Hard to know the 'legal' rent

Hard to know the 'legal' rent

EDITOR'S NOTE: Below are e-mail messages from readers on what action the Hoboken City Council should take tonight on the local rent control ordinance amendment.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Letters to the Editor
The Jersey Journal

Your paper unfairly implies that a property owner knows (or should know) what a "legal" rent is for a specific apartment. In fact, there have been multiple changes over the years in the manner in which the city applies the rules, to the extent that it is just about impossible to be sure what will pass the challenge of a rent calculation.

In addition, all kinds of drastic consequences befall the property owner who fails to dot every "i" and cross every "t." So when you add retroactive strict adherence to rules with historically varying governmental application, and you do this over a period of 25 years, you're bound to get confusion that results in dramatically unfair results.

Large rent refunds are not a result of greed, as you imply, so much as a broken system that gets worse with each passing year. It's no surprise that large numbers of apartments get converted to condos each year.

The City of Hoboken needs to fix the Rent Stabilization ordinance and the matter before the council tomorrow is a step, albeit small, in that direction.

MARK VILLAMAR HOBOKEN


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