New Jersey's Multifamily Housing Preservation and Receivership Act, N.J.S.A. § 2A:42-114-142 (the "Act"), was created to give municipalities tools to address and protect tenants living in multi-family housing from deadbeat landlords. The statute permits a court to appoint a receiver when a building is, "in violation of any State or municipal code to such an extent as to endanger the health and safety of the tenants . . . and the violation or violations have persisted, unabated, for at least [ninety] days preceding the date of the filing of the complaint[,]" or "[t]he building is the site of a clear and convincing pattern of recurring code violations, . . .." N.J.S.A. § 2A:42-117(a), (b).
In a recent unpublished decision, the Appellate Division upheld Union City's ability to have a receiver appointed for a building that was literally falling onto the tenants and causing injuries which required hospitalization. This building had many violations over the course of years, up to and including illegal apartments. The record showed that despite both the tenants and the city providing notice of the conditions to the landlord, such violations were not cured and negatively affected the safety of the building and its tenants. Accordingly, the city properly and successfully used the process set forth in the statute to have a receiver being appointed. In addition, fees and costs were assessed against the landlord. (City of Union City v. Zaky Tadros)
Peter J. Vazquez, Jr.