Press Release
Senator Declan O'Scanlon Senator Declan O'Scanlon (R-13)
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Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600
March 11, 2021
O’Scanlon Bill Bolstering Tenant Protections Advances

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Renters would have more robust safeguards from unscrupulous landlords under legislation sponsored by Senator Declan O’Scanlon and advanced today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Declan O’Scanlon would provide tenants with more vigorous protection from unscrupulous landlords. (Pixabay)

This bill, S-306, would create a streamlined and expanded landlord registration process and make changes concerning multiple dwelling inspections and maintenance.

Under the measure, municipalities could meet up to 10 percent of their affordable housing obligations by establishing a program encouraging the rehabilitation of substandard dwelling units and the dedication of rehabilitated units for rental as low-income housing.

“There are many good landlords in New Jersey who care about treating their tenants with fairness and dignity. This bill is directed at the bad ones. Tenants have the right to live in clean and secure housing with their families, not the rat-infested properties operated by slumlords,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “This comprehensive legislation makes it clear that in New Jersey, we will not tolerate selfish landlords and unsanitary rental properties. We are protecting the access to safe, acceptable housing for tenants, and ensuring landlords are responsive to tenant concerns and can be held accountable when problems arise.”

The bill modernizes the landlord registration process, clarifying the expectations for landlords and promoting accountability and communication between property-owners and State agencies.

It also encourages the rehab of substandard dwelling units, allowing a percentage of restorations to be dedicated for low-income rental housing.

The legislation was inspired by the “Renters Hell” investigative series published by the Asbury Park Press.

A version of the measure cleared the Community and Urban Affairs Committee in the previous legislative session.

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