Am I eligible for rent control?
The State of NJ has no laws that establish, govern or control rents. Any increase in rent must not be unconscionable or unreasonable.
Rent Control in Hamilton Township applies to;
- Apartment houses with four (4) or more apartment units in one building. Duplexes and condominiums do not qualify.
- Applies to tenants who had tenancy prior to September 1, 2002 in the same apartment complex or home. If tenant took tenancy after September 1, 2002, rent control no longer is applicable to tenant since rent control was abolished in August of 2002.
For tenants who had tenancy prior to September 1, 2002, their rent may only be raised a certain percentage each year, and they must meet the following criteria to qualify:
- They must reside in a building with four (4) or more residential units in that building, owner occupied included.
- Duplexes, condominiums and townhouses do not qualify.
If tenant meets these requirements, the percentage they may be increased each year is called the "Rent Control Consumer Price Index (CPI)". The amount that the rent can be raised is determined by the Current CPI (Consumer Price Index) figures. Figures are taken from a nationwide federal average. The definition of the Consumer Price Index is as follows: it is the measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services (U.S.) Dept. of Labor). Landlords must use the current figure provided at the time of sending their notices, not the projected figures for when the rent increase actually becomes effective. This figure is calculated every year by the Secretary of the Rent Leveling Commission. The current CPI figures are as follows:
September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018
If landlord supplies heat to the tenants: 2.65%
If tenant pays own heat the permitted increase in rent is sixty percent (60%) of the 2.65%, which equals 1.6%. (Further information can be found in the Hamilton Township Code of Ordinances, Article V. Boards, Commissions, Committees and Agencies; Division 16. Rent Leveling Commission; Section 2-741 through 2-768.
With the exception of building inspection issues and landlord registration, the Township does not get involved in landlord/tenant issues or disputes. For other tenant/landlord affairs information, residents may contact the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes & Standards, Landlord/Tenant Divsion by phone 609-292-7899, on their website at www.nj.gov/dca or by mail at P.O. Box 805, Trenton NJ 08625. If a resident wishes to obtain a copy of the "Truth in Renting" brochure that is published by the State of New Jersey, they must submit their request in writing. Formal complaints must be filed with the Mercer County Superior Court - Special Civil Part, which can be reached at 609-571-4483.
If a tenant feels that their rent increase is "excessive", they mush notify their landlord in writing, stating "I feel the increase is unfair, excessive and not warranted. I do not intend to pay this increase, I do feel I can afford ___ per month". If a resolution cannot be reached amicably between landlord and tenant, the landlord may file a complaint in Mercer County Superior Court. The tenant must be sure to appear, because if they do not, an Eviction Notice can be issued within 3 days. To contact Mercer County Superior Court-Special Civil Part, call 609-571-4483.