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Code Enforcement FAQs

Code Enforcement FAQs2023-01-06T09:07:55-05:00
WHAT IS RENT CONROL2023-01-06T09:06:11-05:00

Rent control is a broad term for legislation that limits rent rates in a city or state. Rent control laws vary by municipality, but they generally put a ceiling on the maximum rent that can be charged for a unit, as well as the that the rent can be increased per year. Rent control laws are one way cities that regulates the housing market.

The aim of these price controls is to maintain a base of affordable rental housing for low and moderate income tenants. In the City of Camden, Rent Control increase rate is determined by Consumer Price Index of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania metropolitan area which is published by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

REGISTRATION AND RECORDS2023-01-06T09:06:30-05:00

All owners or landlords shall be required to register all rental dwelling units with the Department of Code Enforcement’s Office of Rent Control annually. The annual registration fee shall be $25 per dwelling unit. The registration shall include the following and the Rent Control Officer shall provide the forms for the purposes of this section:

[Amended 10-14-1999 by Ord. No. MC-3517; 1-24-2002 by Ord. No. MC-3720; 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. MC-4431[1]; 5-10-2011 by Ord. No. MC-4609] (1) The owner(s) of the dwelling unit(s) shall provide the Department of Code Enforcement’s Housing Division’s Rent Control Unit with the actual address of their own permanent residential dwelling place or domicile and proof of such address through a valid current driver’s license or other official government-issued, permanent, and verifiable documentation of said address, which address will not be the same as the address of the occupants of the dwelling unit(s); and (2) The owner(s) of the dwelling unit(s) shall provide the address of each dwelling unit; the name and usual address of the on-site manager of the premises; the name and usual address of the owner or person who is authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner or landlord for the

purpose of receiving service of process and for the purpose of receiving and receipting all notices and demands; the rent charged on each dwelling unit as of the effective date of this chapter; the housing services provided to the occupants or tenants thereof; and a list of all vacant units and the date on which said unit or units most recently became vacant. B. A copy of this registration information shall be kept at the Office of Rent Control and shall be open for public inspection and copying.

THE CORRECT WAY TO INCREASE RENT2023-01-06T09:06:49-05:00

The law requires a landlord to take certain steps in order to make you pay an increase in rent. First, your existing lease at your present rent has to end. This means that the landlord cannot increase the rent during your lease. For example, if you have a lease for a one-year period, the rent cannot be increased during the period of the lease. To raise the rent, the landlord has to wait until your lease is about to expire and then take action to end your lease.

According to section 650-2 Maximum rent increase. No landlord shall, after the effective date of this section, charge any rents for any dwelling units, as defined herein, in excess of what he or she was receiving on the effective date of this chapter, except for increases and surcharges authorized by this chapter and all amendments thereto. Establishments of rents between a landlord and a tenant to whom this chapter is applicable shall hereafter be determined by the provisions of this chapter. At the expiration of a lease, no landlord shall request or receive a percentage increase in rent either in excess of the average consumer price index for the preceding 12 months, for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, or by more than 6% of the most recent rent, whichever is less.

[Amended 10-27-1994 by Ord. No. MC-3040; 5-10-2011 by Ord. No. MC-4609]

FUNCTIONS O F THE RENT CONROL BOARD

The Rent Control Board’s primary function is to conduct hearings and mediation of tenant and landlord petitions regarding the adjustment of rents under the City’s rent control laws adopted by City Council of the City of Camden.

The Rent Control Board cannot arbitrate matters that are not part of Chapter 650, Rent Control Regulations, Rent Control Board, of the Revised General Ordinances of the City of Camden. For example, we do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate alleged breaches of a rental agreement, which must be decided in court. The Rent Control Board also cannot hear cases concerning issues of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, as such matters are outside of our jurisdiction. Please contact the Department of Community Affairs regarding these issues.

The Rent Control Board provides counseling information on subjects that are covered by the Rent Ordinance ONLY. Please understand that our staff CANNOT give legal advice and they are instructed to let you know when your question is one that should properly be answered by a lawyer. While we cannot refer you to individual attorneys, our staff will be glad to direct you to the appropriate resources for advice and assistance. A list of these resources is available through the referral listing on our website. Please note that you DO NOT need a lawyer to file a petition at the Rent Control Office. Due to high demand and a limited number of staff, there can sometimes be

delays in speaking with a representative. It is helpful if you have your questions written down before you speak with a representative.

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RENT CONTROL2023-01-06T09:08:11-05:00

The City of Camden Rent Control Office administer and enforces the provisions of legislation adopted by the City Council for Rent Control on March 12, 1981, as Ordinance No. MC-1719.[2] The specific powers and functions of said Office of Rent Control are set forth in § 650-12 of the Code of the City of Camden.

The office of Rent Control assists landlords and tenants in understating the impact the Municipal Rent Control Ordinance of the City of Camden, may have on their properties and apartments. Technical assistance is provided on a wide variety of rental issues which cover such matters as: which apartments are subject to local rent control laws; what is the legal base rent; what rent increases the law permits; tax surcharges; water/sewer surcharges; major new improvement surcharges; hardship increases; 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.

Mayor Victor Carstarphen

Quick Contact Info

520 Market St, Camden, NJ 08101

Phone: 856-757-7000

Web: https://www.ci.camden.nj.us

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