Rent control question makes perfect sense; here it is
Oct 07, 2012 | 3351 views | 11 11 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

The article concerning the wording of the rent control question on the upcoming November ballot was a disservice to Hoboken. How does an entire article dealing with the wording of the question omit the wording itself? It makes it seem as though there might be a legitimate contention as to the wording’s clarity when there is not. Here is the question:

PUBLIC QUESTION: “Shall the City of Hoboken continue annual rental increase protections for current residents of rent controlled properties but allow property owners to negotiate rents for vacant apartments and exempt buildings with one-to-four units and condominium units from the rent leveling ordinance by adopting the proposed amendment to Chapter 155 of the Code of the City of Hoboken?”

Had you given your readers the opportunity to see the question, they would have come to the same conclusion as the judge and the City Clerk: the petitioners, entirely within their right, set forth the question that is to be decided, and the voters have sufficient information within the question to make a decision.

Both the question and the ordinance are completely clear that there will be no change in protection to existing residents, so that clause should have been included.

There is a reason that the city and the extremist rent control activists are on a huge losing streak against property owners: it’s because they are consistently wrong. Their politicization of the rent control law, and now their attempt to manipulate election law, have cost the city thousands in legal fees and tens of millions in tax revenue – not to speak of the hundreds of millions in property value they have destroyed. Their fear mongering is a disguise for the politicking we will see all through this election cycle.

However, all the voters need to do is read the question, and they will see it’s fair: no changes for existing tenants who stay in their units; new tenants pay a fair rent. Rent control does not disappear – all buildings with five units and greater will go back under rent control after a new tenant moves in and pays the new rent. But family-owned properties like condominium units and 1-4 family houses will be able to operate as they do in every other city in New Jersey.

Ron Simoncini,
Executive Director,
Mile Square Taxpayers Association

Comments
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WESTY
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October 15, 2012
I would bet if people saw who Cxgormally to advocate for them on this question they would say AHH HA !
WESTY
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October 15, 2012
who pays Cxgormally....
Cxgormally
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October 12, 2012
Cherry Tree

Hiding your identity cannot protect you from being flat out wrong---either on purpose or through ignorance of the law. New Jersey has, and always will have, the most protective laws guarding tenants against wrongful eviction by a landlord. Your statements that it is easy to evict a tenant are just flat out lies. I would invite anyone to attend a court session and witness how difficult it is to evict a tenant---even when the tenant has violated the lease, not paid rent or done a whole host of other behaviors that most everyone would think improper.

Eviction of a tenant is difficult and it should be. But most importantly, the Hoboken Housing Improvement Initiative does not change state law or the law regarding evictions. It remains exactly as it has been since the mid 1970s when it was implemented throughtout the state.

Repeating lies does not make them true. Reveal yourself and debate the ISSUES rather than exploiting those that may be influenced by your misinformation.

Charles Gormally

Brach Eichler LLC
CherryTree
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October 12, 2012
Dear me, there goes Charlie....again. I'm not talking about tenants that violated the lease or didn't pay their rent. I'm talking about my friends and neighbors that pay their rent on time who live in owner/occupied buildings with 3 units or less. And now I'm going to demonstrate that it is YOU who are telling lies. NJSA 2A:18-61.1: GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL OF TENANTS (word for word)

No lessee or tenant or assigns, under-tenants or legal representatives of such lessee or tenant may be removed by the Superior Court from any house, building, mobile home or land in a mobile home park or tenement leased for residential purposes, other than (and here comes the important part) - (1) OWNER-OCCUPIED PREMISES WITH NOT MORE THAN TWO RENTAL UNITS (i.e. 3 units or less.)... No, cause needed. Now will you stop spreading lies? This isn't me talking, it is the NJ State Statutes...but, of course, you as a practicing anti-tenant lawyer, know all about this statute.

Now, while these evictions are allowed under state law regardless of the tenant protections in Hoboken, currently, under Hoboken's rent protection laws, IF a landlord chooses to evict a tenant under this statute, the landlord cannot increase the rent for the next tenant. The incoming tenant's legal rent is the same as the evicted tenant's rent.

This is a very important protection and it will be lost if this harmful initiative passes. Currently, landlords' have NO PROFIT MOTIVATION to evict their tenants. If your harmful initiative passes, landlords will have LOTS OF PROFIT MOTIVATION to evict our long-time friends and neighbors. Yes, lots! The petitioners (4 of 5 being real estate agents) will be on the phone with lightening speed calling every small owner in town and suggesting that they evict their tenants ASAP so everyone can make more money. Of course, the long-time residents will be kicked out of their home, but hey, that's the free market, right? What do you care?

On Nov. 6th VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2 and let's all protect our friends and neighbors

CherryTree
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October 12, 2012
Ron – your eyes are brown.

To your first point above, how is a tenant that gets evicted so that the landlord can jack up the rent protected indefinitely? You know what I mean, the long-time resident paying $1000 or $1500 a month, who is probably 50, 55 or 60 years old and lives in a small building? You know, the one whose landlord periodically gets notes attached to their door that say: ‘I will pay cash for your building if you deliver it to me vacant. Call me at: XXX-XXXX.’ It’s not illegal to evict that tenant, currently, however there is no incentive – but if this law passes there will be a strong monetary incentive – so, I ask, how is that tenant protected? Let me answer for you….they’re not. Oh, and there are many many tenants in town that fall into this category.

As to my understanding of your side’s position, I understand it complete. You want to end tenant protections for our friends and neighbors. Rents in Hoboken are high. The biggest target of your anti-tenant protection initiative are the middle class residents that are somewhat older, have lived here for a long time and pay less than $2000 or $3000 a month in rent and probably live in buildings where the landlord can evict without cause. Since rents are so high in Hoboken (read any real estate site) you are trying to push out the long-time lower income tenants. Yes, your position is completely clear. Empty the town of long-time residents and don’t provide any protections for newer residents.

And, I love the bit where you try to present the landlords as victims, since you and I both know that state law mandates that every landlord must get a reasonable return on their investment, 6% PLUS the passbook, they are not being victimized. Quite frankly, I don’t know of any other type of investment that guarantees a reasonable return on investment, do you?

As to your second comment about all existing tenants being protected, how many times do we have to point out how easy it is to evict a tenant in order to jack up the rent? 50? 100? 1000?

Also love the part about how tenants are your customers…of course; if you can find a better customer (one that can afford to pay much more money) you’ll jettison your current customer for a ‘better’ customer faster than you can say lickety-split!

Citizens of Hoboken, don’t be deceived, VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2.

Cxgormally
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October 12, 2012
FINALLY! You have published the actual question that has been wrongly hyped by annonomous radicalized tenants!

Ask yourself---- why are these tenants who are guaranteed the continued protection of the rent control ordinance making such wild claims? Why do they refuse to discuss the ISSUES and FACTS about the broken politicized rent control ordinance? Why do they keep their identities secret?

It is time to have the "adult" discussion that this issue deserves. The proposal strikes a fair balance among small property owners, larger landlords, and tenants. The radical opposition cannot deal with that fact so they concoct tales of lawlessness and harassment to foster misunderstanding and false panic. Adress the issue!

All current rent controlled tenants remain protected.

Most new tenants coming into the city, are from other towns.

Landlords will improve housing as units become vacant.

Politicians shouldn't be running rent control.

A YES vote is the fair thing to do.

Charles Gormally

Brach Eichler. LLC
CherryTree
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October 12, 2012
Oh, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie – just because YOU say something is a fact doesn’t make it so. A better descriptive word for your talking points starts with an “L” not an “F.”

In response to your talking points:

1) Under the anti-rent control initiative all current tenants are AT RISK of EVICTION; tenants in smaller (1-3 owner/occupied) buildings can be evicted at the end of the lease or 30 days (if month to month) simply because the landlord wants to. And, if the initiative passes and the landlord believes s/he can get a lot more rent – THEY WILL WANT TO. This initiative GIVES THEM INCENTIVE TO EVICT. Mr. Gormally will not mention this; he always avoids addressing how easy it is to evict tenants in small buildings and how the proposed law will incentivize them(and there are many small buildings in Hoboken.) Landlords of larger buildings can evict tenants by turning the building into condos. If tenants are pushed out through simple eviction mechanisms, they no longer have protections

2) Tenant protections are lost when a landlord that wants to jack up rents evicts a tenant. What good is a so-called guarantee, when it is so easy to remove the tenant from their home and remove the guarantee? Additionally, units become exempt even if the landlord illegally evicts the tenant…which happens all the time.

3) As to the new tenants coming from out of town; ha – ha – funny. Tenants being evicted from their homes will not be coming from out of town and, of course, those same Hoboken tenants will not find rental units available that provide any protections and most rents will be out of their financial reach – climbing well over 2K or 3K a month.

4) The statement that landlords will improve buildings is opinion, not fact and an insult to all landlords that already maintain their buildings properly.

5) And contrary to your final ‘talking point’ – Politicians that are elected officials are exactly the people that should be legislating, not wealthy lobbying groups and out of town developers. If elected officials implement harmful laws, citizens have tools at their disposal, but our representatives are the people that we elected to oversee and implement our laws, not MSTA, the developer/real estate interests' group.

Good citizens of Hoboken, on Nov. 6th go to the polls and defend your community, your friends and neighbors: VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2.

TommyLover
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October 11, 2012
C'mon Ronnie, keep it coming. I love playing whack-a-mole. Lay out your lies so we can continue to let our neighbors know the truth.

Keep rent control in Hoboken - VOTE NO TO PUBLIC QUESTION #2 ON NOV 6TH.
ronsimoncini
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October 12, 2012
get a grip, Tommy....you haven't made a good point yet, just slandered myself and mr. gormally with name calling and threats and innuendo that embraces no truth and a political agenda that died two generations ago.

people trust people whose names they know and whose opinions they can read in a straightforward way. where is your opinion on the equity of the proposed law? where is your opposition to the policy behind the proposed law?

you have none. your agenda is to hurt property owners, not help tenants, who our proposed the law -- voluntarily -- protects you indefinitely. what have you done to express any fairness or understanding of the position of the other side?

the answer is nothing, because you don't have any justification for your position except that hurting property owners is good. on what planet is a political strategy only based on depriving one set of people embraceable? you aren't even getting anything more from them, but you seek to hurt them anyway.

it's a disgrace and its why you won't put your name on anything you write.
CherryTree
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October 11, 2012
Mr. Simoncini, the question is designed to deceive the public and your organization is hoping that people will only read the first part of the question that states: Shall the city of Hoboken continue annual 'rental increase protections...' This is a well calculated manipulation to get a yes vote from people who want their friends and neighbors to be protected from profit motivated evictions. The way to continue rent control protections in Hoboken is to VOTE NO on question #2, but on first glance it might not appear so.

Should this harmful initiative pass, there is a BIG change to the existing tenants' protections - currently, if a tenant is evicted simply to jack up the rent (what is known as a holdover tenant), the landlord is barred from getting an increase. That is an important protection that your harmful initiative eliminates...and you know it. Why don't you come clean about this, Mr. Simoncini?

Who is the real extremist? The organization that wants long term residents to be thrown out of their homes or, the residents of Hoboken that want to defend their friends and neighbors from big, well-funded developer/real estate lobbyists that want to harm our town. Hoboken residents, don't be fooled: VOTE NO on Hoboken Question #2 on November 6th.
ronsimoncini
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October 12, 2012
The clean is this: we made it part of the law to protect all existing tenants so there would be no confusion.

we did that because tenants are our customers and a deal is a deal: they are entitled to rent control.

however, a new tenant moving into Hoboken should not receive an undermarket rent that is subsidized by condo and single family homeowners to the detriment of everyone, including the existing tenants.

extremists are small groups away from the rational majority. we saw in the last election that no matter how much fear-mongering you did, the voters were not persuaded. the whole world is running away from rent control because it fails to do what it is supposed to do. you are a privileged person to have the rights to a property at a fixed and predictable cost when the owner of the property has no such right. despite its inherent contradiction to our free market system, MSTA has used this opportunity to permanently protect you under rent control.

we thought that was more than fair and far from misleading, and we are hoping the voters will again discount your rhetoric, which has nothing to do with fact or policy, and do what is right for Hoboken.

clean enough?