Jennifer L. Alexander, Esq.
Jennifer L. Alexander is a Partner at Griffin Alexander, PC whose practice concentrates on matters involving New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant Law, Community Association Law, and Collections Law. She also handles Commercial Real Estate Transactions, Land Use and Municipal Court matters. She begins most days appearing in Landlord-Tenant Court or appearing on behalf of community associations in litigation, providing legal advice and guidance through the day and ends most of her days representing communities in board meetings.
Under Ms. Alexander’s leadership in the Landlord Tenant Department, the firm represents local, national corporate and individual landlords. Representation includes non-payment cases, "for-cause” cases (e.g. habitability claims, security deposits, lease violations), lease drafting and statutory compliance. Ms. Alexander regularly provides lease reviews and lease drafting for her clients to ensure they are in compliance with new laws and fit the needs of her individual clients. She is also well versed in rent control laws, affordable housing requirements and what is necessary for capital surcharge applications.
Ms. Alexander has successfully handled several housing discrimination suits on behalf of landlords filed by tenants, and provides procedures and recommendations to help limit landlord exposure to Federal Fair Housing violations. She also appears in court related to contract disputes for both community associations and landlords and when her clients are cited for violations.
Similarly, Ms. Alexander represents community associations, providing guidance through the transition process from developer control to homeowner control and serves as general counsel for community association needs.
Ms. Alexander appears before Planning and Zoning Boards in support of community association applications, as well as in opposition to applications which are contrary to a client’s interests. Recently, she successfully handled a planning board application to add more parking at one of her communities within a municipality known to oppose such requests. She handles community association loan applications when associations secure loans or lines of credit.
Ms. Alexander also assists communities in rule making and drafting amendments to promote community living. She has also assisted in contested association elections and helps to ensure that associations are in full compliance with the Radburn Act. Additionally, Ms. Alexander assists community associations in negotiating Municipal Services Agreements to insure her clients receive the services they are entitled to or the reimbursement equivalent.
After filing an injunction, Ms. Alexander recently obtained a court order to stop the New Jersey Department of Transportation from blasting during a road construction project on Route 46 in Passaic County. The injunction successfully prevented likely damage to condominium association property that would have been incurred by the blasting – the homes referenced were built on a cliff with retaining walls constructed on fill.
Ms. Alexander negotiated an easement agreement with a municipality to ensure culvert repairs and restriction on easement rights so as to not impede on her client's property. Additionally, she assisted a homeowner in Morris County by negotiating with the municipality to adjust easements on their property. This ensured that a culvert was built to facilitate water run-off away from the property.
Ms. Alexander was also successful in having a tenant evicted for not paying rent and subsequently mediating a harassment charge initiated by the tenant against the landlord. She also oversees the Collections Department, which works on behalf of community association clients to collect payments of delinquent maintenance fees and charges.
Ms. Alexander regularly speaks on community association topics at Community Association Institute – New Jersey Chapter seminars, the annual NJ Cooperator Expo, the NJAA, the POA and for management companies. She also lectures and delivers seminars on Federal Fair Housing regulations and other issues of concern to landlords. She hosted an ICLE Webinar, entitled "Bankruptcy Basics for the Residential Real Estate Lawyer." Additionally, she is honored to regularly present at NJAA, CAM and CAI Seminars, including "Fair Housing and Beyond" and "The Board Leadership Development Workshop". Ms. Alexander also was invited to be a guest speaker at Rutgers Real Estate Center.
Ms. Alexander assists clients in real estate matters. She specializes in commercial real estate transactions, such as the sale and development of real estate properties, refinancing, and purchases and sales of investment properties. She recently secured significant long-term commercial leases for a landlord with properties in Jersey City, Hoboken and Morristown. Additionally, she negotiated a municipal service agreement for a condominium client increasing their ability to have more snow clearing and lighting, while arranging for the town to take over trash removal.
Additionally, Ms. Alexander successfully handles over 100 evictions per month (Griffin Alexander, PC handles over approximately 300 evictions per month in total). She was recently successful in having residents not in compliance with 55 and older requirements vacate a unit in a condominium complex.
Ms. Alexander is admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. She is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and the Middle District of Pennsylvania. She received her law degree from The University of Toledo College of Law and her B.A. from Rutgers University, Douglas College.
Ms. Alexander is a member of the America Bar Association; the New Jersey Bar Association; the New York Bar Association; the Pennsylvania Bar Association; the Community Associations Institute - New Jersey Chapter; the National Apartment Association; the New Jersey Apartment Association; and the NJ Cooperator.
Ms. Alexander is also a Mediator through the New Jersey Community Associations Institute (CAI).
News & Announcements
DCA Proposes New Association Regulations Including Changes to Fines, Penalties & Elections
June 20, 2019
On June 3, 2019, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”) issued several proposed amendments to regulations under the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (“PREDFDA”). The regulations are intended to both carry out the 2017 amendments set forth by the “Radburn Act” and “to enhance resident voting participation rights” in community associations. Of particular importance is that several of these proposed regulations seek to implement obligations on Associations that exceed the obligations set forth under Radburn.
Understanding the Laws Related to Lease Terminations Due to Disabling Illness, Accident or Death
May 30, 2019
When a tenant passes away, landlords often face questions of what to do with the apartment and how to respond to family members and next of kin during such an emotional time. There is also the difficult situation of handling a tenant who has become ill, infirm, and/or needs to terminate his/her tenancy early to transfer permanently to a nursing or assisted living home. Under the law, there are certain requirements that a tenant or next of kin must follow to provide for a smooth transition in such times
RESOLVING DISPUTES IN A HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION COMMUNITY
May 23, 2019
During the course of a community’s administration, issues can arise between an individual homeowner and the governing board. The Association, represented by its Board of Directors or Trustees, may believe that the individual homeowner is not acting in accordance with the rules or restrictions set forth in the Association’s governing documents. The individual homeowner may feel that the Association’s Board of Directors has overreached the limit of its authority.
Community Associations are not required to Accommodate All “Emotional-Support” Animal-Related Requests
May 23, 2019
One issue that has been plaguing community associations with pet restrictions in recent years is the increasing frequency of requests by unit owners seeking to keep emotional support animals in the community. While few Boards question the right of an individual to keep a service animal in their home when they truly need one, some Boards believe that individuals are making requests for “emotional support” animals in order to circumvent the governing documents.
NEW JERSEY PASSES FORECLOSURE REFORM BILLS AIMED TO ASSIST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS WITH HOMES IN FORECLOSURE
May 3, 2019
On April 29, 2019, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed into law two new amendments that provide relief to community associations with homes in foreclosure. When a unit or a home in a community association is in foreclosure and does not pay assessments, it will ultimately be left for other owners in the community to pay them. Currently, the New Jersey Condominium Act allows condominium associations the right to collect up to 6 months of unpaid assessments when a condominium unit is foreclosed. The limited priority status of the lien allows the condominium association to collect the priority of its lien ahead of a mortgage lender and other lien holders.
FORECLOSURE REFORM IN NEW JERSEY
May 2, 2019
Two bills sit on Governor Murphy’s desk for signature that could alter the landscape of the current foreclosure process in New Jersey. Zombie Foreclosures are bank foreclosures on vacant units, which are stalled or delayed for years. Associations with units stuck in zombie foreclosures must deal with a lengthy foreclosure process. Associations have a strong interest in expediting these foreclosures because an abandoned unit does not pay maintenance fees. Associations lose less money when they expeditiously complete the foreclosure process.
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