Possible rent control changes up for discussion in Hoboken Monday night

HOBOKEN — A City Council Subcommittee may reveal its proposed changes to Hoboken’s long-time Rent Control Ordinance tonight.
Rent control limits the amount that landlords can raise the rent on many units built in Hoboken before 1987. The rents may be increased annually by the amount of the increase in the Consumer Price Index, usually 2 or 3 percent. There are several exceptions, however. After a tenant has vacated a unit voluntarily, property owners can apply to the Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board for a vacancy decontrol to increase the rent by 25 percent once in a three-year period. They can also apply for other increases or surcharges based on renovations or on the landlord’s financial losses.
Over the years, both landlords and tenants have urged the city to fine-tune the law and the way the city enforces it. However, any changes that were seen as weakening it were often overturned by massive tenant protests.
Recently, landlords have complained that the city did not keep adequate paperwork on the original rents, leading to modern confusion and lawsuits over what is a fair rent.
Council President Beth Mason, who is the chair of a subcommittee charged with reforming the ordinance, said the changes will be revealed at a meeting tonight. When the are brought before the City Council, the public can comment. They would have to undergo three council votes to get passed.
The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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