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Years ago, the State of NJ had a Landlord-Tenant division within one of its many departments, but ultimately dissolved that division, leaving the topic of rent control up to the individual municipalities. Back in 2002, Hamilton Township abolished rent control within the township. If you visit the township's website, www.hamiltonnj.com, go to "Departments", then go to "Clerk", you will see a selection for "Ordinances Online". Information on the township's Rent Leveling Commision may be found in § 5-145 through § 5-172 of the Code.For those who had tenancy prior to 2002, rent control in Hamilton Township applies to:
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:
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.) Department 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.
September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023.
If landlord supplies heat to the tenants: 7.9%
If tenant pays own heat the permitted increase in rent is 60% of the 7.9%, which equals 4.7% (REMINDER: rent control applied to tenants who had tenancy prior to September 1, 2002 in the same apartment complex or home. If tenant took tenancy after the September , 2002 date, rent control no longer is applicable to tenant). (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 and Standards, Landlord / Tenant Division by calling 609-292-7899 or by mail at:
NJ Department of Community AffairsDivision of Codes and Standards, Landlord/Tenant DivisionP.O. Box 805Trenton 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.
Below is a link to the LSNJLAW website, which is provided by Legal Services of New Jersey. This page offers information on Landlord-Tenant topics. Additionally, if you scroll down, on the right-hand side, you will see a link to a free publication called "Tenants' Rights in New Jersey".
In addition to this website, the New Jersey Courts website, offers a self-help section and a section dedicated to "Landlord Tenant Services and Resources". www.njcourts.gov
If you ultimately need to seek the services of a private attorney, and you're not sure how to proceed, the Mercer County Bar Association offers a Lawyer Referral Service. Information and instructions may be found on their website, www.mercerbar.com, under the “Find A Lawyer” selection at the top right of their page.
Whether you own an apartment complex or rent a room in your home, the Township requires all landlords to be registered (PDF). Failure to register and have your unit inspected will result in monetary fines and penalties.
At the time of registration of a rental unit as required by sec. 66-78(c)(1), and prior to the issuance of a rental unit registration certificate, the landlord or agent thereof must pay a fee in accordance with the following schedule for the purpose of having the rental unit inspected by the township and having the township issue the rental unit registration certificate:
Upon initial registration and following the expiration of every five year period thereafter a fee of $50 shall be assessed, to be collected within 90 days following the passage of this ordinance, which includes an inspection and one subsequent re-inspection (to be completed within 30 days of a failed initial inspection). Multi-unit facilities containing four or more units shall be assessed a fee of $50 per unit collected in equal annual installments over a five year period, with the first payment due within 90 days following the passage of this ordinance. Prepayment of this fee shall not be penalized.
Upon the full payment of the $50 registration fee the landlord or agent thereof shall receive a coupon that may be used for one re-inspection or change of occupancy inspection required to be conducted of the particular rental unit for which the fee has been paid. This coupon is not transferable to any other rental unit and expires at the end of the five year period for which it was issued;
In the alternative, if the total registration fee due for a multi-unit facility is paid at the time of registration or subsequent renewal of registration, then the landlord or agent shall receive a number of coupons calculated by dividing the total registration fee paid, by $75. These coupons may be used for re-inspection or change of occupancy inspections at the multi-unit facility.
Any change of occupancy, except those changes of occupancies specified during the initial registration or upon each subsequent five year inspection, shall be assessed a fee as required pursuant to section 66-64(c)(d)(f) of this code.
Fees not paid shall be subject to a late fee of $30 per month.
If the owner of the property is a senior citizen who resides in a unit of the property and rents out the remaining unit and would otherwise qualify under the State of New Jersey property tax deduction under NJ.S.A. 54:4-8.41, there shall be no fee.
(a) It shall be the duty of every person who shall contract, undertake or agree or who shall have contracted, undertaken or agreed, orally or in writing, to heat or to furnish heat for any building within the township occupied as a residence by two or more families to furnish sufficient heat to any occupied part of such building so as to maintain, at all times between the hours of 6 am and 11 pm, a minimum temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and, between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am, a minimum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The supply of heat required in this section shall be furnished for or to all buildings or parts thereof used for business or living purposes from October 1 in each year to May 1 of the succeeding year and on all other days of the year when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit for any 24-hour period, provided that the requirement of this section shall not apply to buildings or parts thereof used for any trade or business in which high or low temperatures are essential. The term "contracted," as used in this section, shall be construed to mean and include any written or implied contract, lease or letting, and the presence of any heating outlets, radiators, risers or returns in any hall, room or other part of a building shall be prima facie evidence of an implied contract. The presence of any central heating plant, furnace or boiler under the control of the owner, lessee or person in charge of the building shall also be prima facie evidence of an implied contract.
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 and Standards, Landlord / Tenant Division by phone 609-292-7899, or by mail at:
P.O. Box 805Trenton NJ 08625
If a resident wishes to obtain a copy of the "Truth in Renting" brochure (PDF) 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.
Please call 609-890-3665 for the Anonymous Landlord Complaint Tip Line.