Vote ‘No’ to keep rent control changes

Dear Editor:
Contrary to Dan Tumpson’s recent letter, there is nothing harmful or unfair to Hoboken tenants from the recent City Council adoption of Amendment Z-88 to the Hoboken Rent Control Ordinance by a 9-0 vote. Voters should Vote ‘No’ to the referendum, leaving the amendment in place and resolving administrative and legal problems that have been haunting the city for years.
Mr. Tumpson says the mayor and council should implement a process for evaluating alleged problems and possible amendments to the Rent Control law. This is one of many disingenuous remarks in Mr. Tumpson’s letter, as he knows that the council researched the ordinance and held hearings for 18 months beginning in September of 2009 because he attended and spoke at the nine hearings on the matter and submitted documents in support of his position. Z-88 is the result of that process, during which Mr. Tumpson’s arguments were considered and helped shape the amendments that were passed.
When he did not get everything he wanted, he petitioned. The council rejected his request to rescind the law, and now he is running a misleading campaign full of insane accusations and intentional misstatements, including these from his letter:
– Contrary to Mr. Tumpson’s assertions, Z-88 does not reduce protections for tenants, it adds to them. For the first time Hoboken tenants will be notified of their right to a city-performed calculation of their legal rent. Other features of Z-88 to which Mr. Tumpson objects, a 2-year limited time to bring a claim and a 2-year limit on rent refunds, are commonly 1 year in most New Jersey municipalities.
– Mr. Tumpson says Z-88 would allow landlords to submit possibly unverifiable (alternative proofs) in defending themselves against over-charging claims brought by tenants. This is a ludicrous statement. All evidence would be subject to challenge by tenant representatives. But more elementally, why would any right-thinking person want to prevent the introduction of evidence? That is not the American way. Mr. Tumpson wants the landlord to be found guilty, no matter what the facts are.
– Mr. Tumpson claimed there was no “verification of the problems in the rent leveling office,” when in fact, there were two years of depositions that led a Superior Court judge to find that the ordinance was applied inconsistently under different administrations, leaving it impossible for landlords to comply.
– Mr. Tumpson’s fear of the rent control board’s new authority is understandable, in that it will settle disputes without the city without property owners and tenants having to go to court. That’s bad for the contingency lawsuit business that he and his band are so desperate to sustain.
Z-88 is the first modification to the rent control ordinance since 1988, and it came after a comprehensive process, a carefully researched and crafted law that acknowledges it is not a cure for the ills of the Hoboken rent control ordinance but it rectifies the most glaring problems. Vote NO and affirm the work that was already done.

Ron Simoncini

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