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Rent Control

The office of Rent Control assists landlords and tenants in understating the impact the Municipal Rent Control Ordinance of the City of Newark, may have on their properties and apartments.Technical assistance is provided on a wide variety of rental issues which cover such matters as: which apartments are subject to local rent control laws; what is the legal base rent; what rent increases the law permits; tax surcharges;water/sewer surcharges; major new improvement surcharges; hardship increases;and annual registration requirements. Files on all residential properties are maintained for public inspection if owners and/or tenants have questions regarding a particular property.

WHAT WE DO AND DON’T DO

The Newark Rent Ordinance regulates rents for certain residential rental units in Newark, New Jersey. There is no commercial rent control in Newark.

The Rent Control Board’s primary function is to conduct hearings and mediation of tenant and landlord petitions regarding the adjustment of rents under the City’s rent control laws.

The Rent Control Board cannot arbitrate matters that are not part of the Title 19,Chapter 2, Rent Control Regulations, Rent Control Board, of the Revised General Ordinances of the City of Newark. For example, we do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate alleged breaches of a rental agreement, which must be decided in court. The Rent Control Board also cannot hear cases concerning issues of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, as such matters are outside of our jurisdiction. Please contact the Department of Community Affairs regarding these issues.

The Rent Control Board provides counseling information on subjects that are covered by the Rent Ordinance ONLY.Please understand that our staff CANNOT give legal advice and they are instructed to let you know when your question is one that should properly be answered by a lawyer.

While we cannot refer you to individual attorneys, our staff will be glad to direct you to the appropriate resources for advice and assistance. A list of these resources is available through the referral listing on our website. Please note that you do not need a lawyer to file a petition at the Rent Control Office.

Due to high demand and a limited number of staff, there can sometimes be delays in speaking with a representative. It is helpful if you have your questions written down before you speak with a representative.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.The Rent Control Ordinance was amended on September 05, 2017. Please see Rent Control Certified Ordinance 6PSF-(a) 090517 (Click here)

2. Office of Rent Control Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ (Click Here)

3. Rent Registration Form – (Click here)

4. Rent Control Board Hearing Schedule for 2019 (Click Here)

Rent Increase

Until June 19, 2014, annual rent increases were capped at 4% for apartment complexes of 50 or more units; and 5% for apartment complexes of 49 units or less. Beginning June 20, 2014 permissible annual rent increases for a given month are shown in the table below. Landlords may increase rents as per the CPI-U percentage (%) published every month. For example, if your current lease ends on April 31, 2017, then your landlord will have notified you 30 days in advance in writing as required by law. For example, $1000 x 2.6% = $26.00. Then $1000 + $26 = New Rent = $1026.00

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FAQs

IF A TENANT’S RENT IS INCREASED MORE THAN THE CPI-U PERCENTAGE (%) ALLOWED, WHAT SHOULD HE/SHE DO?

File a petition with Rent Control for an adjustment in his/her rent.

HOW MUCH CAN A LANDLORD INCREASE RENT EVERY YEAR?

Until June 19, 2014, annual rent increases were capped at 4% for apartment complexes of 50 or more units; and 5% for apartment complexes of 49 units or less. Beginning June 20, 2014 permissible annual rent increases for a given month are shown in the table below. Landlords may increase rents as per the CPI-U percentage (%) published every month. For example, if your current lease ends on April 31, 2017, then your landlord will have notified you 30 days in advance in writing (required by law) on April 1, 2017 indicating that you will receive an increase on May 1st using May’s Percentage 2.6%. For example, $1000 x 2.6% = $26.00. Then $1000 + $26 = New Rent = $1026.00

ARE ALL DWELLINGS IN THE CITY OF NEWARK UNDER RENT CONTROL?

A. No. All Public Housing, and existing owner-occupied 1-4 family dwellings are exempt from Rent Control but are still required to register annually.

B. All newly constructed dwellings of four or more units can be exempt from Rent Control for 30 years, as per State statue; however, the Landlord/Owner must apply for a certificate of exemption prior to occupancy in order to authenticate their exemption status.

C. Substantially rehabilitated dwellings can be exempt for five years (if they were previously vacant for 18 months) or one year (initial rent) if occupied, and if the cost of rehabilitation exceeds 50% of the dwelling’s value. (Note: landlord must apply for and receive a certificate of exemption from the Rent Control Board).

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