Bill Targets Apartment Overcrowding-Up To $10,000 Fine

LandlordandtenantjpgThe state Senate Urban and Community Affairs Committee Monday approved a bill that would allow fines of up to $10,000 to landlords and tenants who allow overcrowding in buildings. The bill, S-129, sponsored by state Sens. Anthony R. Bucco, R-Morris, and Nia H. Gill, D-Essex, would allow municipalities to adopt ordinances allowing the issuance of summonses to those alleged to have violated occupancy requirements that leads to overcrowding.  

“It could be to the landlord or to the tenant,” Bucco said. “It’s been years that I’ve been trying to get this through.” 

The legislation would not be applicable to seasonal rentals or to buildings with more than four residential rental units. 

Should it pass, municipalities would allow a first-time fine of $2,500, $5,000 for a second violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation, according to a copy of the proposed bill. Read full article in APP

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Why can’t municipalities issue summonses now if their overcrowding ordinances are being violated? What’s the extra chiddush here??

  2. The Senate Bill would allow municipalities to adopt ordinances authorizing the issuance of summonses upon certain landlords and tenants alleged to have violated occupancy requirements resulting in overcrowding. The bill would allow for the imposition of fines upon a culpable landlord or tenant of up to $2,500 for a first violation, $5,000 for a second violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. These fines would be in addition to any other fines or penalties authorized by law. The bill would require that a hearing be held before any fines could be imposed. The bill would not be applicable to seasonal rentals or to buildings with more than four residential rental units.

    Many municipalities have adopted resolutions petitioning the Legislature to authorize municipalities to impose enhanced penalties, asserting that fines and penalties authorized under current law are inadequate disincentives to deter landlords and tenants from engaging in this offensive, yet lucrative, practice. The bill would also clarify existing law by distinguishing between illegal occupancies resulting in overcrowding that are caused by landlords and those that are caused by tenants, specifying that landlords are not obligated to pay tenant relocation costs when the tenant’s own conduct is the primary cause for the overcrowding.

    The bill would also give landlords the right to an expedited eviction when a tenant’s conduct was the primary cause of overcrowding in excess of the occupancy allowed under the lease or State law.

    The bill also establishes new standards to be utilized in determining whether a tenant has been the primary cause of overcrowding or illegal occupancy. The bill provides that in order for the conduct of the tenants to be deemed the primary cause for the illegal occupancy or overcrowding, it must be established (1) that the tenant signed a lease or was provided a written copy of the rental policy in which the number of intended occupants was specified, (2) that the number of allowed occupants was within the standards established by the applicable code requirements, or rental policy if a number was specified in the lease, and (3) that any additional occupants in excess of the number of occupants specified became residents of the rental unit without the expressed consent of the owner/landlord.

  3. it should include houses that are owned not just rented, many homes here designed for 4-5 familiy members have 15-20+making a poor quality of life for them and their neighbors

  4. I know of quite a few houses that are overcrowded. I have tried the township, it doesn’t always work out. The inspection dept. must send people out in the evening when the occupants are home.

  5. the inspection dept can not and never will evict people . it must first go through the court system and then a shriff shows up and does the eviction . happens daily!

  6. the certificate of occupancy otherwise known as co never lists more than the current level of occupancy any person that has a baby will now be in violation of the law let alone anyone that has a basement

  7. There are a lot of house over filled but the hole town is over crowed I rember when I was able to get throw town in 10 min by car now it takes 25 to 30 min we can’t dust say that its dust illegal were growing to much for this little town .

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