New Jersey Tenants Organization -  - Phone: 201-342-3775

Your Right to Organize

The right to organize to secure one's basic rights is fundamental to preserving a democratic society.  Unfortunately, this is a right that has  not always been granted willingly by those in power.  The New Jersey Tenants Organization had to fight in the State Legislature and the courts to win tenants' right to organize free of landlord retaliation.  Today, it is a civil offense for the landlord to interfere with your right to organize.  You should make it clear to your fellow tenants that they have an absolute right to organize and that they have nothing to fear.  The following tenant laws and court cases protect your right to organize:

1.  Tenant Reprisal Law (N.J.S.A. 2A:42-10.10). This law prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants for organizing or joining a tenants organization, or making good faith complaints to the landlord or public officials about a landlord's violation of health and safety codes.  Tenants can sue landlords who violate this law for civil damages

2. Crescent Park Tenants Associatio vs. Realty Equity Corporation of New York, 58 N.J. 98 (1971). This case gave a tenants organization the legal right to represent all its members and take action for them.

3. Troy Hills Village Inc. vs. Fisher et al., 122 N.J. Super. 525 (App.Div.1973). Upheld the constitutionality of the Tenant Reprisal Law.

4. Pohlman vs. Metropolitan Trailer, 126 N.J. Super. 114 (Ch. Div. 1973). The Tenant Reprisal Law covers the pursuit of any Constitutional right.

5. E.&E. Newman vs. Hallock, 116 N.J. Super. 221 (App.Div. 1971). Increasing a tenant's rent can be seen as a reprisal.

6. Engler vs. Capital Management Corp., 112 N.J. Super. 445 (Ch. Div. 1970).  Affirmed tenants' Constitutional right to express themselves and to assemble.  Also, non-renewal of a tenant's lease can be seen as reprisal.

7. Silberg vs. Libscomb, 117 N.J. Super. 491 (Cty. Dist. Ct. 1971).  Allowed the appointment of a Receiver for a building with major problems.  This case also upheld tenants' right to organize and the Tenant Reprisal Law.