Save Rent Control!
If you rent an apartment in Hoboken there is a good chance you are protected by rent control.
What does this mean? It means you are protected under Hoboken’s rent control ordinance and your landlord has to follow the law when raising your rent, passing along tax surcharges, improvement surcharges, etc. If you think your rent may be illegal you can request a legal rent calculation through the Rent Leveling and Stabilization Office located at City Hall. Here is the form you will need to fill out and bring with you http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/rent/LRC_Request.pdf. If you find out your rent is illegal you will only be able to re-coup up to two years of over-payment. That’s right – you landlord will keep your money even though you were illegally overcharged. Why? Because a small group of wealthy developers and landlords (with a lot of support from the real estate industry) pressured the City Council to make changes to the Rent Control ordinance that is favorable to them and places renters at a complete disadvantage. In addition to changing the ordinance to make it easier to cheat renters out of their money last year’s ordinance changes included:
• Something they call “Equitable authority” which allows the landlord-biased Rent Control Board to depart from the RC law in their decisions and make up the rules as they go along.
• A “disclosure statement” which is supposed to notify tenants of their RC rights (but doesn’t). It also does not disclose that the rent they are paying may be illegal.
• “Alternative proofs” which allows a landlord to obtain rent increases without proper proofs that they complied with the law.
These changes weaken the Rent Control law, making it easier for landlords to illegally raise rents and get away with it, thereby encouraging them to evict current tenants.
Those bulleted items weakening Rent Control were voted into law last year. Let’s not lose the vote this year.