It is shocking just how far some developers in City of Hoboken will go to subvert the public good and the retention of rent controls, which provide some level of affordable housing, here – just for the sake of even more profit. There have been two mass mailings to homeowners with distortions and lies to scare them into believing that these controls, in existence since 1973, are suddenly “bad” – for them and the City.
Here are the “truths”:
• There is no “rent control disaster” in Hoboken – this is a contrived invention of some developers. The “high litigation costs,” which the developers complain about, and which as residents, you help pay – come from the developers, themselves, with at least two lengthy and costly litigation efforts, that have us, yet to give them any measure of success.
• Critically, the only final ruling of any court on the Hoboken Rent Control Ordinance and its constitutional application – held it to be “clear and unambiguous,: ant that the Hoboken Rent Leveling & Stabilization Board was “not arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” in following it; and this is as recent as July 12, 2010.
• Further, there is not a volume of lawsuits against landlords, nor are “unscrupulous attorneys” merely “exploiting technicalities: to leverage settlements. Where a few lawsuits exist – it is, generally, because the public record disclosed, that landlord’s deliberate avoidance or the Ordinance and the charging of illegal rents to some, but not of all his tenants. It is this avoidance which subjects these landlords to State statutory penalties, not the Ordinance or the acts of the Board. A landlord who properly abides by and follows the Ordinance will never have a problem.
• The Ordinance is not “broken;” though some changes would clarify and simplify it. The developers, though, want to have all of their past illegal rents made legal – by starting all legal rent calculations from 2007. This is “unfair,” as their tenants have no idea that they have been gouged, because they believed in and trusted the knowing misrepresentations of the developers.
• This is you City – stand up against the developers’ abuse of the Ordinance for their own personal gain, and for the retention of affordable housing!
Cathy C. Cardillo, Esq., Attorney for CRAHH