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Old 10-08-2019, 07:54 AM
 
1 posts, read 650 times
Reputation: 10

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My fiancée and I have lived inside of a non-rent-controlled 760 sq. ft. apartment in Hoboken for the past two years. This property is managed by another company. Initially, our rent was $2525/month, plus amenities, parking, and some utilities. The second year of living in the apartment, we renewed our lease for another year @ $2545/month, and were told that typical rent increases in this building were between 2.5% to 5%.

We recently received our rent renewal notice, and have been unexpectedly told it will be increasing about 18%, to $3000/month. This seems incredibly unreasonable and unfounded. We tried speaking with management, and they told us that unfortunately the owners of the building have said that they are unwilling to negotiate, and will not come down on their wanted increase. We have heard that other people, including families with two children have received increases of 29% (who have lived there since 2007)! There have been many complaints going around, and management have been unable to do anything about it. The owners have apparently stated that they did not care if everyone moved out of the building.

I understand that the only argument we could possibly have in court with is with regards to an "unconscionable increase". Would this be considered "unconscionable"? We were told that typically the judge only takes into consideration the market value of apartments...which I guess they could lease our place for at least $3200/month. It seems that "unconscionable" is a very loose term with regards to NJ rent laws.

Is there anything we can do? Are the owners stretching what they can legally ask for? Or is this just an extremely unethical business decision?

The unfortunate situation...is trying to find a new place to live now without downsizing ,and a place that will fit all of our furniture. We currently have an alcove in our apartment which allows for a corner desk/computer and other furniture. Finding a new apartment for the same rent we pay now is nearly impossible, that will accommodate all of our belongings. Everything is small...and we've been looking in Edgewater, Weehawken, etc.

We're getting married in a year, and planned on living in this building until after we got married and found a house. Now our plans are all out of whack.

Last edited by nuggstein; 10-08-2019 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Union City, NJ
1,599 posts, read 1,000,011 times
Reputation: 2214
It sucks that your rent went up by that much. But I think you just answered your own question. You’re being charged $3000 a month to live in an apartment that can be rented for $3200 a month. You’re having trouble finding a similar sized apartment for less money. Sounds to me like going to court would be a waste of time (however I’m not an attorney. I’m basing my opinion on common sense, and laws don’t seem to all be based on common sense so seek professional legal advise if you want to pursue this route).
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:43 AM
 
3,144 posts, read 2,379,582 times
Reputation: 2374
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuggstein View Post
non-rent-controlled
This basically sums it up. Without rent control they can charge whatever they would like. Even you admit that it would be more on the open market, so your argument is going to be a hard stretch in court.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,542 posts, read 16,410,466 times
Reputation: 5751
Looks like even with the increase the rent would be under market based on the info in the OP. Tough to make a case that’s “unconscionable.” Consult an attorney if you want, but I think there’s not much of a legal remedy.

I think your choices are:
(A) pay the increased rent;
(B) move someplace else where the rent is in your budget; or
(C) consider buying so that you’re not subject to the swings of market rent
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:59 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
6,057 posts, read 3,187,731 times
Reputation: 7239
Ask yourself this: do you really want to give your money to owners that stated "they did not care if everyone moved out of the building?"

I know I wouldn't.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:05 AM
 
1,082 posts, read 3,269,549 times
Reputation: 495
Unfortunately, moving is your best bet. Not sure where you work, but moving further out will save you a considerable amount of money. I live in a similar-sized garden apartment in Bergen County that’s a 45 minute bus ride (during rush hour) from the city. My rent is 1/2 of what you currently pay. Definitely helps when saving up for a home. Good luck!
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:20 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,731 posts, read 3,167,455 times
Reputation: 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuggstein View Post
Initially, our rent was $2525/month, plus amenities, parking, and some utilities.
Whenever these sort of situations arise, people ought to look at things from the other side of the equation:


For the past 2 years, you enjoyed a savings of $475 per month.
i.e. you've saved $11,400.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:23 AM
 
540 posts, read 306,310 times
Reputation: 127
Move to union city / west New York , then you get rent control.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:46 AM
 
Location: NJ
4,359 posts, read 9,510,863 times
Reputation: 3606
Since you're planning to get married and look for a house in a year anyway, you have 2 options:

a) suck it up and pay the rent increase for a year
b) start looking for a house now

Hoboken is the most overpriced and overrated city in all of NJ, so none of this surprises me.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Weehawken, NJ
172 posts, read 181,407 times
Reputation: 164
Towns like Hoboken are in no shortage of renters, so thats why your landlord has that mentality. Without rent control you're basically obligated to either move out or pay the increase. Prior to purchasing our home we had an incredible deal on an apartment owned by a blue collar family. We paid about $800-1000/mo less than the market was for that area and all of our close friends asked us to let them know once we found a house so they could immediately move in. Well after giving our landlord 3 months notice of our move, he renovated the bathroom and hiked the rent up just shy of 1k. Even with that drastic increase, he had 4-5 tenants ready to move in. Im sure if we stayed he would've done the normal 4-6% raise since we had a great relationship but seeing as we were moving he took advantage to make a good return on the unit.

Look at it from the other side, you saved a good amount of money in that rental. Now you can pay the market rate or buy a home sooner. I was hesitant to buy a home because of the incredible deal we had, buying a house just didn't make sense financially. We were saving so much money, lived in a great area with great schools, 15 minutes into NYC but at anytime that could all be taken away at renewal time. So ultimately we bought our home and dont have to worry about rent going up, only property tax lol...
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