
e. Automobile garages, dealers in second-hand motor vehicles and parts thereof, bathhouses, swimming pools, and the keepers thereof;
f. Theatres, cinema and show houses, opera houses, concert halls, dance halls, pool or billiard parlors, bowling alleys, exhibition grounds, and all other places of public amusement, circuses and traveling or other shows, plays, dances, exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances, and all street parades in connection therewith;
g. Lumber and coal yards, stores for the sale of meats, groceries and provisions, dry goods and merchandise, and goods and chattels of every kind, and all other kinds of business conducted in the municipality other than herein mentioned, and the places and premises in or at which the business is conducted and carried on; street stands for the sale or distribution of newspapers, magazines, periodicals, books, and goods and merchandise or other articles;
h. Street signs and other objects projecting beyond the building line, into or over any public street or highway;
i. Auctioneers and their business, whether the auctioneers be real estate brokers engaged in selling at auction or real estate auctioneers licensed by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission; fix their fees, and license and regulate public auctions; make such regulations as the governing body of the municipality shall deem necessary, to protect the public against fraud at public auction sales, and for the safety and protection of the property of the municipality and its inhabitants, including the power to require from auctioneers a bond to the municipality, not exceeding the penal sum of $5,000.00, conditioned as the governing body shall require;
j. Sales of goods, wares and merchandise to be advertised, held out or represented, or which are advertised, held out or represented, to the public, by any means, directly or by implication, as forced sales at reduced prices or as insurance, bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure, insolvency, removal, loss or expiration of lease or closing out sales, or as assignees', receivers' or trustees' sales or as sales of goods distrained or as sales of goods damaged by fire, smoke or water, except any sale which is to be held under a judicial order, judgment or decree or a writ issuing out of any court or to enforce any lawful lien or power of sale whether by judicial process or not or by a licensed auctioneer; to make such regulations governing the advertisement, holding out or representing to the public of such sales, and the conduct thereof, as the governing body of the municipality shall deem necessary to protect the public against fraud; to prohibit the advertising, holding out or representing to the public of any sale as being of the character above described which is not of such character and to fix license fees for the conduct of such sales and to impose penalties for the violation of any such ordinance;
k. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.320.)
l. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.205.)
m. The rental of real property for commercial purposes wherein the lease is for a term less than 175 consecutive days. No ordinance adopted pursuant to this subsection shall apply to any lease or occupancy which results from a tenant holding over at the expiration or early termination of a lease with an original term in excess of 175 consecutive days, regardless of whether the holdover is month-to-month or for some other term of less than 175 consecutive days; and
n. The rental of real property [for a term less than 175 consecutive days] for residential purposes [by a person having a permanent place of residence elsewhere] and to fix the fees for such licenses. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.40:52-2 to the contrary, fees established pursuant to this subsection shall be dedicated to meeting the costs of implementing and enforcing this subsection and shall not be used for any other purpose. A municipality that licenses the rental of residential real property pursuant to this subsection shall require the landlord of each licensed property to file with the clerk of the municipality, or with such other municipal official as is designated by the clerk, a certificate of registration in accordance with section 2 of P.L.1974, c.50 (C.46:8-28); provided, however, that no additional registration shall be required for a licensed property for which a registration certificate with current ownership information has been filed with either the clerk of the municipality, or with such other municipal official as is designated by the clerk, or, in the case of a multiple dwelling, with the Bureau of Housing Inspection in the Department of Community Affairs, in accordance with section 2 of P.L.1974, c.50 (C.46:8-28). The power of a municipality to license and regulate residential rental property under this subsection shall include the power to inspect said property as a condition of licensure; provided, however, that a municipality shall not inspect residential rental property more than once per calendar year, except when prompted by complaints, evidence of code violations, or patently unsound conditions on the property.
Nothing in this chapter contained shall be construed to authorize or empower the governing body of any municipality to license or regulate any person holding a license or certificate issued by any department, board, commission, or other agency of the State; provided, however, that the governing body of a municipality may make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances to license and regulate real estate auctioneers or real estate brokers engaged in selling at auction and their business as provided in this section despite the fact that such real estate auctioneers or brokers may be licensed by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission and notwithstanding the provisions of this act or any other act.
(cf: P.L.2015, c.240)
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be retroactive to August 6, 2015; provided, however, that a municipality shall not collect fees authorized by section 1 of this act or refund fees collected by the municipality for property licensed prior to the effective date of this act.
This bill would expand the authority of a municipality to inspect, license, and regulate the rental of residential real property. Under current law, a municipality has the authority to license and regulate commercial and residential leases of less than 175 days. This bill would authorize municipalities to inspect, license, and regulate rentals of residential real property regardless of the duration of the lease agreement. The bill would maintain the restriction on the licensure of commercial property to leases of a term of less than 175 days.
The power of a municipality to license and regulate residential rental property under this bill includes the power to inspect rental property as a condition of licensure. Under the bill, a municipality cannot inspect residential rental property more than once per calendar year, except when prompted by complaints, evidence of code violations, or patently unsound conditions on the property. In addition, the bill would require property owners to register the property with the municipality at the time the municipality issues a license. Under the bill, no additional registration will be required for a licensed property for which a registration certificate with current ownership information has been filed with either the clerk of the municipality or, in the case of a multiple dwelling, with the Bureau of Housing Inspection in the Department of Community Affairs. The municipality would have the authority to charge fees for the license, but the fees must be dedicated to meeting the costs of implementing and enforcing the licensing scheme and cannot be used for any other purpose.
This bill would be effective immediately and retroactive to August 6, 2015. The bill, however, would prohibit municipalities from collecting fees for licenses issued prior to the effective date of this bill, which the municipality has not yet collected. Municipalities would not be responsible for returning any fees collected prior to the effective date of this bill.