Archive for August 2011

NEW JERSEY LAWYERS REVIEW RECENT SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, APPELLATE DIVISION, CASE HOLDING NO PRE-EMPTION OF RENT STATUTE FOR LOCAL TOWNS TO ENACT STRICTER LANDLORD-TENANT ORDINANCES.

Local municipalities in New Jersey have the discretion to promulgate stricter apartment rental laws that are more restrictive than New Jersey’s multiple-dwelling statute. The Appellate Division recently ruled that the state Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law permits measures like a Pemberton Township, NJ ordinance requiring rental-unit owners to submit to registration, licensing and inspections by township representatives and requires tenants to be screened for prior convictions among other requirements.

“No legislative statement could be clearer,” Judges Edwin Stern, Jack Sabatino and Thomas Lyons wrote in the Court’s opinion. “Consequently, the [statute] itself contains an explicit expression that preemption was never intended.” The plaintiff, the owner of a 450-unit Pemberton apartment complex, presented an argument that that because the statute delegates enforcement to municipalities, subject to state supervision, additional regulation by a town is precluded by implication.

Legal Quote of the Week:

To be effective, judicial administration must not be leaden-footed.

Felix Frankfurter, Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 325 (1940)