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TITLE 2A
ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Forcible Entry and Detainer

Removal of tenant in certain cases; jurisdiction:
Except for residential lessees and tenants included in section 2 of this act, any lessee or tenant at will or at sufferance, or for a part of a year, or for one or more years, of any houses, buildings, lands or tenements, and the assigns, undertenants or legal representatives of such tenant or lessee, may be removed from such premises by the Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part in an action in the following cases:
a.   Where such person holds over and continues in possession of all or any part of the demised premises after the expiration of his term, and after demand made and written notice given by the landlord or his agent, for delivery of possession thereof. The notice shall be served either personally upon the tenant or such person in possession by giving him a copy thereof or by leaving a copy of the same at his usual place of abode with a member of his family above the age of 14 years.
b.   Where such person shall hold over after a default in the payment of rent, pursuant to the agreement under which the premises are held.
c.   Where such person (1) shall be so disorderly as to destroy the peace and quiet of the landlord or the other tenants or occupants living in said house or the neighborhood, or (2) shall willfully destroy, damage or injure the premises, or (3) shall constantly violate the landlord's rules and regulations governing said premises, provided, such rules have been accepted in writing by the tenant or are made a part of the lease; or (4) shall commit any breach or violation of any of the covenants or agreements in the nature thereof contained in the lease for the premises where a right of re-entry is reserved in the lease for a violation of such covenants or agreements, and shall hold over and continue in possession of the demised premises or any part thereof, after the landlord or his agent for that purpose has caused a written notice of the termination of said tenancy to be served upon said tenant, and a demand that said tenant remove from said premises within three days from the service of such notice. The notice shall specify the cause of the termination of the tenancy, and shall be served either personally upon the tenant or such person in possession by giving him a copy thereof, or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual place of abode with some member of his family above the age of 14 years.  2A:18-53.

Notices and summons;  substituted service;  service by posting:  Where for any reason, any of the notices required by section 2A:18-53 of this title, cannot be served as provided in said section or a summons and complaint cannot be served as in other actions, such notices or summons and complaint may be served upon any person actually occupying the premises, either personally or by leaving same with a member of his family above the age of 14  years, or when admission to the premises is denied or the tenant or occupant and all members of his family above the age of 14 years are absent from the premises, or there is no person actually occupying them, the officer or other person may post or affix a copy of the same upon the door or other conspicuous  part of such premises.  Such posting shall be deemed to be lawful service. 2A:18-54.

Discontinuance upon payment into court of rent in arrears; receipt:
If, in actions instituted under paragraph  "b"  of section 2A:18-53 of this  title, the tenant or person in possession of the demised premises shall at any time on or before entry of final judgment, pay to the clerk of the court the rent claimed to be in default, together with the accrued costs of the proceedings, all proceedings shall be stopped.  The receipt of the clerk shall be evidence of such payment.

The clerk shall forthwith pay all moneys so received to the landlord, his agent or assigns. 2A:18-55.

Proof of notice to quit prerequisite to judgment:
No judgment for possession in cases specified in paragraph  "a."  of section  2A:18-53 of this Title shall be ordered unless:
a.  The tenancy, if a tenancy at will or from year to year, has been terminated by the giving of 3 months' notice to quit, which notice shall be deemed to be sufficient;  or
b.  The tenancy, if a tenancy from month to month, has been terminated by the giving of 1 month's notice to quit, which notice shall be deemed to be sufficient;  or
c.  The tenancy, if for a term other than at will, from year to year, or from month to month, has been terminated by the giving of one term's notice to quit, which notice shall be deemed to be sufficient;  and
d.  It shall be shown to the satisfaction of the court by due proof that the notice herein required has been given.  2A:18-56.

Judgment for possession;  warrant for removal;  issuance:
If no sufficient cause is shown to the contrary when the action comes on for trial, the court shall issue its warrant to any officer of the court, commanding him to remove all persons from the premises, and to put the claimant into full possession thereof, and to levy and make the costs out of the goods  and chattels of the person in possession.

No warrant of removal shall issue until the expiration of 3 days after entry  of judgment for possession, except as provided for in chapter 42 of this Title.  2A:18-57.

Execution of warrant;  use of force:
An officer, to whom a warrant is issued by virtue of this article, shall obey the command of and faithfully execute the same, and may, if necessary to the execution thereof, use such force as may be necessary.  2A:18-58.

Review;  landlord liable for unlawful proceedings:
Proceedings had by virtue of this article shall not be appealable except on  the ground of lack of jurisdiction.  The landlord, however, shall remain liable in a civil action for unlawful proceedings under this article.  2A:18-59.

Terminally ill tenants:
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the Superior Court may authorize and review one year stays of eviction during which the tenant shall be entitled to renew the lease at its term of expiration, subject to reasonable changes proposed to the tenant by the landlord in written notice, whenever:
a.   The tenant fulfills all the terms of the lease and removal is sought under subsection a. of N.J.S.2A:18-53 where a residential tenant holds over after written notice for delivery of possession; and
b.   The tenant has a terminal illness which illness has been certified by a licensed physician; and
c.   There is substantial likelihood that the tenant would be unable to search for, rent and move to a comparable alternative rental dwelling unit without serious medical harm; and
d.   The tenant has been a tenant of the landlord for a least two years prior to the issuance of the stay.In reviewing a petition for a stay of eviction, the court shall specifically consider whether the granting of the stay of eviction would cause an undue hardship to the landlord because of the landlord's financial condition or any other factor relating to the landlord's ownership of the premises.  2A:18-59.1.

Inapplicability of act to hotel, motel or guest house rented to  transient guest or seasonal tenant or to residential health care facility:
This act shall not apply to a hotel, motel or other guest house, or part thereof, rented to a transient guest or seasonal tenant, or a residential health care facility as defined in section 1 of P.L.1953, c. 212 (C.30:11A-1).  2A:18-59.2.

Removal of proceedings into Law Division:
At any time before an action for the removal of a tenant comes on for trial, either the landlord or person in possession may apply to the Superior Court, which may, if it deems it of sufficient importance, order the cause transferred from the Special Civil Part to the
Law Division.  2A:18-60.

Trial by jury in Law Division:
A summary action for the removal of a tenant, commenced in the Special Civil Part but transferred to the Law Division shall be tried before a jury, unless a jury is waived.  2A:18-61.

Grounds for removal of tenants:
No lessee or tenant or the assigns, under-tenants or legal representatives of such lessee or tenant may be removed by the Superior Court from any house, building, mobile home or land in a mobile home park or tenement leased for residential purposes, other than (1) owner-occupied premises with not more than two rental units or a hotel, motel or other guest house or part thereof rented to a transient guest or seasonal tenant; (2) a dwelling unit which is held in trust on behalf of a member of the immediate family of the person or persons establishing the trust, provided that the member of the immediate family on whose behalf the trust is established permanently occupies the unit; and (3) a dwelling unit which is permanently occupied by a member of the immediate family of the owner of that unit, provided, however, that exception (2) or (3) shall apply only in cases in which the member of the immediate family has a developmental disability, except upon establishment of one of the following grounds as good cause:
a.The person fails to pay rent due and owing under the lease whether the same be oral or written; provided that, for the purposes of this section, any portion of rent unpaid by a tenant to a landlord but utilized by the tenant to continue utility service to the rental premises after receiving notice from an electric, gas, water or sewer public utility that such service was in danger of discontinuance based on nonpayment by the landlord, shall not be deemed to be unpaid rent.
b.The person has continued to be, after written notice to cease, so disorderly as to destroy the peace and quiet of the occupants or other tenants living in said house or neighborhood.
c.The person has willfully or by reason of gross negligence caused or allowed destruction, damage or injury to the premises.
d.The person has continued, after written notice to cease, to substantially violate or breach any of the landlord's rules and regulations governing said premises, provided such rules and regulations are reasonable and have been accepted in writing by the tenant or made a part of the lease at the beginning of the lease term.
e. (1) The person has continued, after written notice to cease, to substantially violate or breach any of the covenants or agreements contained in the lease for the premises where a right of reentry is reserved to the landlord in the lease for a violation of such covenant or agreement, provided that such covenant or agreement is reasonable and was contained in the lease at the beginning of the lease term.
(2)In public housing under the control of a public housing authority or redevelopment agency, the person has substantially violated or breached any of the covenants or agreements contained in the lease for the premises pertaining to illegal uses of controlled dangerous substances, or other illegal activities, whether or not a right of reentry is reserved to the landlord in the lease for a violation of such covenant or agreement, provided that such covenant or agreement conforms to federal guidelines regarding such lease provisions and was contained in the lease at the beginning of the lease term.
f.The person has failed to pay rent after a valid notice to quit and notice of increase of said rent, provided the increase in rent is not unconscionable and complies with any and all other laws or municipal ordinances governing rent increases.
g.The landlord or owner (1) seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises because he has been cited by local or State housing inspectors for substantial violations affecting the health and safety of tenants and it is economically unfeasible for the owner to eliminate the violations; (2) seeks to comply with local or State housing inspectors who have cited him for substantial violations affecting the health and safety of tenants and it is unfeasible to so comply without removing the tenant; simultaneously with service of notice of eviction pursuant to this clause, the landlord shall notify the Department of Community Affairs of the intention to institute proceedings and shall provide the department with such other information as it may require pursuant to rules and regulations.  The department shall inform all parties and the court of its view with respect to the feasibility of compliance without removal of the tenant and may in its discretion appear and present evidence; (3) seeks to correct an illegal occupancy because he has been cited by local or State housing inspectors or zoning officers
and it is unfeasible to correct such illegal occupancy without removing the tenant; or (4) is a governmental agency which seeks to permanently retire the premises from the rental market pursuant to a redevelopment or land clearance plan in a blighted area. In those cases where the tenant is being removed for any reason specified in this subsection, no warrant for possession shall be issued until P.L.1967, c.79 (C.52:31B-1 et seq.) and P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.) have been complied with.
h.The owner seeks to retire permanently the residential building or the mobile home park from residential use or use as a mobile home park, provided this subsection shall not apply to circumstances covered under subsection g. of this section.
i.The landlord or owner proposes, at the termination of a lease, reasonable changes of substance in the terms and conditions of the lease, including specifically any change in the term thereof, which the tenant, after written notice, refuses to accept; provided that in cases where a tenant has received a notice of termination pursuant to subsection g. of section 3 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.2), or has a protected tenancy status pursuant to section 9 of the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.30), or pursuant to the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), the landlord or owner shall have the burden of proving that any change in the terms and conditions of the lease, rental or regulations both is reasonable and does not substantially reduce the rights and privileges to which the tenant was entitled prior to the conversion.
j.The person, after written notice to cease, has habitually and without legal justification failed to pay rent which is due and owing.
k.The landlord or owner of the building or mobile home park is converting from the rental market to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership of two or more dwelling units or park sites, except as hereinafter provided in subsection l. of this section. Where the tenant is being removed pursuant to this subsection, no warrant for possession shall be issued until this act has been complied with.  No action for possession shall be brought pursuant to this subsection against a senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant with protected tenancy status pursuant to the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.), or against a qualified tenant under the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), as long as the agency has not terminated the protected tenancy status or the protected tenancy period has not expired.
l. (1) The owner of a building or mobile home park, which is constructed as or being converted to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership, seeks to evict a tenant or sublessee whose initial tenancy began after the master deed, agreement establishing the cooperative or subdivision plat was recorded, because the owner has contracted to sell the unit to a buyer who seeks to personally occupy it and the contract for sale calls for the unit to be vacant at the time of closing.  However, no action shall be brought against a tenant under paragraph (1) of this subsection unless the tenant was given a statement in accordance with section 6 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.9);(2)The owner of three or less condominium or cooperative units seeks to evict a tenant whose initial tenancy began by rental from an owner of three or less units after the master deed or agreement establishing the cooperative was recorded, because the owner seeks to personally occupy the unit, or has contracted to sell the unit to a buyer who seeks to personally occupy it and the contract for sale calls for the unit to be vacant at the time of closing; (3)The owner of a building of three residential units or less seeks to personally occupy a unit, or has contracted to sell the residential unit to a buyer who wishes to personally occupy it and the contract for sale calls for the unit to be vacant at the time of closing.
m.The landlord or owner conditioned the tenancy upon and in consideration for the tenant's employment by the landlord or owner as superintendent, janitor or in some other capacity and such employment is being terminated.
n.The person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to, or if a juvenile, has been adjudicated  delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute an offense under the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987," N.J.S.2C:35-1 et al. involving the use, possession, manufacture, dispensing or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance analog or drug paraphernalia within the meaning of that act within or upon the leased premises or the building or complex of buildings and land appurtenant thereto, or the mobile home park, in which those premises are located, and has not in connection with his sentence for that offense either (1) successfully completed or (2) been admitted to and continued upon probation while completing, a drug rehabilitation program pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-14; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors or harbored therein a person who has been so convicted or has so pleaded, or otherwise permits or permitted such a person to occupy those premises for residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently, except that this subsection shall not apply to a person harboring or permitting a juvenile to occupy the premises if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent upon the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute the offense of use or possession under the said act. No action for removal may be brought pursuant to this subsection more than two years after the date of the adjudication or conviction or more than two years after the person's release from incarceration whichever is the later.
o.The person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to, or if a juvenile, has been adjudicated delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute an offense under N.J.S.2C:12-1 or N.J.S.2C:12-3 involving assault, or terroristic threats against the landlord, a member of the landlord's family or an employee of the landlord; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors or harbored therein a person who has been so convicted or has so pleaded, or otherwise permits or permitted such a person to occupy those premises for residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently. No action for removal may be brought pursuant to this subsection more than two years after the adjudication or conviction or more than two years after the person's release from incarceration whichever is the later.
p.The person has been found, by a preponderance of the evidence, liable in a civil action for removal commenced under this act for an offense under N.J.S.2C:20-1 et al. involving theft of property located on the leased premises from the landlord, the leased premises or other tenants residing in the leased premises, or N.J.S.2C:12-1 or N.J.S.2C:12-3 involving assault or terroristic threats against the landlord, a member of the landlord's family or an employee of the landlord, or under the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987," N.J.S.2C:35-1 et al., involving the use, possession, manufacture, dispensing or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance analog or drug paraphernalia within the meaning of that act within or upon the leased premises or the building or complex of buildings and land appurtenant thereto, or the mobile home park, in which those premises are located, and has not in connection with his sentence for that offense either (1) successfully completed or (2) been admitted to and continued upon probation while completing a drug rehabilitation program pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-14; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors or harbored therein a person who committed such an offense, or otherwise permits or permitted such a person to occupy those premises for  residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently, except that this subsection shall not apply to a person who harbors or permits a juvenile to occupy the premises if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent upon the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute the offense of use or possession under the said "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987."
q.The person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to, or if a juvenile, has been adjudicated delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute an offense under N.J.S.2C:20-1 et al. involving theft of property from the landlord, the leased premises or other tenants residing in the same building or complex; or, being the tenant or lessee of such leased premises, knowingly harbors therein a person who has been so convicted or has so pleaded, or otherwise permits such a person to occupy those premises for residential purposes, whether continuously or intermittently.

For purposes of this section, (1) "developmental disability" means any disability which is defined as such pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1977, c.82 (C.30:6D-3); (2) "member of the immediate family" means a person's spouse, parent, child or sibling, or a spouse, parent, child or sibling of any of them; and (3) "permanently" occupies or occupied means that the occupant maintains no other domicile at which the occupant votes, pays rent or property taxes or at which rent or property taxes are paid on the occupant's behalf.  2A:18-61.1

Findings The Legislature finds that:
a.   Acute State and local shortages of supply and high levels of demand for residential dwellings have motivated removal of blameless tenants in order to directly or indirectly profit from conversion to higher income rental or ownership interest residential use.
b.   This has resulted in unfortunate attempts to displace tenants employing pretexts, stratagems or means other than those provided pursuant to the intent of State eviction laws designated to fairly balance and protect rights of tenants and landlords.
c.   These devices have circumvented the intent of current State eviction laws by failing to utilize available means to avoid displacement, such as: protected tenancies; rights to purchase;
rent affordability protection;  full disclosures relevant to eviction challenges; and stays of eviction where relocation is lacking.
d.   It is in the public interest of the State to maintain for citizens the broadest protections available under State eviction laws to avoid such displacement and resultant loss of affordable housing, which, due to housing's uniqueness as the most costly and difficult to change necessity of life, causes overcrowding, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, blight, burdens on community services, wasted resources, homelessness, emigration from the State and personal hardship, which is particularly severe for vulnerable seniors, the disabled, the frail, minorities, large families and single parents.
e.   Such personal hardship includes, but is not limited to:  economic loss, time loss, physical and emotional stress, and in some cases severe emotional trauma, illness, homelessness or other irreparable harm resulting from strain of eviction controversy; relocation search and moving difficulties; anxiety caused by lack of information, uncertainty, and resultant planning difficulty;  employment, education, family and social disruption; relocation and empty unit security hazards; relocation to premises of less affordability, capacity, accessibility and physical or environmental quality; and relocation adjustment problems, particularly of the blind or other disabled citizens.
f.   It is appropriate to take legislative notice of relevant legislative findings adopted pursuant to section 2 of the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L. 1981, c. 226 (C. 2A:18-61.23) and section 2 of the "Prevention of Homelessness Act (1984)," P.L. 1984, c. 180 (C. 52:27D-281), which, with the findings of this section, have relevance to this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act and P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.).
g.   This 1986 amendatory and supplementary act is adopted in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of New Jersey.  2A:18-61.1a.

Permanent retirement from residential use:
If an owner seeks an eviction alleging permanent retirement of the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and if, pursuant to land use law, nonresidential use of the premises is not permitted as a principal permitted use or is limited to accessory, conditional or public use, a rebuttable presumption is created that the premises are not and will not be permanently retired from residential use. Residential premises that are unoccupied, boarded up or otherwise out of service shall not be deemed retired from residential use unless they are converted to a principal permitted nonresidential use.  No tenant shall be evicted pursuant to subsection h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) if any State or local permit or approval required by law for the nonresidential use is not obtained.  Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to require obtaining a certificate of occupancy for the proposed use prior to an eviction.  The detail specified in notice given pursuant to subsection d. of section 3 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2) shall disclose the proposed nonresidential use to which the premises are to be permanently retired.  2A:18-61.1b.

5-year restriction:
The Department of Community Affairs shall not approve an application for registration of conversion pursuant to "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L. 1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21 et seq.) for any premises for a period of five years following the date on which any dwelling unit in the premises becomes vacant after notice has been given that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or seeks to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1).  Within five days of the date on which any owner provides notice of termination to a tenant pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1), the owner shall provide a copy of the notice to the Department of Community Affairs.  2A:18-61.1c.

Maximum authorized rent:
In a municipality which has an ordinance regulating rents in effect, if a dwelling unit in the premises becomes vacated after notice has been given that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or seeks to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and if any time thereafter an owner permits the personal occupancy of the premises, the maximum rent authorized for a unit in the premises shall not exceed the rent that would have been authorized for that unit if there had been no vacancy or change of tenancy for the unit. Increased costs which occur during the period of vacancy, which are solely the result of the premises being vacated, closed and reoccupied and which do not add services or amenities not previously provided, or which add new services or amenities whose costs significantly reduce the affordability of the premises, shall not be used as a basis for any rent increase pursuant to any municipal rent regulation provision, fair return or hardship hearing before a municipal rent board or any appeal from such determination.  Increased costs of new services and amenities create a rebuttable presumption that they significantly reduce the affordability of the premises, if they result in a doubling of the rent increases otherwise permitted by law during the period of vacancy.  Within five days of the date on which any owner provides notice of termination to a tenant pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C.2A:18-61.1), the owner shall provide a copy of the notice to the municipal agency responsible for administering the regulation of rents in the municipality.  The owner's notice to the municipal agency shall also include a listing of the current tenants and rents for each dwelling unit in the premises, unless the owner has previously submitted to the municipal agency a listing which is still current.  2A:18-61.1d.

Rights of former tenants:
If a dwelling unit becomes vacated after notice has been given that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or seeks to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection g. or subsection h. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1) and if at any time thereafter an owner instead seeks to return the premises to residential use, the owner shall provide the former tenant:
a.     Written notice 90 days in advance of any return to residential use or any agreement for possession of the unit by any other party, which notice discloses the owner's intention to return the unit to residential use and all appropriate specifics;
b.     The right to return to possession of the vacated unit or, if return is not available, the right to possession of affordable housing relocation in accord with the standards and criteria set forth for comparable housing as defined by section 4 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.7); and
c.     In the case of a conversion, the right to a protected tenancy pursuant to the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et seq.), or pursuant to the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), if the former tenant would have at the time of the conversion been eligible for a protected tenancy under either of those acts, had the former tenant not vacated the premises.

The 90-day notice shall disclose the tenant's rights pursuant to this section and the method for the tenant's response to exercise these rights. A duplicate of the notice shall be transmitted within the first five days of the 90-day period to the rent board in the municipality or the municipal clerk, if there is no board. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.1975, c.311  C.2A:18-61.6), damages awarded shall not be trebled where possession has been returned in accord with this section; nor shall any damages be awarded as provided for in subsection e. of section 3 of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.6).  An owner who fails to provide a former tenant a notice of intention to return to residential use pursuant to this section is liable to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500.00 or more than $10,000.00 for each offense, and shall also be liable in treble damages, plus attorney fees and costs of suit, for any loss or expenses incurred by a former tenant as a result of that failure.  The penalty prescribed in this section shall be collected and enforced by summary proceedings pursuant to  "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.).  The Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part, in the county in which the rental premises are located shall have jurisdiction over such proceedings.  Process shall be in the nature of a summons or warrant, shall issue upon the complaint of the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, the Attorney General, or any other person.  No owner shall be liable for a penalty pursuant to this section if the unit is returned to residential use more than five years after the date the premises are vacated or if the owner made every reasonable effort to locate the former tenant and provide the notice, including, but not limited to, the employment of a qualified professional locator service, where no return receipt is obtained from the former tenant.

In any action under this section the court shall, in addition to damages, award any other appropriate legal or equitable relief.  2A:18-61.1e.

Local ordinances permitted:
a.    Nothing contained in this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act shall authorize any civil action to require that dwelling units remain vacant, shall limit any defense or challenge to evictions that is otherwise provided by law or shall prohibit any provision of a local ordinance which is not less restrictive, except as prohibited pursuant to subsection e. of section 3 of P.L.1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.6).  Except as provided in subsection e. of section 3 of P.L. 1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.6), local ordinances may facilitate the objectives of this 1986
amendatory and supplementary act pertaining to premises where tenants have received notice pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1), including, but not limited to, any ordinance intended to: a.  Require owners to obtain and register tenants'current and forwarding addresses;
b.   Provide to tenants and former tenants who have received notice of termination pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) basic information on their relevant rights;
c.   Provide a municipal registry for former tenants to file current addresses for receiving notice; and
d.   Assist in locating former tenants who become entitled to receive notice pursuant to section 6 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act.  2A:18-61.1f.

Relocation of displaced tenant; violations, penalty:
a. A municipality may enact an ordinance providing that any tenant who receives a notice of eviction pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.2) that results from zoning or code enforcement activity for an illegal occupancy, as set forth in paragraph (3) of subsection g. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1), shall be considered a displaced person and shall be entitled to relocation assistance in an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person.  The owner-landlord of the structure shall be liable for the payment of relocation assistance pursuant to this section.
b.A municipality that has enacted an ordinance pursuant to subsection a. of this section may pay relocation assistance to any displaced person who has not received the required payment from the owner-landlord of the structure at the time of eviction pursuant to subsection a. of this section from a revolving relocation assistance fund established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1987, c.98 (C.20:4-4.1a). All relocation assistance costs incurred by a municipality pursuant to this subsection shall be repaid by the owner-landlord of the structure to the municipality in the same manner as relocation costs are billed and collected under section 1 of P.L.1983, c.536 (C.20:4-4.1) and section 1 of P.L.1984, c.30 (C.20:4-4.2). These repayments shall be deposited into the municipality's revolving relocation assistance fund.

c.A municipality that has enacted an ordinance pursuant to subsection a. of this section, in addition to requiring reimbursement from the owner-landlord of the structure for relocation assistance paid to a displaced tenant, may require that an additional fine for zoning or housing code violation for an illegal occupancy, up to an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person, be paid to the municipality by the owner-landlord of the structure.

In addition to this penalty, a municipality, after affording the owner-landlord an opportunity for a hearing on the matter, may impose upon the owner-landlord, for a second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy, a fine equal to the annual tuition cost of any resident of the illegally occupied unit attending a public school, which fine shall be recovered in a civil action by a summary proceeding in the name of the municipality pursuant to "The Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  The municipal court and the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this section.  The tuition cost shall be determined in the manner prescribed for nonresident pupils pursuant to N.J.S.18A:38-19 and the payment of the fine shall be remitted to the appropriate school district.
d.For the purposes of this section, the owner-landlord of a structure shall exclude mortgagees in possession of a structure through foreclosure.

For the purposes of this section, a "second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy" shall be limited to those violations that are new and are a result of distinct and separate zoning or code enforcement activities, and shall not include any continuing violations for which citations are issued by a zoning or code enforcement agent during the time period required for summary dispossession proceedings to conclude if the owner has initiated eviction proceedings in a court of proper jurisdiction.  2A:18-61.1g

Reimbursement to displaced tenant:
a.  If a residential tenant is displaced because of an illegal occupancy in a residential rental premises pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection g. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1) and the municipality in which the rental premises is located has not enacted an ordinance pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1993, c.342 (C.2A:18-61.1g), the displaced residential tenant shall be entitled to reimbursement for relocation expenses from the owner in an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person.
b.   Payment by the owner shall be due five days prior to the removal of the displaced tenant.  If payment is not made within this time, interest shall accrue and be due to the displaced residential tenant on the unpaid balance at the rate of 18% per annum until the amount due and all interest accumulated thereon shall be paid in full.
c.   If reimbursement for which an owner is liable is not paid in full within 30 days of removal of the tenant, the unpaid balance thereof and all interest accruing thereon and, in addition thereto, an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced tenant shall be a lien upon the parcel of property on which the dwelling of the displaced residential tenant was located, for the benefit of that tenant.  To perfect the lien, a statement showing the amount and due date of the unpaid balance and identifying the parcel shall be recorded with the county clerk or registrar of deeds and mortgages of the county in which the affected property is located, and upon recording, the lien shall have the priority of a mortgage lien. Identification of the parcel by reference to its designation on the tax map of the municipality shall be sufficient for purposes of recording.  Whenever the unpaid balance and all interest accrued thereon has been fully paid, the displaced residential tenant shall promptly withdraw or cancel the statement, in writing, at the place of recording.
d.   This section shall not authorize the enforcement of a lien for actual reasonable moving expenses with respect to any real property the title to which has been acquired by a municipality and which has been transferred pursuant to a rehabilitation agreement.
e.   For the purposes of this section, the owner of a structure shall exclude mortgagees in possession of a structure through foreclosure.  2A:18-61.1h.

Removal of residential tenants; required notice; contents; service:
No judgment of possession shall be entered for any premises covered by section 2 of this act, except in the nonpayment of rent under subsection a. or f. of section 2, unless the landlord has made written demand and given written notice for delivery of possession of the premises.  The following notice shall be required:
a.  For an action alleging disorderly conduct under subsection b. of section 2, or injury to the premises under subsection c. of section 2, or any grounds under subsection m., n., o. or p. of section 2, three days' notice prior to the institution of the action for possession;
b.  For an action alleging continued violation of rules and regulations under subsection d. of section 2, or substantial breach of covenant under subsection e. of section 2, or habitual failure to pay rent, one month's notice prior to the institution of the action for possession;
c.  For an action alleging any grounds under subsection g. of section 2, three months' notice prior to the institution of the action;
d.  For an action alleging permanent retirement under subsection h. of section 2, 18 months' notice prior to the institution of the action and, provided that, where there is a lease in effect, no action may be instituted until the lease expires;
e.  For an action alleging refusal of acceptance of reasonable lease changes under subsection i. of section 2, one month's notice prior to institution of action;
f.  For an action alleging any grounds under subsection l. of section 2, two months' notice prior to the institution of the action and, provided that where there is a written lease in effect no action shall be instituted until the lease expires;
g.  For an action alleging any grounds under subsection k. of section 2, three years' notice prior to the institution of action, and provided that where there is a written lease in effect, no action shall be instituted until the lease expires;
h.  In public housing under the control of a public housing authority or redevelopment agency, for an action alleging substantial breach of contract under paragraph (2) of subsection e. of section 2, the period of notice required prior to the institution of an action for possession shall be in accordance with federal regulations pertaining to public housing leases.

The notice in each of the foregoing instances shall specify in detail the cause of the termination of the tenancy and shall be served either personally upon the tenant or lessee or such person in possession by giving him a copy thereof, or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual place of abode with some member of his family above the age of 14 years, or by certified mail; if the certified letter is not claimed, notice shall be sent by regular mail.  2A:18-61.2

Causes for eviction or nonrenewal of lease:
a. No landlord may evict or fail to renew any lease of any premises covered by section 2 of this act except for good cause as defined in section 2.
b.   A person who was a tenant of a landlord in premises covered by section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1) may not be removed by any order or judgment for possession from the premises by the owner's or landlord's successor in ownership or possession except:
(1)  For good cause in accordance with the requirements which apply to premises covered pursuant to P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1 et al.); or
(2)  For proceedings in premises where federal law supersedes applicable State law governing removal of occupants; or
(3)  For proceedings where removal of occupants is sought by an authorized State or local agency pursuant to eminent domain or code or zoning enforcement laws and which comply with applicable relocation laws pursuant to the "Relocation Assistance Law of 1967,"P.L.1967, c.79 (C.52:31B-1 et seq.), the "Relocation Assistance Act," P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.) or section 3 of P.L.1993, c.342 (C.2A:18-61.1g).
Where the owner's or landlord's successor in ownership or possession is not bound by the lease entered into with the former tenant and may offer a different lease to the former tenant, nothing in P.L.1986, c.138 shall limit that right.  2A:18-61.3.

Mobile home parks;  restrictions on  "for sale"  signs; prohibition:
No mobile home park owner or operator may evict a mobile home resident for posting in or on his mobile home a  "for sale"  sign or similar notice of the private sale of the mobile home. Nor may a mobile home park owner or operator prohibit or unreasonably restrict such posting by any means, including but not limited to, rules and regulations of the mobile home park or written leases or rental agreements between the park owner or operator and mobile home residents.  2A:18-61.3a.

Waiver of rights by provision in lease;  unenforceability:
Any provision in a lease whereby any tenant covered by section 2 of this act  agrees that his tenancy may be terminated or not renewed for other than good  cause as defined in section 2, or whereby the tenant waives any other rights  under this act shall be deemed against public policy and unenforceable.  2A:18-61.4.

Severability:
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act is  adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or  invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its effect to  the section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act directly  involved in the controversy in which said judgment shall have been rendered.  2A:18-61.5.

Owner liability for wrongful evictions:
a.   Where a tenant vacates the premises after being given a notice alleging the owner seeks to personally occupy the premises under subsection L. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and the owner thereafter arbitrarily fails to personally occupy the premises for a total of at least six months, or arbitrarily fails to execute the contract for sale, but instead permits personal occupancy of the premises by another tenant or instead permits registration of conversion of the premises by the Department of Community Affairs pursuant to "The
Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L. 1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21 et seq.), such owner shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs.
b.   If an owner purchases the premises pursuant to a contract requiring the tenant to vacate in accordance with subsection l. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and thereafter arbitrarily fails to personally occupy the premises for a total of at least six months, but instead permits personal occupancy of the premises by another tenant or instead permits registration of conversion of the premises by the Department of Community Affairs pursuant to P.L. 1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21 et seq.), such owner-purchaser shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs.
c.   If a tenant vacates a dwelling unit after notice has been given alleging that the owner seeks to permanently board up or demolish the premises or to retire permanently the premises from residential use pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) and instead, within five years following the date on which the dwelling unit or the premises become vacant, an owner permits residential use of the vacated premises, the owner shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs of suit.

An owner of any premises where notice has been given pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1), who subsequently seeks to sell, lease or convey the property to another, shall, before executing any lease, deed or contract for such conveyance, advise in writing the prospective owner that such notice was given and that the owners of the property are subject to the liabilities provided in this subsection and sections 3 and 4 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act.  Whoever fails to so advise a prospective owner prior to the execution of the contract of sale, lease or conveyance is liable to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500.00 or more than $10,000.00 for each offense, and shall also be liable in treble damages, plus attorney fees and costs of suit, for any loss or expenses incurred by a new owner of the property as a result of that failure. The civil penalty prescribed in this subsection shall be collected and enforced by summary proceedings pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S. 2A:58-1 et seq.).  The Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part, in the county in which the rental premises are located shall have jurisdiction over such proceedings.  Process shall be in the nature of a summons or warrant, and shall issue upon the complaint of the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, the Attorney General, or any other person.

d.   If a tenant vacates a dwelling unit after receiving from an owner an eviction notice (1) purporting to compel by law the tenant to vacate the premises for cause or purporting that if the tenant does not vacate the premises, the tenant shall be compelled by law to vacate the premises for cause; and (2) using a cause that is clearly not provided by law or using a cause that is based upon a lease clause which is contrary to law pursuant to section 6 of P.L. 1975, c. 310 (C. 46:8-48); and (3) misrepresenting that, under the facts alleged, the tenant would be subject to eviction, the owner shall be liable to the former tenant in a civil action for three times the damages plus the tenant's attorney fees and costs.  An owner shall not be liable under this subsection for alleging any cause for eviction which, if proven, would subject the tenant to eviction pursuant to N.J.S. 2A:18-53 et seq. or P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.).

In any action under this section the court shall, in addition to damages, award any other appropriate legal or equitable relief.  For the purposes of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.), the term "owner" includes, but is not limited to, lessee, successor owner and lessee, and other successors in interest.

e.   An owner shall not be liable for damages pursuant to this section or section 6 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act or subject to a more restrictive local ordinance adopted pursuant to section 8 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act if:
(1)  Title to the premises was transferred to that owner by means of a foreclosure sale, execution sale or bankruptcy sale; and
(2)   Prior to the foreclosure sale, execution sale or bankruptcy sale, the former tenant vacated the premises after receiving eviction notice from the former owner pursuant to subsection g.(1) or h. of section 2 of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1); and
(3)  The former owner retains no financial interest, direct or indirect, in the premises.  The term "former owner" shall include, but not be limited to, any officer or board member of a corporation which was the former owner and any holder of more than 5% equity interest in any incorporated or unincorporated business entity that was the former owner; and
(4)  The former tenant is provided notice and rights in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of this 1986 amendatory and supplementary act.  2A:18-61.6.

Definitions:
As used in this act:
a.   "Comparable housing or park site"  means housing that is (1) decent, safe, sanitary, and in compliance with all local and State housing codes;  (2) open to all persons regardless of race, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status or sex;  and (3) provided with facilities equivalent to that provided by the landlord in the dwelling unit or park site in which the tenant then resides in regard to each of the following: (a) apartment size including number of rooms or park site size, (b) rent range, (c) apartment's major kitchen and bathroom facilities, and (d)special facilities necessary for the handicapped or infirmed;  (4) located in an area not less desirable than the area in which the tenant then resides in regard to each of the following:  (a) accessibility to the tenant's place of employment, (b) accessibility of community and commercial facilities, and (c) environmental quality and conditions;  and (5) in accordance with
additional reasonable criteria which the tenant has requested in writing at the time of making any request under this act.
b.   "Condominium"  means a condominium as defined in the  "Condominium Act,"P.L.1969, c. 257 (C. 46:8B-1 et seq.).
c.   "Cooperative"  means a housing corporation or association which entitles the holder of a share or membership interest thereof to possess and occupy for dwelling purposes a house, apartment or other structure owned or leased by said corporation or association, or to lease or purchase a dwelling constructed or to be constructed by said corporation or association.
d.   "Mobile home park"  means any park, including a trailer park or camp, equipped to handle mobile homes sited on a year-round basis. 2A:18-61.7.

Conversion of multiple dwelling into condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership;  notice to and rights to tenants:
Any owner who intends to convert a multiple dwelling as defined in P.L.1967,  c. 76 (C. 55:13A-1 et seq.), other than a hotel or motel, or a mobile home park  into a condominium or cooperative, or to fee simple ownership of the several  dwelling units or park sites shall give the tenants 60 days' notice of his  intention to convert and the full plan of the conversion prior to serving  notice, provided for in section 3 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2).  A  duplicate of the first such 60-day notice and full plan shall be transmitted to  the clerk of the municipality at the same time. In the notice of intention to  convert tenants shall be notified of their right to purchase ownership in the  premises at a specified price in accordance with this section, and their other  rights as tenants under this act in relation to the conversion of a building or  park to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership.  A tenant in occupancy at the time of the notice of intention to convert shall have the exclusive right to purchase his unit, the shares of stock allocated thereto or  the park site, as the  case may be, for the first 90 days after such notice that  such purchase could be made during which time the unit or site shall not be  shown to a third party unless the tenant has in writing waived the right to  purchase.  2A:18-61.8.

Notice to tenant after master deed or agreement to establish cooperative:
Any owner who establishes with a person an initial tenancy after the master  deed or agreement establishing the cooperative was recorded shall provide to  such person at the time of applying for tenancy and at the time of establishing  any rental agreement a separate written statement as follows:
      "STATEMENT

THIS BUILDING (PARK) IS BEING CONVERTED TO OR IS A CONDOMINIUM OR COOPERATIVE (OR FEE SIMPLE OWNERSHIP OF THE SEVERAL DWELLING UNITS OR PARK SITES).  YOUR TENANCY CAN BE TERMINATED UPON 60 DAYS' NOTICE IF YOUR APARTMENT (PARK SITE) IS SOLD TO A BUYER WHO SEEKS TO PERSONALLY OCCUPY IT. IF YOU MOVE OUT AS A RESULT OF RECEIVING SUCH A NOTICE, AND THE LANDLORD ARBITRARILY FAILS TO COMPLETE THE SALE, THE LANDLORD SHALL BE LIABLE FOR TREBLE DAMAGES AND COURT COSTS."

The parenthesized words shall be omitted or substituted for preceding words where appropriate.  Such statement shall also be reproduced as the first clause  in any written lease provided to such person.  2A:18-61.9.

Removal of tenant to allow conversion to cooperative or condominium; moving expense compensation:
Any tenant receiving notice under section 3 g. of P.L.1974, c. 49 who is not evicted for any cause under this act other than under section 3 g. shall receive from the owner moving expense compensation of waiver of payment of 1 month's rent.  2A:18-61.10.

Comparable housing;  offer of rental;  stay of eviction; alternative compensation;  senior citizens and disabled protected tenancy period:
a.  Tenants receiving notice under section 3 g. of P.L.1974, c. 49 may request of the landlord within 18 full months after receipt of such notice, and the landlord shall offer to the tenant, personally or through an agent, the  rental of comparable housing or park site and a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent such comparable housing or park site.  In any proceeding under subsection 2 k. of P.L.1974, c. 49 instituted following the expiration of notice required under section 3 g. of P.L.1974, c. 49, the owner shall prove  that a tenant was offered such comparable housing or park site and provided  such reasonable opportunity to examine and rent such housing or park site as requested pursuant to this section.  The court shall authorize 1-year stays of  eviction with reasonable rent increases until such time as the court is satisfied that the tenant has been offered comparable housing or park site and provided a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent such housing or park site  as requested pursuant to this section.  However, in no case shall more than  five such stays be granted.
b.  The court shall automatically renew any 1-year stay of eviction in any case where the landlord failed to allege to the court within 1 year of a prior stay that the tenant was offered a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent comparable housing or park site within such prior year.
c.  However the court shall not authorize any further stays at any time after one such stay has been authorized when the owner has also provided a tenant with hardship relocation compensation of waiver of payment of 5 months' rent.
d.  On or after the effective date of the  "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act,"  P.L. [1981], c. [226] (C. [2A:18-61.22 et seq.]), notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, where the court has jurisdiction pursuant to that subsection, whether by virtue of the authorization by the court of a stay of eviction or by virtue of any other proceedings required or instituted pursuant to P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.) or P.L.1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.6 et seq.), or in any action for declaratory judgment, the court may invoke some or all of the provisions of the   "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act" and grant to a tenant,  pursuant to that amendatory and supplementary act, a protected tenancy period  upon the court's determination that:
(1) The tenant would otherwise qualify as a senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant pursuant to that amendatory and supplementary act, except that the building or structure in which the dwelling unit is located was converted prior to the effective date of that amendatory and supplementary act;  and
(2) The granting of the protected tenancy period as applied to the tenant, giving particular consideration to whether a unit was sold on or before the date that the amendatory and supplementary act takes effect to a bona fide individual purchaser who intended personally to occupy the unit, would not be violative of concepts of fundamental fairness or due process.
Where a court declines to grant a protected tenancy status, it shall nevertheless order such hardships stays as authorized by subsections a. and b. of this section until comparable relocation housing is provided.  The hardship relocation compensation alternative of subsection c. of this section shall not be applicable in this situation.  2A:18-61.11.

Rules and regulations:
In accordance with the  "Administrative Procedure Act"  (P.L.1968, c. 410, C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), the Department of Community Affairs shall adopt rules and  regulations setting forth procedures required to be followed by landlords in  providing tenants a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent comparable housing and setting forth procedures and content for information required to be  disclosed to tenants regarding such procedures, the rights and responsibilities of tenants under this act, and the plans and proposals of landlords which may affect any tenant in order to maximize tenants' ability to exercise rights  provided under this act.  Any rules and regulations adopted under this section shall only be applicable to tenants and owners of a building or mobile home park which is being, or is about to be converted from the rental market to a condominium, cooperative or to fee simple ownership of the several dwelling units or park sites, or to any mobile home park being permanently retired from the rental market.  2A:18-61.12.

Legislative findings:
The Legislature finds, as a result of the  "Casino Control Act" (P.L.1977, c. 110, C. 5:12-1 et seq.) and the introduction of legalized casino gaming in Atlantic City, that:
a.  Additional investment capital has been attracted to Atlantic City and hotels, tourist and entertainment facilities and other properties are being refurbished and expanded;
b.  There has been a substantial increase in the value of land and buildings  in Atlantic City;
c.  Many landlords in Atlantic City are converting or demolishing residential apartments so that they can make more profitable use of their property as a hotel, motel, vacation licensing facility, guest house or other use directly or indirectly related to casino gaming and tourism;
d.  Such conversion is forcing the displacement of a large number of residential tenants, many of whom are either senior citizens or persons of low and moderate income;
e.  There is an acute housing shortage in Atlantic City and in nearby municipalities, and the massive displacement of tenants through conversions or demolitions will make it impossible for displaced tenants to find decent housing at a price they can afford;
f.  Although new housing in Atlantic City is being planned to relieve the housing crisis, it will be at least several years before this housing can be produced;
g.  The displacement of such tenants without any relocation assistance will  force many of them into substandard housing, which does not meet the minimum  standards of safety and sanitation, will encourage overcrowding and the  blighting of residential neighborhoods in Atlantic City and constitutes a serious threat to the public health, welfare and safety;
h.  Landlords seeking to take advantage of the windfall increase in the value of their property caused by the enactment of the  "Casino Control Act," and to convert their property to a more profitable use than rental housing have  a duty to provide relocation assistance or compensation to the tenants they are  displacing;
i.  In order to protect the public health, safety and welfare, no such tenant after the date this act takes effect shall be evicted unless he has been  provided adequate relocation assistance and compensation or either thereof. 2A:18-61.13.

Atlantic City;  removal of residential tenants;  time of required notice; second notice for relocation alternatives:
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2) to the contrary, in any municipality in which casino gaming is authorized, 1 year's notice shall be required prior to the institution of an action alleging permanent retirement under subsection h. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) with respect to a tenant who is a permanent domiciliary in such municipality;  provided, that where there is a written lease in effect no action shall be instituted until the lease expires.  The notice shall provide the tenant with the information required by section 6 of this act.  In the event that a landlord chooses one of the relocation alternatives authorized by section 4 of this act, he shall send a second notice  in accordance with the requirements of section 4 of this act at least 6 months  prior to the
institution of an action for possession.  2A:18-61.14.

Offer to tenant of rental of comparable housing:
A landlord seeking to remove a tenant who is a permanent domiciliary under subsection h. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) in such municipality shall offer to the tenant, personally or through an agent, the rental of comparable housing as defined in section 4 of P.L.1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.7) in such municipality or within 10 miles thereof and a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent such comparable housing.

In order to satisfy his obligation under this section, the landlord shall document at least two separate comparable housing units which the tenant was offered a reasonable opportunity to examine and rent, and shall include in any complaint filed for possession of the demised premises the details of each such  offer or a description of any attempt to secure comparable housing units to  offer to the tenant.  A:18-61.15.

Inability to provide tenant relocation;  alternative:
If the landlord is unable to provide the tenant relocation into comparable rental housing because of the housing shortage, he may as an alternative to relocation:
a.  Pay the tenant an amount equal to 5 months' rent;  or
b.  Allow the tenant to remain in the unit for an additional 5 months beyond  the notice period during which time the payment of rent shall be waived.  The  landlord may utilize this alternative only if he maintains the premises in   substantially the same condition as they were prior to the sending of the  notice to deliver possession.

If the landlord chooses to exercise either of these alternatives to relocation, he shall notify the tenant in writing of the alternative that has been chosen at least 6 months prior to the institution of an action for possession.  In the event that the landlord chooses the alternative pursuant to  subsection a. of this section, payment to the tenant of the specified amount  shall accompany the notice.  2A:18-61.16.

Rent defined:
"Rent"  means the amount currently payable by the tenant to the landlord pursuant to lease or other agreement, without regard to any modification thereof by any authorized board or agency, or any court.  2A:18-61.16a.

Action for possession;  conditions precedent to entry of judgment:
In an action brought under subsection h. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C.  2A:18-61.1) with respect to any premises located in a municipality in which  casino gaming is authorized, no judgment for possession shall be entered unless  the owner proves that the tenant was given such notice as is required by  section 2 hereof and that:
a.  The tenant was given such second notice as is provided by section 4 hereof and was offered the opportunity to rent comparable housing;
b.  The tenant was paid an amount equal to 5 months' rent in accordance with  the provisions of subsection a. of section 4 of this act;
c.  The tenant was allowed to remain an additional 5 months beyond the notice period during which the rent was waived in accordance with the provisions of subsection b. of section 4 of this act;  or
d.  Thirty-six months have elapsed since the notice for delivery of possession of the premises was served and the landlord has been unable to offer  the tenant the opportunity to rent comparable housing.  2A:18-61.17.

Notice for delivery of possession;  contents:
Any notice for delivery of possession under subsection h. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1) issued in accordance with section 2 of this act  shall inform the tenant of the following:
a.  That the landlord has a duty to offer to the tenant the rental of comparable housing;
b.  That if the landlord is unable to provide relocation housing, he may as  an alternative to relocation:  (1) pay the tenant an amount equal to 5 months'  rent;  or (2) allow the tenant to remain in the unit for an additional 5 months  beyond the notice period during which time the payment of rent shall be waived.  If the landlord chooses either alternative, he shall additionally notify the  tenant of such choice at least 6 months prior to the institution of an action  for possession.  In the event the landlord chooses the alternative pursuant to  (1) of this subsection, payment to the tenant of the specified amount shall  accompany the notice.
c.  No tenant shall be evicted unless:  (1) the tenant was offered the opportunity to rent comparable housing;  (2) the tenant was paid an amount equal to 5 months' rent;  (3) the tenant was allowed to remain in the unit for an additional 5 months beyond the notice period during which time the payment of rental shall be waived;  or (4) 36 months have elapsed and the landlord is unable to offer the tenant the opportunity to rent comparable housing. 2A:18-61.18.

Liberal construction:
This act shall be liberally construed to effectuate the legislative purpose  of the act.  2A:18-61.19.

Application of L.1974, c. 49, and L.1975, c. 311, to this act:
Except as otherwise provided herein, the provisions of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1 et seq.) and P.L.1975, c. 311 (C. 2A:18-61.6 et seq.) shall be applicable to this act.  2A:18-61.20.

Severability:
If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held to be invalid, such holding shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this act or the application of such portion held invalid to any other person or circumstances, but shall be confined in its operation to the provision directly involved in such holding or  to the person or circumstance therein involved.  2A:18-61.21.

Short title:
This amendatory and supplementary act shall be known and may be cited as the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act."  2A:18-61.22.

Legislative findings and declarations:
The Legislature finds that research studies have demonstrated that the forced eviction and relocation of elderly persons from their established homes and communities harm the mental and physical health of these senior citizens, and that these disruptions in the lives of older persons affect adversely the social, economic and cultural characteristics of communities of the State, and increase the costs borne by all State citizens in providing for their public health, safety and welfare.  These conditions are particularly serious in light  of the rising costs of home ownership, and are of increasing concern where  rental housing is converted into condominiums or cooperatives which senior  citizens on fixed limited incomes cannot afford, an occurrence which is  becoming more and more frequent in this State under prevailing economic circumstances.  The Legislature, therefore, declares that it is in the public interest of the State to avoid the forced eviction and relocation of senior citizen tenants wherever possible, specifically in those instances where rental  housing market conditions and particular financial circumstances combine to  diminish the ability of senior citizens to obtain satisfactory comparable housing within their established communities, and where the eviction action is  the result not of any failure of the senior citizen tenant to abide by the  terms of a lease or rental agreement, but of the owner's decision  advantageously to dispose of residential property through the device of  conversion to a condominium or cooperative.

The Legislature further finds that it is in the public interest of the State  to avoid the forced eviction and the displacement of the handicapped wherever  possible because of their limited mobility and the limited number of housing  units which are suitable for their needs.

The Legislature further declares that in the service of this public interest  it is appropriate that qualified senior citizen tenants and disabled tenants be  accorded a period of protected tenancy, during which they shall be entitled to  the fair enjoyment of the dwelling unit within the converted residential  structure, to continue for such time, up to 40 years, as the conditions and  circumstances which make necessary such protected tenancy shall continue.

The Legislature further finds that the promotion of this public interest is  possible only if senior citizen tenants and disabled tenants are protected during this period from alterations in the terms of the tenancy or rent increases which are the result solely of an owner's decision to convert.  2A:18-61.23.

Definitions:
As used in this amendatory and supplementary act:
a.   "Senior citizen tenant" means a person who is at least 62 years of age on the date of the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of which he is a tenant, or the surviving spouse of such a person if the person should die after the owner files the conversion recording and the surviving spouse is at least 50 years of age at the time of the filing; provided that the building or structure has been the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or the spouse for at least one year immediately preceding the conversion recording or the death or that the building or structure is the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or the spouse under the terms of a lease for a period of more than one year, as the case may be;
b.   "Disabled tenant" means a person who is, on the date of the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of which he is a tenant, totally and permanently unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, including blindness, or a person who has been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in any branch of the United States Armed Forces and who is rated as having a 60% disability or higher as a result of that service pursuant to any federal law administered by the United States Veterans' Act; provided that the building or structure has been the principal residence of the disabled tenant for at least one year immediately preceding the conversion recording or that
the building or structure is the principal residence of the disabled tenant under the terms of a lease for a period of more than one year. For the purposes of this subsection, "blindness" means central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of correcting lens. An eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less;
c.   "Tenant's annual household income" means the total income from all sources during the last full calendar year for all members of the household who reside in the dwelling unit at the time the tenant applies for protected tenant status, whether or not such income is subject to taxation by any taxing authority;
d.   "Application for registration of conversion" means an ation for registration filed with the Department of Community Affairs in accordance with "The Planned Real Estate
Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.);
e.   "Registration of conversion" means an approval of an application for registration by the Department of Community Affairs in accordance with "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.);
f.   "Convert" means to convert one or more buildings or structures or a mobile home park containing in the aggregate not less than five dwelling units or mobile home sites or pads from residential rental use to condominium, cooperative, planned residential development or separable fee simple ownership of the dwelling units or of the mobile home sites or pads;
g.   "Conversion recording" means the recording with the appropriate county officer of a master deed for condominium or a deed to a cooperative corporation for a cooperative or the first deed of sale to a purchaser of an individual unit for a planned residential development or separable fee simple ownership of the dwelling units;
h.   "Protected tenancy period" means, except as otherwise provided in section 11 of this amendatory and supplementary act, the 40 years following the conversion recording for the building or structure in which is located the dwelling unit of the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant.  2A:18-61.24.

Protected tenancy status;  conversion of dwelling unit of eligible senior citizen or disabled tenant:
    Each eligible senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant shall be granted a protected tenancy status with respect to his dwelling unit whenever the building or structure in which that unit is located shall be converted.  The protected tenancy status shall be granted upon proper application and qualification pursuant to the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act.  2A:18-61.25.

Administrative agency:
The governing body of the municipality may authorize a municipal board, agency or officer to act as its administrative agency for the purposes of this amendatory and supplementary act or may enter into a contractual agreement with  a county office on aging or a similar agency to act as its administrative agency for purposes of this amendatory and supplementary act. In the absence  of such authorization or contractual agreement, this amendatory and  supplementary act shall be administered by a municipal board whose principal responsibility concerns the regulation of residential rents or, if no such  board exists, by the municipal clerk.  2A:18-61.26.

Notice to tenants:
The owner of any building or structure who, after the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act, seeks to convert any premises, shall, prior to his filing of the application for registration of conversion with the Department of Community Affairs, notify the administrative agency or officer responsible for administering this amendatory and supplementary act of his intention to so file.  The owner shall supply the agency or officer with a list of every tenant residing in the premises, with stamped envelopes addressed to each tenant and with sufficient copies of the notice to tenants and application form for protected tenancy status.  Within 10 days thereafter, the administrative agency or officer shall notify each residential tenant in writing of the owner's intention and of the applicability of the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act and shall provide him with a written application form.  The agency's or
officer's notice shall be substantially in the following form:

"NOTICE
THE OWNER OF YOUR APARTMENT HAS NOTIFIED
............................................ (insert name of municipality) OF HIS INTENTION TO CONVERT TO A CONDOMINIUM OR COOPERATIVE. THE LEGISLATURE HAS PROVIDED THAT, IF YOU ARE A SENIOR CITIZEN, 62 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, OR DISABLED, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A PROTECTED TENANCY PERIOD. PROTECTED TENANCY MEANS THAT YOU CANNOT BE EVICTED BECAUSE OF THE CONVERSION. YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE:
(1)  IF YOU ARE 62, OR WILL SOON BE 62, OR IF YOU ARE DISABLED; AND
2)  IF YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR APARTMENT FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR OR IF THE LEASE ON YOUR APARTMENT IS FOR A PERIOD OF MORE THAN ONE YEAR; AND
(3)  IF YOUR HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS LESS THAN ............................ (insert current income figure for county as established by Section 7c. of this amendatory and supplementary act).

IF YOU WISH THIS PROTECTION, SEND IN THE APPLICATION FORM BY .............................. (insert date 60 days after municipality's mailing) TO THE .............................. (insert name and address of administrative agency). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL ................................... (insert phone number of administrative agency) OR .................................. (insert phone number of Department of Community Affairs).

IF YOU DO NOT APPLY YOU CAN BE EVICTED BY YOUR LANDLORD UPON PROPER NOTICE."

The Department of Community Affairs shall not accept any application for registration of conversion for any building or structure unless included in the application is proof that the agency or officer notified the tenants prior to the  application for registration.  The proof shall be by affidavit or in such other form as the department shall require.  2A:18-61.27.

Eligibility for protected tenancy status:
Within 30 days after receipt of an application for protected tenancy status by a tenant, the administrative agency or officer shall make a determination of eligibility.  It shall send written notice of eligibility to each senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant who:
a.   Applied therefor on or before the date of registration of conversion by the Department of Community Affairs; and
b.   Qualifies as an eligible senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant pursuant to this amendatory and supplementary act; and
c.   Has an annual household income that does not exceed an amount equal to three times the county per capita personal income, as last reported by the Department of Labor and Industry on the basis of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis data, or $50,000.00, whichever is greater; and
d.   Has occupied the premises as his principal residence for at least one year or has a lease on the premises for a period longer than one year.

The department shall adjust the county per capita personal income to be used in subsection c. of this section if there is a difference of one or more years between (1) the year in which the last reported county per capita personal income was based and (2) the last year in which the tenant's annual household income is based.  The county per capita personal income shall be adjusted by the department by an amount equal to the number of years of the difference above times the average increase or decrease in the county per capita personal income for three years, including in the calculation the current year reported and the three immediately preceding years.

The administrative agency or officer shall likewise send a notice of denial with reasons to any tenant whom it determines to be ineligible. The owner shall be notified of those tenants who are determined to be eligible and ineligible.

The administrative agency or officer may require that the application include such documents and information as may be necessary to establish that the tenant is eligible for a protected tenancy status under the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act and shall require such application to be submitted under oath.  The Department of Community Affairs may by regulation adopt forms for application for protected tenancy status and notification of eligibility or ineligibility or adopt such other regulations for the procedure of determining eligibility as it determines are necessary.  2A:18-61.28.

Registration of conversion;  approval after proof of notice of  eligibility to tenants:
No registration of conversion shall be approved until the Department of Community Affairs receives proof that the administrative agency or officer has made determinations and notified all tenants who applied for protected tenancy status within the initial 60-day period of their eligibility or lack of eligibility.  The proof shall be by affidavit or in such other form as the department may require.

The department may grant registrations of conversion for applications pending on the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act upon the  implementation of a procedure whereby any eligible tenant may make application  for protected tenancy status in a manner comparable to that specified in  sections 6 and 7 of this amendatory and supplementary act.  2A:18-61.29.

Protected tenancy status;  applicability after notice of eligibility and filing of conversion recording:
Protected tenancy status shall not be applicable to any eligible tenant until such time as the owner has filed his conversion recording.  The protected  tenancy status shall automatically apply as soon as a tenant receives notice of  eligibility and the landlord files his conversion recording.  The conversion  recording shall not be filed until after the registration of conversion.  2A:18-61.30.

Rent increase restrictions:
In a municipality which does not have a rent control ordinance in effect, no evidence of increased costs which are solely the result of the conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and which do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall be used as a basis to establish the reasonableness of a rent increase under section 2f. of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.1).

In a municipality which has a rent control ordinance in effect, a rent increase for a tenant with a protected tenancy status, or for any tenant to whom notice of termination pursuant to section 3g. of P.L. 1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2) has been given, shall not exceed the increase authorized by the ordinance for rent controlled units.  Increased costs which are solely the result of a conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and which do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall not be passed directly through to these tenants as surcharges or pass-throughs on the rent, shall not be used as the basis for a rent increase, and shall not be used as a basis for an increase in a fair return or hardship hearing before a municipal rent board or on any appeal from such determination.  2A:18-61.31.

Termination of protected tenancy:
The administrative agency or officer shall terminate the protected tenancy status immediately upon finding that:
a.   The dwelling unit is no longer the principal residence of the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant; or
b.   The tenant's annual household income, or the average of the tenant's annual household income for the current year, computed on an annual basis, and the tenant's annual household income for the two preceding years, whichever is less, exceeds an amount equal to three times the county per capita personal income, as last reported by the Department of Labor and Industry on the basis of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis data, or $50,000.00, whichever is greater.

The department shall adjust the county per capita personal income to be used in subsection
b. of this section if there is a difference of one or more years between (1) the year in which the last reported county per capita personal income was based and (2) the last year in which the tenant's annual household income is based.  The county per capita personal income shall be adjusted by the department by an amount equal to the number of years of the difference above times the average increase or decrease in the county per capita personal income for three years, including in the calculation the current year reported and the three immediately preceding years.

Upon the termination of the protected tenancy status by the administrative agency or officer, the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant may be removed from the dwelling unit pursuant to P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1 et al.), except that all notice and other times set forth therein shall be calculated and extend from the date of the expiration or termination of the protected tenancy period, or the date of the expiration of the last lease entered into with the senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant during the protected tenancy period, whichever shall be later.

If the administrative agency determines pursuant to this section that a tenant is no longer qualified for protected tenancy under this act, the administrative agency shall proceed to determine the eligibility of that tenant under the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), or, in any case in which the administrative agency is not the same as the agency administering that other act in the municipality, refer the case to the appropriate administrative agency for such determination.  If the tenant is found to be eligible under the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), his protected tenancy status shall be continued.  The protected tenancy status of the tenant shall remain in full force pending such determination.  2A:18-61.32.

Termination upon purchase of unit by senior citizen or disabled tenant:
In the event that a senior citizen tenant or disabled tenant purchases the dwelling unit he occupies, the protected tenancy status shall terminate immediately upon purchase.  2A:18-61.33.

Informing prospective purchaser of act; contract or agreement  for sale;  clause informing of application of act and acknowledgment by  purchaser:
Any public offering statement for a conversion as required by  "The Planned  Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act,"  P.L.1977, c. 419 (C. 45:22A-21  et seq.), shall clearly inform the prospective purchaser of the provisions of  this amendatory and supplementary act, including, but not limited to, the  provisions concerning eviction, rent increases and leases. Any contract or  agreement for sale of a converted unit shall contain a clause in 10-point bold  type or larger that the contract is subject to the terms of this amendatory and  supplementary act concerning eviction and rent increases and an acknowledgement that the purchaser has been informed of these terms.  2A:18-61.34.

Fee:
A municipality is authorized to charge an owner a fee which may vary according to the size of the building to cover the cost of providing the services required by this amendatory and supplementary act.  2A:18-61.35.

Agreement by tenant to waive rights;  deemed against public policy and unenforceable:
Any agreement whereby the tenant waives any rights under P.L.1981, c. 226 (C. 2A:18-61.22 et seq.) on or after the effective date of this 1983 amendatory  act shall be deemed to be against public policy and unenforceable.  2A:18-61.36. L.1981, c. 226, s. 17, eff. July 27, 1981.

Severability:
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this amendatory and supplementary act is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its effect to the section, subsection, paragraph, sentence  or other part of this act directly involved in the controversy in which said  judgment shall have been rendered.  2A:18-61.37.

Rules and regulations:
The Department of Community Affairs is authorized to adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this amendatory and supplementary act.  2A:18-61.38.

Liberal construction of act:
This amendatory and supplementary act shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.  2A:18-61.39.

Short title:
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992."  2A:18-61.40.

Findings, declarations:
The Legislature finds that the provision and maintenance of an adequate supply of housing affordable to persons of low and moderate income in this State has been and is becoming increasingly difficult as a result of economic and market forces which require special public actions or subsidies to counteract.  One particularly acute result of this has been the continual increase in the number of displaced or homeless persons who, lacking permanent shelter, require special assistance from public services in this State and in surrounding states in order to remain alive.  The Legislature has in the past taken various actions, and is currently considering several measures, to increase the supply of affordable housing in the State.  At the same time, it is necessary to protect residential tenants, particularly those of advanced age or disability, or lower economic status, from the effects of eviction from affordable housing in recognition of the high costs, both financial and social, to the public of displacement from affordable housing and of homelessness.  The Legislature has in the past through various enactments recognized that the eviction of residential tenants pursuant to the process of conversion of residential premises to condominiums or cooperatives exacerbates homelessness and makes more difficult the maintenance of an adequate supply of low and moderate income housing.  The Legislature, therefore, declares that it is in the public interest to establish a tenant protection program specifically designed to provide protection to residential tenants, particularly the aged and disabled and those of low and moderate income, from eviction resulting from condominium or cooperative conversion.  2A:18-61.41.

Definitions:
As used in this act:
"Administrative agency" means the municipal board, officer or agency designated, or the county agency contracted with, pursuant to section 6 of this act.

"Annual household income" means the total income from all sources during the last full calendar year, or the annual average of that total income during the last two calendar years, whichever is less, of a tenant and all members of the household who are residing in the tenant's dwelling unit when the tenant applies for protected tenancy, whether or not such income is subject to taxation by any taxing authority.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Community Affairs.

"Conversion" means conversion as defined in section 3 of "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-23).

"Conversion recording" means the recording with the appropriate county officer of a master deed for a condominium or a deed to a cooperative corporation for a planned residential development or separable fee simple ownership of the dwelling units.

"County rental housing shortage" means a certification issued by the Commissioner of Community Affairs that there has occurred a significant decline in the availability of rental dwelling units in the county due to conversions; provided, however, that the commissioner shall not issue any such certification unless during the immediately preceeding 10 year period:
a.   The aggregate number of rental units subject to registrations of conversion during any three consecutive years in the county exceeds 10,000; and
b.   The aggregate number of rental units subject to registrations of conversion in at least one of those three years exceeds 5,000.

"Department" means the Department of Community Affairs.

"Index" means the annual average over a 12-month period beginning September 1 and ending August 31 of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), All Items Series A, of the United States Department of Labor (1957-1959 = 100), for either the New York, NY-Northeastern New Jersey or the Philadelphia, PA-New Jersey region, according as either shall have been determined by the commissioner to be applicable in the locality of a property undergoing conversion.

"Protected tenancy period" means, except as otherwise provided in section 11 of this act, all that time following the conversion recording for a building or structure during which a qualified tenant in that building or structure continues to be a qualified tenant and continues to occupy a dwelling unit therein as his principal residence.

"Qualified county" means:
a.   Any county with a population in excess of 500,000 and a population density in excess of 8,500 per square mile, according to the most recent federal decennial census; or
b.   Any county wherein there exists a county rental housing shortage.

"Qualified tenant" means a tenant who is a resident in a qualified county and:
(1)  Applied for protected tenancy status on or before the date of registration of conversion by the department, or within one year of the effective date of this act, whichever is later;
(2)  Has occupied the premises as his principal residence for at least 12 consecutive months next preceding the date of application; and
(3)  Has an annual household income that does not at the time of application exceed the maximum qualifying income as determined pursuant to section 4 of this act, except that this income limitation shall not apply to any tenant who is age 75 or more years or is disabled within the meaning of section 3 of P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.24).

"Registration of conversion" means an approval of an application for registration by the department in accordance with "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.).

"Tenant in need of comparable housing" means a tenant who is not a qualified tenant under this act and is not eligible for protected tenancy under the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.).  2A:18-61.42.

Maximum qualifying income, adjustment:
As of the effective date of this act, maximum qualifying income for the purpose of determining qualified tenant status as defined in section 3 of this act shall be  in the case of a household comprising one person, $31,400; two persons, $38,500; three persons, $44,800; four persons, $50,300; five persons, $55,000; six persons, $58,900; seven persons, $62,000; eight or more persons, $64,300.  In the case of any application for protected tenancy filed more than one year from the effective date of this act, and upon any occasion when termination of a previously granted protected tenancy is sought pursuant to section 11 of this act upon the grounds set forth in paragraph (2) of subsection a. of that section, these figures shall be adjusted by the percentage change, if any, in the applicable index that has occurred since the effective date of this act.  2A:18-61.43.

Protected tenancy, qualification, duration:
a.  Each qualified tenant shall be granted a protected tenancy status with respect to his dwelling unit upon conversion of the building or structure in which the unit is located.  The protected tenancy status shall be granted upon proper application and qualification pursuant to the provisions of this act.
b.     Each qualified tenant in need of comparable housing shall be entitled to remain in his dwelling unit upon conversion of the building or structure in which the unit is located until the owner of the building or structure has complied with the provisions of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.7 et al.).  2A:18-61.44.

Designation of administrative agency:
Each municipal governing body in a qualified county shall designate a municipal board, agency or officer to act as its administrative agency for the purposes of this act or may enter into a contractual agreement with an appropriate county to act as its administrative agency for purposes of this act.  In the absence of such authorization or contractual agreement, this act shall be administered by the board, agency or officer administering the provisions of the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.) in the municipality.  2A:18-61.45.

Notice, etc. required of owner seeking to convert, notice to tenants :
The owner of any building or structure in a qualified county who seeks to convert any premises shall notify the administrative agency of that intention prior to filing the application for registration of conversion with the department.  The owner shall supply the administrative agency with a list of every tenant residing in the premises, with stamped envelopes addressed to each tenant and with sufficient copies of the notice to tenants and application form for protected tenancy status.  Within 10 days thereafter, the administrative agency shall notify each residential tenant in writing of the owner's intention and of the applicability of the provisions of this act and shall provide him with a written application form.  The agency's notice shall be
substantially in the following form:
                               "NOTICE

THE OWNER OF YOUR APARTMENT HAS NOTIFIED ................................ (insert name of municipality) OF HIS INTENTION TO CONVERT TO A CONDOMINIUM OR COOPERATIVE.

UNDER STATE LAW YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO A PROTECTED TENANCY.

PROTECTED TENANCY MEANS THAT YOU CANNOT BE EVICTED BECAUSE
OF THE CONVERSION.

YOU MAY BE QUALIFIED:
(1)    IF YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR APARTMENT FOR A YEAR AND
(2)    IF YOUR HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS LESS THAN .............................................
(insert current maximum qualifying income established under section 3 of this act), OR

YOU ARE DISABLED OR ARE AT LEAST 75 YEARS OLD.

IF YOU THINK YOU MAY QUALIFY, SEND IN THE APPLICATION FORM BY ....................... (insert date 60 days after  municipality's mailing)

TO THE ............................................. (insert name and address of administrative agency)

EVEN IF YOU DO NOT QUALIFY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN IN YOUR APARTMENT UNTIL YOUR LANDLORD HAS COMPLIED WITH LAWS REGARDING THE OFFER OF COMPARABLE HOUSING.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL................... (insert phone number of administrative agency)

OR .............................................." (insert phone number of Department of Community Affairs)

The department shall not accept any application for registration of conversion for any building or structure unless included in the application is proof that the administrative agency notified the tenants prior to the application for registration.  The proof shall be by affidavit or in such other form as the department shall require.

In any municipality where the administrative agency is the same as the agency administering the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.), the notices required under that act and this act may be combined in a single mailing.

2A:18-61.46.

Determining tenants' qualifications:
Within 30 days after receipt of an application for the protected tenancy status authorized under the provisions of this act, the administrative agency shall make a determination of qualification.  It shall send written notice of  qualification to each tenant who is a resident of the qualified county and:
a.     applied on or before the date of registration of conversion by the department, or within
one year from the effective date of this act, whichever is later; and,
b.     has an annual household income that does not exceed the maximum amount permitted for qualification, or is exempt from that income limitation by reason of age or disability; and,
c.     has occupied the premises as his principal residence for at least 12 consecutive months next preceding the date of application.

The administrative agency shall likewise send a notice of denial, with reasons therefor, to any tenant whom it determines not to be qualified.  That notice shall inform the tenant of his right to remain in his dwelling unit until the owner shall have complied with the requirements of P.L.1975, c.311 (C.2A:18-61.7 et al.) and shall include an explanation of the meaning of "comparable housing" as used in that act.  The owner shall be notified of those tenants who are determined to be qualified and unqualified.

The administrative agency may require that the application include such documents and information as may be necessary to establish that the tenant is qualified for a protected tenancy status under the provisions of this act and shall require that such documentation and information be submitted under oath. The commissioner may by regulation adopt uniform forms to used in applying for protected tenancy status, for notifying an applicant of qualification or denial thereof, and conveying to a denied applicant the information concerning his rights to continued tenancy and offer of comparable housing; he may also adopt such other regulations for the procedure of determining qualification as he deems necessary or expedient to the proper effectuation of the provisions and purposes of this act.  2A:18-61.47.

Requisites for approval of registration of conversion :
No registration of conversion for a building or structure located in a qualified county shall be approved until the department receives proof that the provisions of section 8 of this act have been complied with, and that notification as required in that section has been made to all tenants who filed application for protected tenancy status on or before the application deadline prescribed in the notice given pursuant to section 7 of this act. The proof shall be by affidavit or in such form as the department may require.  2A:18-61.48.

Applicability of protected tenancy:
The protected tenancy status authorized under the provisions of this act shall not be applicable to any qualified tenant until such time as the owner has filed his conversion recording.  The protected tenancy status shall automatically apply as soon as a tenant receives notice of qualification and the landlord files his conversion recording.  The conversion recording shall not be filed until after the registration of conversion.  2A:18-61.49.

Termination of protected tenancy:
a. The administrative agency shall terminate the protected tenancy status authorized under the provisions of this act immediately upon finding that:
(1)    the dwelling unit is no longer the principal residence of the tenant, or
(2)    the tenant's annual household income exceeds the maximum amount permitted for qualification.
b.     Upon presentation to the administrative agency of credible evidence that a tenant is no longer qualified for protected tenancy status under this act, the administrative agency shall proceed, in accordance with such regulations and procedures as the department shall adopt and prescribe for use in such cases, to investigate and make a determination as to the continuance of that status.
c.     Upon the termination of the protected tenancy status by the administrative agency, the tenant may be removed from the dwelling unit pursuant to P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.1 et al.), except that all notice and other times set forth therein shall be calculated and extend from the date of the expiration or termination of the protected tenancy period, or the date of the expiration of the last lease entered into with the tenant during the protected tenancy period, whichever shall be later.
d.     Any protection afforded to a person under the "Senior Citizens and Disabled Protected Tenancy Act," P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.) shall remain in full force and effect.  If the administrative agency determines that a tenant is no longer qualified for protected tenancy under that act, the administrative agency shall proceed to determine the eligibility of that tenant under the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992," P.L.1991, c.509 (C.2A:18-61.40 et al.), or, in any case in which the administrative agency is not the same as the agency administering the "Tenant Protection Act of 1992" in the municipality, shall refer the case to the appropriate administrative agency for such determination.  If the tenant is found by such determination to be eligible, his protected tenancy status shall be continued.  The protected tenancy status of the tenant shall remain in full force pending such determination.  2A:18-61.50.

Tenancy protection terminated by tenant purchase:
In the event that a qualified tenant purchases the dwelling unit he occupies, the protected tenancy status afforded under the provisions of this act shall terminate immediately upon purchase.  2A:18-61.51.

Costs of conversion no basis for rent increases:
a. In the case of a municipality subject to the provisions of this act that does not have a rent control ordinance in effect, no evidence of increased costs that are solely the result of the conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall be used as a basis to establish the reasonableness of a rent increase under subsection f. of section 2 of P.L.1974, c.49
(C.2A:18-61.1).
b.     In the case of a municipality subject to the provisions of this act that has a rent control ordinance in effect, a rent increase for a qualified tenant with a protected tenancy status, or for any tenant to whom notice of termination pursuant to subsection g. of section 3 of P.L.1974, c.49 (C.2A:18-61.2) has been given, shall not exceed the increase authorized by the ordinance for rent-controlled units.  Increased costs that are solely the result of a conversion, including but not limited to any increase in financing or carrying costs, and do not add services or amenities not previously provided shall not be used as a basis for an increase in a fair-return or hardship hearing before a municipal rent board or on any appeal from such determination.  2A:18-61.52.

Public offering statements, requisites:
In the case of a building or structure located in a qualified county, the public offering statement for a conversion as required by "The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act," P.L.1977, c.419 (C.45:22A-21 et seq.), shall clearly inform the prospective purchaser of the provisions of this act regarding the protection of qualified tenants and tenants in need of comparable housing.  Any contract or agreement for sale of a converted unit shall contain a clause in 10-point bold type or larger that the contract is subject to the terms of this act concerning such tenant protection and an acknowledgement that the purchaser has been informed of these terms.  2A:18-61.53.

Municipal fees:
A municipality located in a qualified county is authorized to charge an owner a fee which may vary according to the size of the building to cover the cost of providing the services required by this act.  2A:18-61.54.

Tenant waivers, unenforceable:
Any agreement whereby the tenant waives any rights under this act shall be deemed to be against public policy and unenforceable.  2A:18-61.55.

Actions against qualified tenants, limitations:
For one year from the effective date of this act, no action for removal of a qualified tenant shall be instituted, no judgment shall be entered against a qualified tenant based upon a previously instituted action, and no qualified tenant shall be removed from his dwelling unit by a landlord, on the basis of the conversion of the premises.  The owner of any residential premises located in a qualified county who, prior to that date, has registered those residential premises for conversion or applied for such registration shall comply with the provisions of this act, and the tenants residing in those premises shall be entitled to the protections extended under this act as if the registration or application for  registration had not so occurred prior to that date.  However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to any residential unit for which a conversion was registered prior to March 4, 1991 if the unit was sold to a bona fide individual purchaser prior to that date and that purchaser intends to personally occupy the unit as his principal residence.  2A:18-61.56.

Removal for good cause:
Nothing in this act shall be deemed to prevent a court from removing a tenant, qualified tenant or tenant in need of comparable housing from a dwelling unit located in a qualified county for good cause shown not to be related to conversion of the building or structure to a condominium or cooperative.2A:18-61.57.

Severability:
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its effect to the section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or other part of this act directly involved in the controversy in which the judgment shall have been rendered.  2A:18-61.58.

Rules, regulations:
The commissioner is authorized to adopt, in accordance with the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and
regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this act, including but not limited to, the prescribing of administrative and notification procedures which integrate the procedural requirements of this act with those of P.L.1981, c.226 (C.2A:18-61.22 et al.) in order to facilitate the efficient administration of both acts.  2A:18-61.59.

Tenants' organization permitted to accept billing for utility:
1.Whenever an electric, gas, water or sewer public utility has provided written notice to tenants residing in rental premises of a proposed discontinuance of service and the tenants so notified have indicated a desire to continue service, but the utility has determined that it would not be feasible to bill each tenant individually for the service, the utility shall permit a tenants' organization representing each tenant of the rental premises to accept billing for the utility including the periodic billing for current charges, and a statement of any arrearage which is unpaid by the landlord for service previously supplied by the utility, and shall continue providing the service to the premises provided that payment is received.  2A:18-61.60

Deduction of certain utility costs from rental payment:
Whenever a tenants' organization agrees to accept billing for a utility service, the tenants comprising the membership of the organization accepting and paying such billing shall be permitted to deduct from each of their respective rental payments to the landlord of the premises an amount corresponding to the tenant's contribution towards the currently due utility payment and the arrearage, if any, owed by the landlord, provided that any contribution by a tenant to the arrearage shall not exceed 15 percent of the tenant's rental payment which would have been payable to the landlord, but for the contribution.  2A:18-61.61

Judgment;  orders as to payment;  stay of execution:
The court may either order the judgment paid to the prevailing party or into  court for the use of the prevailing party at a certain date or by specified  installments, and may stay the issue of execution and other supplementary  process during compliance with its order.  Such stay shall at all times be  subject to be modified or vacated.  2A:18-66.

Docketing small claims judgments:
Judgments recovered in the division of small claims of the Superior Court, Law Division, Special Civil Part may be docketed as judgments in the Special Civil Part proper are
docketed.  2A:18-67.

Costs:
The actual cash disbursements of the prevailing party for any fees paid to the clerk and witness and officers' fees shall be allowed as costs.  2A:18-69.

Costs on vacation of judgment:
When a judgment is vacated, the court, in its discretion may award costs not  exceeding $10, for or against either party and enter judgment and issue execution therefor.  2A:18-71.

Disposal of remaining personal property abandoned by tenant:
A landlord of commercial or residential property, in the manner provided by P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-72 et al.), may dispose of any tangible goods, chattels, manufactured or mobile homes or other personal property left upon a premises by a tenant after giving notice as required by section 2 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-73), only if the landlord reasonably believes under all the circumstances that the tenant has left the property upon the premises with no intention of asserting any further claim to the premises or the property and:
a.A warrant for removal has been executed and possession of the premises has been restored to the landlord; or
b.The tenant has given written notice that he or she is voluntarily relinquishing possession of the premises.  2A:18-72.

Notice to tenant prior to disposition:
To dispose of a tenant's property under this act, a landlord shall first give written notice to the tenant, which shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested  or by receipted first class mail addressed to the tenant, at the tenant's last known address (which may be the address of the premises) and at any alternate address or addresses known to the landlord, in an envelope endorsed "Please Forward."

"Receipted first class mail" for purposes of this section means first class mail for which a certificate of mailing has been obtained by the sender but does not include certified or registered mail.

When the property subject to disposal is a manufactured or mobile home, a copy of the notice required pursuant to this section shall also be sent to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles and to any lienholders with security interests in the property which have been recorded with the Division of Motor Vehicles.  2A:18-73.

Contents of notice:
The notice required under section 2 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:17-73) shall state as follows:
a.That the property is considered abandoned and must be removed from the premises or from the place of safekeeping, if the landlord has stored the property as provided in section 4 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:17-75), by a date as follows;
(i)  for all property other than manufactured or mobile homes not less than 30 days after delivery of the notice, or not less than 33 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first,or
(ii)  for property which consists solely of manufactured or mobile homes, not less than 75 days after the delivery of the notice, or not less than 78 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first, or the property will be sold or otherwise disposed of; and
b.That if the abandoned property is not removed:
(i)The landlord may sell the property at a public or private sale; or
(ii)The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property if the landlord reasonably determines that the value of the property is so low that the cost of storage and conducting a public sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale; or
(iii)The landlord may sell items of value and destroy or otherwise dispose of the remaining property.
c.That in the case of a residential tenant, if the tenant claims the property within the time provided in the notice, the landlord must make the property available for removal by the tenant without payment by the tenant of any unpaid rent.  2A:18-74.

Storing abandoned property:
After notifying a tenant as required by sections 2 and 3 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-73 and C.2A:18-74), a landlord shall store all goods, chattels, manufactured or mobile homes and other personal property of the tenant in a place of safekeeping and shall exercise reasonable care for the property, except that the landlord may promptly dispose of
perishable food and shall allow an animal control agency or humane society to remove any abandoned pets or livestock.  A landlord may store a tenant's manufactured dwelling or residential vehicle on the space previously rented, elsewhere on the premises or in a safe location off the premises.  A landlord shall be entitled to reasonable storage charges and costs incidental to storage.  A landlord may store property in a commercial storage facility, in which case the storage cost shall include the actual storage charge plus the reasonable cost of removal of the property to the place of storage.  2A:18-75.

Conditions under which the property is considered abandoned:
a.  If a tenant responds in writing or orally to the landlord, on or before the day specified in the required notice, that the tenant intends to remove the property from the premises, or from the place of safekeeping if the landlord has stored the property as provided in section 4 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-75), and does not do so within the time specified in the notice or within 15 days after the written response, whichever is later, the tenant's property shall be conclusively presumed to be abandoned.
b.If a lienholder responds in writing to the landlord concerning a security interest in any manufactured or mobile home, and the lienholder indicates an intent to remove the property from the premises, or from the place of safekeeping, or to pay rent as a condition of leaving the property on the premises, but fails to remove the property or make rental payments within the time specified in the notice or within 15 days after the written response, whichever is later, then the landlord may proceed as if the lienholder had not responded.
c.If no response is received from a tenant or lienholder within the time period provided under section 3 of P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-74), then the tenant's property shall be conclusively presumed to be abandoned.  2A:18-76.

Tenant's reimbursement for storage costs:
Upon removal of his property, a tenant shall reimburse the landlord for the reasonable cost of storage for the period the property was in the landlord's safekeeping, including the reasonable cost of removal of the property to a place of storage.  A landlord shall not be entitled to reimbursement for storage and removal costs which are greater than the fair market value of such costs in the locale of the rental property. A landlord shall not be responsible for any loss to a tenant resulting from storage of property in compliance with this act unless the loss was caused by the landlord's deliberate or negligent act or omission.  2A:18-77.

Disposal of property, options:
Property that has been conclusively presumed to be abandoned may be disposed of in any of the following ways:
a.The landlord may sell the property at a public or private sale;
b.The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property if the landlord reasonably determines that the value of the property is so low that the cost of storage and conducting a public sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale; or
c.The landlord may sell certain items and destroy or otherwise dispose of the remaining property, in accordance with subsections a. and b. of this section.

A public or private sale authorized by this section shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 12A:9-504 of the "Uniform Commercial Code" (C.12A:9-504).  2A:18-78.

Immunity:
Nothing in P.L.1999, c.340 (C.2A:18-72 et al.) shall diminish the right of a landlord of a nonresidential property to use distraint when authorized by law.  2A:18-79.

Deductions from sale proceeds:
A landlord may deduct from the proceeds of any sale the reasonable costs of notice, storage and sale and any unpaid rent and charges not covered by a security deposit. After deducting these amounts, the landlord shall remit to the tenant the remaining proceeds, if any, together with an itemized accounting.  If the tenant, after due diligence, cannot be found the remaining proceeds shall be deposited into the Superior Court and, if not claimed within 10 years, shall escheat to the State.  2A:18-80.

Compliance with act constitutes complete defense:
Compliance in good faith with all the requirements of this act shall constitute a complete defense in any action brought by a tenant against a landlord for loss or damage to personal property disposed of pursuant to this act.  2A:18-81.

Noncompliance with act; tenant's recovery:
If a landlord seizes and retains a tenant's personal property without complying with this act, the tenant shall be relieved of any liability for  reimbursement to the landlord for storage and removal costs and shall be entitled to recover up to twice the actual damages sustained by the tenant.  2A:18-82.                                  

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