Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to clamp down on absentee owners of rooming and boarding houses was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
Sen. Steve Oroho’s bill gives towns more power to crack down on problematic boarding houses. (SenateNJ.com)
“We must expect a certain level of decency and cooperation from operators of any shared housing complexes, and it’s what our communities deserve,” Senator Oroho said. “We’ve heard many complaints from residents and local officials that they just don’t have the kind of enforcement powers that is often needed to rein in delinquent owners of certain properties.”
The legislation, S-481, adds rooming and boarding houses to the state’s existing “Animal House” statute which holds property owners responsible for offending behavior by permitting municipalities to enact ordinances to require posting bond against disorderly behavior. Currently, landlords of apartment complexes are subject to such enforcement already.
The measure was drafted in response to several problems the Town of Newton has been experiencing with several boarding houses within the town. At one particular property, police responded to 77 calls in less than a year. More recently, law enforcement responded to four drug overdoses in one day at this same residence.
“By giving towns an additional enforcement tool against a bad actor, we can help local communities curb disruptive behavior in order to maintain the positive character of a neighborhood,” Senator Oroho said. “Our ultimate goals are to preserve property values and improve our residents’ quality of life.”
Assemblyman Parker Space is going to sponsor the companion bill in the General Assembly.
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