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A psak issued by Bais Havaad regarding the Prime Apartments matter highlights some of the problems caused - to both the landlords and the tenants - by the Lakewood Township Committee's abolishment of the Township's Rent Control Board.

As previously reported here on FAA News, 60 tenants of Prime Apartments, represented by Attorney Ian Goldman Esq., have served their landlord and his property manager with a Superior Court lawsuit alleging a long list of illegal rent increases and associated harassment, intimidation and retaliation.

Two of the tenants who are not part of this lawsuit chose to adjudicate their claims in Bais Havaad.

The Bais Havaad recently released their decision regarding one of these tenants.

The decision permits the tenants to renew their lease for $1,800, with a 5% annual increase for future years.

The decision further permits the landlord to seek a hardship exemption from the Township's Rent Control Board. If approved, he would be permitted to raise the rent accordingly. If denied, Bais Din reserves the right to review the authorized rent increase.

The landlord sought to increase the rent due to a hardship. The Township's Rent Control regulations permit regular annual increases automatically, however, hardship increases (which is when a landlord finds that present rentals are insufficient to cover the cost of mortgage payments, taxes and maintenance) are permitted only upon "special application to the Rent Control Board for good cause shown."

It appears that Bais Havaad granted the landlord a minimal hardship increase, and directed him to file a "special application to the Rent Control Board" as provided by the Township's ordinance for any further increases.

So, um...

Slight issue of course is that the Township Committee has already abolished the Rent Control Board!

Ironically, the Township Committee abolished the Rent Control Board only to help landlords, whereas here both the landlord and the tenants were damaged as, if the Rent Control Board would still exist, the landlord would have a proper venue to plead for the full hardship increase and at the same time the tenants would have a proper venue to plead why the landlord should not be entitled to any hardship increase.

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Read my lips: I DON’T CARE!

Common sense said...

Will the landlords request to reinstate the rent control board?
Interesting turn of events. A landlord will need a rent control board to process their hardship claims, otherwise no additional rent increases for hardship happen.

Anonymous said...

Not knowing much about this case, the thing that sticks out more than anything else and the thing that should terrify the landlord the most is the 'bank fraud' aspect of this.
If and its a big if the landlord fraudulently presented to the bank during financing applications bogus leases that he KNEW not to be true he would be in a heap of trouble. Bank fraud in this case which sounds very material because he is having a hart time paying his mortgage (was it a variable rate loan, and have his payments exploded? ) is a very serious charge with hefty fines AND jail time! The landlord would have to be nuts not to settle this case. Furthermore, how could the landlord ever present his hardship case to anybody whether its a beis did or a rent control board if the entire premise of his financial situation (ie what he represented to the bank to get his loan and create his financial burden) was based on a knowing fraudulent situation of bogus lease with fraudulent expected rent amounts.
just saying

Anonymous said...

ื•ื›ืœ ื”ืžื•ืกืจ ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื‘ื™ื“ ืขื›ื•"ื ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื’ื•ืคื• ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ืžืžื•ื ื• ืื™ืŸ ืœื• ื—ืœืง ืœืขื•ืœื ื”ื‘ื:

Anonymous said...

True but ALOT of people know about this possible bank fraud by now. Alot of yidden and alot of goyim. The cat is definitely out of the bag by now. Too scary a situation not to settle.
Just saying