The New Jersey Tenants Organization is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. We have affiliated tenant associations in:
Atlantic Highlands, Linden, Weehawken, Jersey City, Bayonne, Caldwell, Orange and East Orange, Fort Lee, Passaic, Elmwood Park, Ridgefield, Elizabeth, Perth Amboy, Fairlawn, Redfield, Bloomfield, Clifton, Delran, Paterson, Hackensack, Newark, Phillipsburg, Plainfield and North Plainfield, Passaic, Trenton, Wallington, Voorhees and other cities and towns throughout the state.
We came together as tenants in 1969, and have been fighting and winning pro-tenant legislation ever since. Since 1969, the NJTO has worked for the enactment of 18 major landlord-tenant laws, which give New Jersey tenants the strongest legal protection in the country. Your current rights as a tenant are because of our work on your behalf all these years. We also help organize local tenant associations and give individual guidance to members.
--Stop Evictions from Foreclosures on Landlords!
--Stop Illegal Lock-Outs!
--Save Neglected Buildings with a real RECEIVERSHIP law that works!
--Stop ANY Bills to Charge Tenants for Water and
--Do something real about dangerous exposure to lead
in older buildings!
--Stop exobitant rents! "Market value" is too expensive
for working people.
Automatic establishment of Receivership as a result of cyclic or complaint inspections with bad enough results that are not abated within time limits. When a building is in really bad shape, and code violations and fines don't convince the landlord to fix the place up, a very effective tool is a receivership. A court can appoint a receiver to collect the rents and spend this money on fixing up the building instead of lining the landlord's pockets. To get a court to do this, either the tenants or the municipality must file a lawsuit, Unfortunately, the tenants usually cannot afford the legal costs and municipalities usually don't want to get involved. If the situation is bad enough and the tenants request it, the municipality should be required to seek a receivership in court. Something needs to be done to stop the cycle of disinvestment, abandonment, and demolition that plagues much of the rental housing in New Jersey.
Tenants Property Tax Rebate Act - Restore it from its destroyed state.
In 1998 the Tenants Property Tax Rebate Act was effectively destroyed by severe amendments which left it on the books in name only while making sure that practically no one would ever get another rebate. The law used to require that any reduction in property taxes be passed on to the tenants in the form of rebates. This is only fair, since the tenants pay all the taxes (as well as all other expenes ) through the rents. The landlord is merely a conduit for the tax payment. We need to repeal the destructive amendments and put back the original language. This would not only restore this important monetary benefit, but show tenants the RESPECT we deserve as property taxpayers.
Tenant Rebates for Municipal Solid Waste Collection Reimbursements.
Last year, a law was passed requiring municipalities to either pick up solid waste from tenant buildings or reimburse the landlords for the cost of the pickup, if the town performed this same service for homeowners. The law was passed because of a court decision, which said that tenants in these towns were being denied equal protection of the law by being denied this service when homeowners got it. The purpose of the law was to implement the court decision, but to lessen the financial impact in the towns by phasing it in over a 5 year period.
The original language of the bill required the landlord to pass through any reimbursement to the tenants in the form of rebates, as intended by the court decision,
After all, it is the tenant residents, not the landlord owner, who were denied the equal protection provided to homeowner residents. Anyway, at the last minute, those in power in the legislature last year made a back room deal with the landlords, and eliminasted the tenant rebate, subverting the court decision, and effectively allowing landlords to steal the tenants rightful reimbursements. This bill would restore the tenant rebates as they were in the original bill. This bill has been introduced as A-166(Rose Heck).. It is in the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.
Lead Abatement Legislation
This bill would provide low interest loans or loan guarantees or grants to small landlords (and homeowners) to do expensive lead abatement work necessary for tenant safety. It does not pass the cost of lead abatement on to the tenants (who did not cause the problem, but who suffer the consequences). This was introduced as S-1348 (Rice, Bucco) and A-1947 (Weinberg, Thompson) S-1348 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, A- 1947 is in the Assimbly Housing and Local Government Committee.
Dear Tenant Leader/Member,
NJTO endorses candidates for the New Jersey Assembly. We do this becase we believe they will best serve tenants' interests. When NJTO gives an endorsement, that means this candidate has promised to defend tenants' rights on some issue. We ask that you support the candidate with your vote.
It is extremely important that NJTO candidates win their elections. The New Jersey legislatures have been so anti-tenant that we have spent much of our time defending rights we already had. We fought hard and won the Security Deposit Bill which was passed. We also won Anit-Discrimination protection for all tenants, This means that no matter where your income is from--paychecks, unemployment checks, welfare or pension distributions--you have a right to an apartment.
We face tough struggles for tenants' rights. When it comes to pro-tenant bills, most votes are very close. Legislators are much more likely to respond if they know tenant voters have actually voted for them. We need to elect all of our endorsed candidates to be able to pass more pro-tenant laws.
Matt Shapiro, President, NJTO