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rescueNew Jersey lawmakers want to do away with city rules which they say hamper landlords and drive up rents.

At issue are a number of local ordinances which require landlords throughout the state to pay more than necessary for inspections on rental properties.

Currently, state law controls rental property inspections.  Cities that charge for inspections are often duplicating those requirements.

In the bill, lawmakers explain that New Jersey was one of the first states in the nation to adopt Statewide regulations governing multi-family housing and remains one of just a handful to have Statewide registration and inspection requirements.  However, there is an overlap of jurisdiction under New Jersey laws concerning the maintenance requirements for registration and inspection of multifamily dwellings.

There is also a duplication of laws permitting or requiring landlord registration, which creates confusion, and permits additional fees to be charged to landlords for the same purpose.

Lawmakers state in the bill, “This confusing array of laws, many of which have in effect been rendered moot by subsequent enactments, requires Legislative correction, so that the States requirements for landlord registration and maintenance and use standards and inspection therefore of multiple dwellings are clear and not duplicated at the local level.”

According to the New Jersey Apartment Association, which supports the new law, “As a result of inconsistencies and confusion in State law, some municipalities have begun to duplicate the States role and require property owners to pay a local registration fee and submit to additional annual inspections that are entirely redundant, unnecessary, and do nothing to improve the safety or quality of rental housing. A recent report by the National Low Income housing Coalition found New Jersey to be the fourth most expensive state for renters. Local registration and inspection schemes add to the cost of rental housing in New Jersey.”

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