Like it or not, our climate is changing. The number of hurricanes and tropical storms has grown over the last several decades in number and intensity. Here is a brief summary:
EXTENDED LIEN PRIORITY TO EXTEND ASSOCIATION BUDGETS
A new bill, passed on April 29, 2019 (N.J.S.A. 46:8B-21), signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, extends lien priority for condominium associations and creates similar lien priority protections for homeowner associations. For many years, the New Jersey Condominium Act has permitted the filing of liens against condominium units when assessments remain unpaid. Homeowner association, because they were not included in the Act, provided for the filing of liens in their governing documents. These liens served as the basis for foreclosure against units in serious arrears. The ability to file liens and foreclose provided a substantial benefit to the fiscal stability of community associations throughout the State. Without the ability to file liens and foreclose on them, abandoned units, units falling into serious disrepair due to owner inability to afford to pay maintenance or afford repairs, and units in which residents are otherwise judgment-proof, would substantially increase the monetary burden on those who do pay their maintenance fees, and would reduce the marketability of all Units in the community.
BILL PASSED IN NEW JERSEY REGARDING WHEN TENANTS ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENTS AFTER EVICTION AND/OR LOCKOUT
A new bill titled NJ S3124, was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on January 13, 2020. This bill requires landlords to allow tenants to pay rent up to three business days after an eviction order or lockout is executed and requires landlords to accept rent payments by any means.
New Legislation Regarding Tenants Payments to Landlords in New Jersey
The new bill is titled S1493 Sca (1R) and it was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday, January 13, 2020. Generally, the new legislation aims at landlords who require renters to agree to automatic monthly debit payments as a condition of entering a new lease or renewing a lease. The new legislation prohibits landlords from requiring residential tenants to pay rent and other related charges through electronic funds transfer and it requires landlords to provide receipts for cash payments.
New York Housing Right to Counsel
New York City has established a city-funded right to counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction proceedings. The right to counsel law, Local Law 136 of 2017, amended the New York City Administrative Code § 26-1301 et seq. The law now requires New York City to build up the capacity of the City’s nonprofit legal services organizations over five years so that by 2022, the nonprofit organizations will be able to provide attorney representation for every low-income household in New York City that is subject to eviction in Housing Court.
RESPONDING TO A LAWSUIT
Lawsuits arising from claims between landlords and tenants, or between community associations and unit owners, are unfortunately not uncommon. Whether acting as the Plaintiff or Defendant, it is important to understanding the basics of each type of suit before initiating or replying.
ONLINE SALES IN NEW JERSEY
Over the years, an increasing number of shoppers purchase products online. This reality is especially true during the holiday season. While many buyers make these purchases through large retailers or companies with offices all over the country (e.g., Amazon.com, Target.com), many people still purchase from individuals who post advertisements online. With that in mind, it is essential that consumers be aware of what obstacles they may face when buying a faulty product from an out-of-state seller.
Using Fines and Penalties Fairly in a Community
Rules and regulations are part of community association living, and as everyone knows, Rules and Regulations are useful only if enforced. Back in the early days of community association law, enforcement proceedings typically did not include the right to issue fines. Enforcement was by way of injunction. That turned out to be unreasonably expensive and impractical. To have to bring a matter to the Court over someone parking in the wrong place, for example, was unhelpful in the extreme. Fortunately, the industry learned from its mistakes and began to include the right to issue fines, as an alternative to litigation. It may be hard to explain to some people that the ability to issue fines is a money-saving mechanism that inures to the benefit of both the Unit Owner and the Association, but it’s true.
REDUCING THE CHARGE FOR ELECTRIC CARS
Fully-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are becoming more-and-more popular. At the same time, would-be drivers find themselves encountering more legal “potholes” en route to owning fuel-efficient cars. One such barrier is the fact that many community associations in New Jersey do not permit the installation of electric charging stations. However, proposed bills indicate that there may be some legal changes on the horizon.
Good-Guy Guarantees are a staple of business rental agreements in New York.
The purpose of a Good-Guy Guarantee is twofold. It allows a tenant to maintain limited rent liability. Simultaneously, it provides tenants with an additional incentive to avoid defaulting on the lease. It is essential that the Good-Guy Guarantee is adapted appropriately.