Newark city council passes new rent control ordinance

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
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on May 20, 2014

NEWARK — The Newark city council passed tonight a new ordinance that will make it harder for landlords to raise the rents of tenants in rent-controlled properties.

Under the old rules, landlords of rent-controlled buildings could raise rents annually by 5 percent if the building had 49 units or less and by 4 percent if the building had more than 49 units.

The new ordinance caps the annual rent increases to the the Consumer Price Index in New Jersey.

Under the old rules, landlords could also ask the city to raise rents in vacant apartments up to 25 percent if they showed proof that they spent $100 or more per room to rehabilitate the unit.

But the new ordinance caps the increase to 20 percent and raises the threshold to request that higher rent to $5,000 per room in a given unit.

Proponents said the legislation prevents renters from enduring burdensome increases in rent for minor or no improvements to their units.

But landlords said the proposed rules failed to take into account the cost of maintaining those buildings and disincentives them from making improvements to their properties.

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