Barnegat Township Committee Tweaks Rent Leveling Ordinance

Oct 10, 2018

An ordinance adopted by the Barnegat Township Committee Oct. 2 changes operating procedures with the rent leveling board, whose function is to enforce the rent-leveling ordinance.

 In a quasi-judicial setting, the group often hears landlords’ requests for raising rents or handles disputes between tenant and landlord. The five-member group consists of one landlord and one tenant representative from the two mobile home communities: Pinewood Estates and Brighton at Barnegat. A fifth member was a nonvoting homeowner from the community at large.

However, the revised ordinance will change the at-large member to voting status. The job will go to John Murrin, a former mayor of Pompton Lakes.

Township Committeeman Albert Bille had noted that under the original proposed ordinance, matters before the board would have often ended in 2-2 ties, resulting in a mediator to be brought in, with both landlord and tenant sharing the cost of the mediator.

Lori Greenberg, an attorney representing Hometown America, owners of Brighton at Barnegat, had objected to the ordinance when it was first introduced in August. Greenberg suggested that the township allow for her client and the Brighton tenants to work out a lease agreement.

“So we went back and reworked it, and now we have something both sides should be able to work with,” said Deputy Mayor Alfonso Cirulli.

He said another change is if a landlord is dissatisfied with a board ruling, he or she would have to appeal the matter in Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River.

“It was getting too difficult for the town to get involved in appeals,” said Cirulli. “Once the rent board makes a decision, then it’s out of our hands.” E.E.

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