New tenants only; existing tenants are unaffected

Few tenants to be affected

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Letters to the Editor
The Jersey Journal

It is important to realize that the statute of limitations being proposed would apply to new tenants only; existing tenants are unaffected.

Under the current ordinance, tenants and former tenants can recover refunds of rents determined to be in excess of the so-called "legal" rent. There is no time limit.

The result is that tenants and former tenants, some of whom no longer even live in Hoboken, receive windfalls, often many thousands of dollars, without regard to the tenant's income or need. In every other area of law where a person seeks damages, there are statutes of limitations.

In your article, you state that "Officials estimate that the number of rent control units is in the tens of thousands." This claim is ludicrous.

In the 2000 census, there were 15,022 occupied rental units in Hoboken. Of those, 5,049 were government-subsidized and thus not subject to the rent control ordinance, and many, though the number is unknown, were constructed since 1987 and also not rent-controlled.

Clearly, there are far fewer than 10,000 units subject to rent control. Since most rental buildings consist of at least three units, the number of tenants affected by the removal of two-unit buildings will be minuscule.

I support the amendment and urge the council to approve it.

ESTHER MILSTED
HOBOKEN


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