A common question that pops up at MREIA meetings is whether or not an investor/landlord is required by law to register their rental dwellings.
The answer is a resounding YES!
Under N.J.S.A. 46:8-27 AND N.J.S.A. 55.13A-1 all landlords of rental dwellings located in the state of NJ are required to register their units.
The requirement as follows:
3 or more units in a single building register through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
Properties with 2 or fewer residential units (duplexes, SF homes, condos, etc.). The registration is done at the municipal level.
Generally, the information requested includes;
a) the rental property address
b) the names and addresses of the owners
c) the emergency contact’s contact info and address
d) type of entity that is the owner of record and all the officers, managing member’s contact info and addresses
In some cases, certain municipalities require a person residing in the county the rental property is located, be designated to accept notices. And even the name, addresses and phone number of “every holder” of a recorded mortgage on the rental dwelling.
Generally, the landlord only is required to register the property one time, unlike a certificate of occupancy which is usually required each time a new tenant moves in.
Failure to register the rental dwelling may incur municipal fines.
In the event a complaint for eviction is filed, the landlord, or their attorney are certifying that the property has been registered. At the eviction hearing, the presiding judge may require a copy of the recorded registration be produced. In the event the property has not been registered; no Judgment for Possession should be entered against any residential tenant.
The Judge, at their discretion, does not have to automatically dismiss the tenancy action, however as mentioned previously, no Judgment for Possession will be granted at the time of the proceeding, and the Judge can stay the judgment for up to 90 days.
Since the objective of the landlord is to get physical possession of the rental property it should be obvious that making sure the property has been properly registered is imperative.
As we preach at MREIA, learn the requirements that are imposed on landlords and get your properties registered with the proper authority. Doing things the right way will help make your property management and investing career go much smoother.
All the best,
VICE PRESIDENT, MREIA
Dave Corsi is an active New Jersey investor and property manager for over thirty-five years, a past president of MREIA, current Vice President, Vendor and Legislative Chair, and a MREIA member since the early 1980s. He has lectured at the Learning Annex, the Learning Tree, and was the host of the radio show, “Let’s Talk Real Estate” and the program, “The Lowdown” on WYGG (88.1 FM)
Today, Dave is the President of Peace of Mind Management. Corp, a real estate consultant, and is particularly skilled in creating transactions which benefit both buyer and seller.