Rent Leveling Board
Following The Township’s Revised General Ordinance, Chapter 15 – Rent Control, defines the types of rents for specific residential rental units in West Orange, New Jersey. The definition shall mean and include any building or structure rented or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units. Exempt from this chapter are hotels, motels, multifamily housing of three units or less and four-family houses where the owner is an occupant of one of the units. Housing units, newly constructed and rented for the first time, are exempted, and the landlord may determine the initial rent. All subsequent rents will be subject to the provisions of this chapter. There is no commercial rent leveling in West Orange.
The provisions of this chapter shall hereafter determine the establishment of rents between a landlord and tenant to whom this act is applicable. Per the Ordinance, “At the expiration of a lease or the termination of a lease of a periodic tenant, a landlord may request or receive a percentage increase in rent up to 3% per annum over and above the rent charged in the previous lease or previous tenancy, provided, however, that where the tenant pays for the cost of his or her heat, the percentage increase in rent shall be no more than 2% per annum.”
The Rent Leveling Board assists landlords and tenants in order to comply with all of the provisions of Chapter 15 of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township of West Orange and with all of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28 et seq. and N.J.S.A. 46:8-27 et seq. understating the impact, the Municipal Rent Leveling Ordinance of the Township of West Orange may have on their properties and apartments. Technical assistance is available for a wide variety of rental issues that cover such matters as which apartments are subject to local rent leveling laws, the establishment of base rent, what rent increases the law permits, 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.
The Rent Leveling Board’s primary function is to conduct hearings and mediation of tenant and landlord petitions regarding the adjustment of rents under the Townships’ rent leveling laws.
The Rent Leveling Board cannot arbitrate matters that are not part of Chapter 15, Rent Leveling Regulations, Rent Leveling Board, of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township of West Orange. For example, we do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate alleged breaches of a rental agreement, which must be decided in court. The Rent Leveling Board also cannot hear cases concerning issues of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, as such matters are outside of our jurisdiction. Please contact the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs regarding these issues.
The Rent Leveling Board provides counseling information on subjects that are covered by the Rent Ordinance ONLY. Please understand that our staff CANNOT provide legal advice, and are instructed to let you know when your question is one that should correctly be answered by counsel. Please note that you do not need a lawyer to file a petition at the Rent Leveling Board.
Please note that Chapter 15 – Rent Control, was revised on September 8, 2020
Peter F. Smeraldo, Jr. - Administrator
Dierdre Poe Saunders
Tammy Williams- Council Representative