TENANT RESOURCE DIRECTORY
HOW TO SOLVE ANY PROBLEM
Newark Tenants United email@example.com
Truth in Renting Guide This is the free 2007 version. This is a great source of information.
Before going any further, it is important to know all the players involved. It is good to know the chain-of-command in your building. Most of the below levels exist in most large buildings.
THE HEIRARCHY OF AUTHORITY IN MOST LARGE BUILDINGS
LEVEL #1 = Unknown secret person, or group of investors (the investors in an LLC is not public information)
LEVEL #2 = Managing Member (this could be the primary investor, but sometimes a lawyer with a minor share)
LEVEL #3 = Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or Corporation (aka "THE OWNER").
LEVEL #4 = Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
LEVEL #5 = President
LEVEL #6 = VP of Operations or Director of Operations
LEVEL #7 = Owner of the Property Management Company
LEVEL #8 = Property Management Company
LEVEL #9 = Property Manager
LEVEL # 10 = Superintendant / Black Seal Boiler Operator
LEVEL # 11 = Security Guard (usually an outside company is hired for this)
LEVEL #12 = Maintenance Staff
For more details, click to see: Heirarchy of Authority in Apartment Buildings
GENERAL ADVICE ON GETTING YOUR REPAIRS COMPLETED:
DO NOT REPORT REPAIR ISSUES TO A SUPERINTENDANT (unless there is no property manager) and especially never to a MAINTENANCE PERSON. REPORT ISSUES DIRECTLY TO THE PROPERTY MANAGER !!! That's his or her job. Issues reported to the wrong people don’t count as being officially reported. This is the source of tenant frustration everywhere.
Basically, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Management is most afraid of tenants that know "the system", that knows how to call in Code Enforcement, and that know HOW to beat them in court. You become that tenant and this will prompt them to make your repairs instead of someone else's. You demonstrate this by sending a letter to the right person, and saying the right things. YES, show all your cards in your letter.
Documentation is important, including email correspondence, in addition to a phone call. Keep a file folder specifically for repair issues. Keep all correspondence.
Here are the steps that you need to take
(1) send a certified letter to your property manager and keep the green signature card once it is returned to you. It is always best to cc: it to the building owner no matter what your manager or super says. There's a very low chance that the Building Owner will respond to you directly in any fashion (phone, email, mail, personal visit), so don't be discouraged when they don't respond to you. They hired the Property Manager specifically to be a buffer between them and the tenants so they aren't personally involved in disputes. However, if you show the building owner that you know your stuff, there's a better than 50% chance that the building owner will contact the Property Manager and ORDER him or her to resolve your issues immediately, and virtually 100% chance that they will have a conversation about you and your repairs.
(2) send a copy to their email, and to the Tenants Association in your building, if any. They need to keep on top of general trends in the building, so they know what macro-issues to address with management. They may also send a followup letter to
In any letter that you send to management for your repairs, state all of the following quotes:
First list your issues, one issue per paragraph and number the paragraphs. The next paragraph explains, briefly, all th step you have taken to attempt to get the repairs.
(a) "If my repairs are not resolved by _____ (date), I will take you to Small Claims Court and show all my letters and pictures to the judge"
(b) "I am not paying rent until all the repairs are completed. If you take me to Landlord/Tenant Court, I will come to court with all my letters, my photos, and my checkbook. I have the money, and I will ask to deposit my rent to the Court. I will ask the court to hold the rent money until the repairs are done to my satisfaction." This is a basic tactic, this is done thousands of times a year throughout New Jersey. Show that you know this.
(c) "If my repairs are not resolved by _____ (date), I will also be contacting Newark Code Enforcement at 973-733-6471 and submitting a detailed list of violations. They will come out and visit, document all violations, and take separate legal actions likely resulting in a court appearance for management and fines for every violation." Showing that you know their phone number tells them that you are ready to make the call yesterday. (NOTE: All Code Enforcement can do is fine them, they can't order the repairs to be done. However, landlords and managers respond to the threat of fines)
(d) "Tenants have the legal right to have the repairs done by an outside party, submit the invoice and and deduct the amount from the next months' rent. This is allowed in the State of New Jersey, and you do not have the right to charge a late fee. If the repairs are not completed soon, I may exercise this option". When the time comes, the second letter outlines that you made the repairs with an outside party, and that you are deducting "X" amount from your rent. Submit this letter with your rent, minus repair costs. (better keep copies of all these documents, never give them the original). If you are taken to Landlord Tenant Court for not paying the full amount, have yet another copy of your original letter, your repairs invoice and your 2nd letter for the Court, and you are almost guaranteed to win. Don't go to Court without your file of papers. Also, don't give the court your only copy. If you have to go to Staples or a copy shop, do it. Worst case scenario, have your checkbook on hand to pay your rent, but this is very unlikely. You will NEVER be evicted under this scenario.
(e) "I will be copying all correspondance to the Tenants Association in the building" (Use this if there is a Tenants Association),
(f) "I know my rights, but I first want to try to work with management in a responsible manner to get the repairs completed without having to take further actions". Make this conciliatory gesture towards the end of the letter. When the judge sees it, they'll see that you are a reasonable tenant.
(g) set an absolutely time deadline for the repairs to be completed. 2 weeks is reasonable. Give them a phone number to reach you, and advise that "I would like to schedule time for them to have access into the apartment." ((( This is very important because the standard defense of management, in court, is to claim that they wanted to fix the unit, but the tenant denied access. This is heard hundreds of times, every month, in landlord tenant courts all across New Jersey.)))
(3) Once the letter is sent, document their responses. Keep everything in a special file. Don't have all your information scattered around your apartment.
(4) Document every times they are a "no show" for unit repairs at a scheduled time. Don't waste too much time playing the cat-and-mouse game of being home, or having someone home for repairs. Once the time deadline is passed, the next best bet is to contact Newark Code Enforcement, and in some cases, the Newark Health Department.
See also “Issues for Newark Code Enforcement” and "Issues for Newark Health Department".
Landlord/Tenant Law 101: http://www.njlawnet.com/njlawreview/landlordtenant101.html--- By Bruce Gudin ofLevy, Ehrlich & Petriello. The same Bruce Gudin who is the attorney for many major landlords in Newark. This is an important document, print it out, and use it. Beat them with their own words.
Small Claims Court forms (for claims up to $3000, or security deposit up to $5,000)
Instructions for Small Claims Court
Special Civil Complaint forms (for claims $3001 to $15,000)
Instructions for Special Civil Court
TRUTH IN RENTING ACT
N.J.S.A. 46:8-48 Offer of or entry into lease in violation of rights or tenants; termination of lease; exception
No landlord shall offer to any tenant or prospective tenant or enter into any written lease after the effective date of this act which includes a lease provision which violates clearly established legal rights of tenants or responsibilities of landlords as established by the law of the State at the time the lease is signed. A tenant shall have the right to petition a court of competent jurisdiction to terminate a lease containing any such provision. Nothing contained herein shall limit any rights or remedies a tenant may have under a lease.
TAKE MANAGEMENT TO LANDLORD/TENANT COURT FOR REPAIR ISSUES, with you as the Plaintiff:
This is a work in-progress:
Click here to download documents:
If management is not completing repairs in your apartment, tenants in New Jersey have been told by the New Jersey Tenants Organization to not pay your rent, get hauled down to Landlord Tenant Court as a Defendant, hand your rent money over to the Court, and state your case. If you do this you are a Defendant. Every month, there are hundreds of tenants from throughout Essex County hauled down there for non-payment of rent (mostly the urban areas). The presumption by the judge and "the system" in general is that you are all deadbeats who deserve to be evicted unless you really have a special case. This isn't justice, but this is what we are dealing with in Essex County. For large buildings, your manager is sending the same attorney's down there every month.
Do not be the Defendant, be the Plaintiff. Look up a 2 inches and print out the Landlord/Tenant Law 101. This is the advise written for the entire State of New Jersey by Bruce Gudin.
Your hand is strengthened by becoming the Plaintiff. And as a Plaintiff, you could win a monetary award of up to $3,000 in Small Claims Court. As a Defendant, if you are really lucky you'll get a couple hundred dollars. This tactic really has the potential of forcing your landlord to be a better landlord. And once you've done it once, any future repair requests made by you will be a priority to complete. There are 2 ways to do this, and at least one of them is still valid:
METHOD #1: BE A PLAINTIFF IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT
March, 2011: Go to the Essex County Hall of Records, 465 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (at Market Street.) Go to the small claims court on 2nd floor in old part of building. Fill out the papers. Make copies. Certify them in the room that they instruct, which is on the entry level. Go back upstairs to the Small Claims court and process it. You'll get notice in the mail for a court date. Make sure you go, and bring COPIES of all your documentation (pictures, letters, emails). No documentation = No victory in court.
This advise has been proven to be very effective in dealing with damage to apartments from floods, including ruined carpets, buckled floors, deteriorated walls and ceilings, mold and mildew. Keep a good file of letters, emails, and pictures.
METHOD #2: BE A PLAINTIFF IN LANDLORD-TENANT COURT
We are leaving method #2 on the website, but we have been told that it is no longer correct. Sources say that Landlord Tenant Court will no longer accept tenants as plaintiff's. All tenants in that courtroom are to considered defendants.
(1) First go to your bank and get a bank-certified check, as per step #2. On or before the 5th of the month, go to the Superior Court, Landlord Tenant Office on Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd, corner of Market Street and Martin Luther King, Jr., Bldvd. Use either the MLK or Market Street entrance. The Landlord / Tenant office is in the old part of the building closer to MKL, 2nd floor (room # 237 ?) It's the most heavily visited office in the building, any security guard or person you see in the hallways can direct you to find it. Don't worry about not finding it.
(2) Ask for a blank complaint to fill out. The staff there might advise you to withhold your rent, essentially making you the Defendant. Or they might try and send you to Small Claims Court, don't do this. Demand to be the PLAINTIFF in withholding rent, and say that you want to proactively put this month's rent money into escrow with the court. Say that you don't want to be sitting in the courtroom as a Defendant with hundreds of deadbeat defendants. Come with a bank-certified check or money-order written to Treasurer, State of New Jersey, that is the exact amount of your monthly rent. Make sure you put your unit # and last name in the lower left corner.
(3) There are minor costs involved in filing, bring your checkbook. You'll get this back at the end from your landlord.
(4) You'll get a letter in the mail for your court date, and so will you landlord.
(5) Your Landlord may go through the time and expense of filing their own case against you, as if you are the Defendant. They may do this even though you already filed as the Plaintiff, because they want to try and become the Plaintiff. Whoever is the Plaintiff has the upper hand. As the Defendant, you will be slapped with hundreds of dollars in legal fees if Audubon is your landlord. If they file against you, when either case is called (yours or theirs), demand to have the cases consolidated with you as the Plaintiff. Have the paperwork for both with you. You will win this.
(7) If you are hauled into court as the Defendant and haven't put money into escrow yet, come to court with a bank-certified check or money-order that is the exact amount of your monthly rent. Write the check to "Treasurer, State of New Jersey" and to put your docket # and unit # in the lower left corner. Do not come with a personal check or cash. Do not go to court without money, that's a big problem. You'll be told to come back by 4:00 or be locked out.
(8) You will likely be given the chance to "settle" your case before it gets to the Judge. Your money will get put into an escrow account, and management will be ordered to make the repairs. You'll have to come back to court. This is also where you negotiate your monetary award. Make sure that all legal fees against your account for this matter be eliminated.
NOTE ON LOCKOUTS: You have a certain number of days, by law, to come clean on your account, and be readmitted to your apartment.
ISSUES FOR NEWARK CODE ENFORCEMENT:
Can be reached at 973-733-6471. During the heating season, this number is 24/7. Make sure to get a Citizen Complaint # (CC#). Inspectors work between the hours of 8:30 am- and 10:00 pm, after which an answering service will take your call. It’s best to call 8:30 – 4:30 for most issues. Except for elevator outages, contact building management first for all code-related issues and tell them that Code Enforcement will be called if the problem isn’t fixed. Then do it if management isn’t responding to your satisfaction.
General Number to report a violation: 973-733-6471. Start by calling this number, not the below people.
Tommy McDonald is the Acting Supervisor of Code Enforcement. He can be reached at 973-733-8040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is in charge of Code Enforcement for the entire city, and all the inspectors report to him. He reports to Melvin Waldrop, Director of Community Affairs
In the North Ward, Councilman Anibal Ramos should be contacted if Code Enforcement doesn't do their job. email@example.com or his office number is 973-733-5137. In the Central Ward, it is Councilman Darren Sharif.
HERE IS THE CODE ENFORCEMENT PROCESS:
(1) After you call, Code Enforcement will send out an Inspector within 24 hours.
(2) So if the problem is inside your apartment, be prepared to be home or have somebody at home to let them in.
(3) If they find a violation, they will send a certified letter to management.
(4) When the green card is returned, management has 24 hours to fix the problem before a 2nd inspection.
(5) If the problem still hasn’t been resolved, they set a Court date for management (you don’t need to go) and fines may be issued. Typically a court case takes a few months to reach the court.
(6) If you need to follow up with a Supervisor, have your CC# before you call. Her name is Ms. Thomas 973-733-5605.
(7) If the case goes to court, Municipal Prosecutor Clyde L. Otis covers these type of issues. 31 Green Street, Room 313, Newark, NJ 07104. 973-733-7035 fax = 973-733-4786
The Newark Code Enforcement Dept. will respond to several categories of issues:
(1)DETERIORATION OF WALLS, CEILINGS, FLOORS, CARPET: Plumbing leaks from the the heating/AC riser pipes is a Code Enforcement issue. Any associated bubbling, crumbling, and other deterioration of ceilings, walls, or flooring is a prime Code Enforcement issue. Our riser pipes are old and rusted, and these problems are now very common. When the inspectors come and see these problems, it's always written up as a violation of Newark's housing codes.
Contact building management first and tell them that you will contact Newark Code Enforcement and the Tenants Association if the deterioration is not fixed immediately. (Hint: by showing management that you know the process, they will take you very seriously.) They are more likely to respond and fix it. Those tenants who do this are prioritized, those who don't may wait forever for your repairs. Tenants who pay their rent on time also rank much higher on the maintenance priority list. Tenants who threaten to pay their rent into an escrow account, instead of to management, until the repairs are made will move even higher on the list.
Note that in the Fall of 2008, Audubon Center stopped using the Russian contractors who fixed up units for new tenants to move in. They are now using the Superintendants and maintenance crew to fix vacant units. This means that the Superintendants and Maintenance persons have little or no time to fix problems inside occupied units and to clean common areas. Now they think that the new Superintendant of 380, Stephen Lewis, will be some sort of Superman who can fix everything. Even if he accomplishes a bit more than than Alberto, he's only human. The bottom line is that the buildings are short-staffed. Don't blame the Property Manager or the Super's or the Maintenance staff for not fixing your problem. The fault lies with the BUILDING OWNERS for running these buildings too lean. For not providing the funds or the manpower needed. There is now a huge and growing backlog of occupied units waiting for repairs, especially repairs related to riser pipe leaks and bursts. Filing a code enforcement violation has become the only effective way to get things done around here.
(The primary duty of our staff is to get new tenants moved in, so that Audubon can receive rental income instead of another unit sitting vacant. More units are vacant than ever before, and the rent roll is down. It has become difficult to rent units here because of code violations in common areas, and especially because there are no security guards in the lobbies. Both have seriously affected the supply/demand equation. In many cases, they have no choice but to rent to people who really can't afford to live here. New tenants increasingly wind up late on rent, and in court for eviction)
These are considered “habitability issues” by the Court; you have the right to demand a rent reduction or to withhold rent by paying rent to an escrow account. If your problem gets this involved, contact us directly for more advise. Keep in mind that if the issue winds up in court, management’s STANDARD RESPONSE will be to lie and say that you failed to allow them access into your apartment. Therefore, document everything, especially if they fail to come during the promised hours. For serious problems, send certified letters and keep an email log of everything.
(2)NO HEAT, NO AIR CONDITIONING, NO HOT WATER: These are all code enforcement issues. However, use reasonable discretion before contacting them. It is best to contact building management first. Some of these complaints can be resolved , even during non-business hours because each building must have a Black-Seal Certified Boiler Technician living onsite who checks and records the status of the systems every two hours. On many occasions during normal business hours, outages are temporary and deliberate in order for maintenance work to occur on the 4" riser pipes that carry hot or cold water to the heating/AC units. If any unit above or below you is undergoing plumbing repairs, your plumbing line will be shut down for a few hours.
We do not want residents to contact Code Enforcement due to scheduled intentional outages of heating, AC, or water supply (these are needed for plumbing repairs) because these are not violations. It’s a waste of their time, don’t be “crying wolf”
Residents can ask for a special hearing at the Newark Rent Control Board for "no heat". Must be documented. Currently, they are not allowing representatives of buildings to petition for the entire building. This is a policy decision that is hostile to tenant rights. 2 residents of 402 Mt. Prospect successfully petitioned the board in 2009, and got a one-time rent reduction of 45%.
(3) ELEVATOR OUTAGES: City of Newark Elevator Inspection Maureen Castellon 201-653-5242
Contact building management first, especially during overnight hours. During regular business hours, the Super’s and/or maintenance staff generally find out within 15 minutes, either from a resident or they see it themselves. They contact management immediately.
In the event that a major elevator outage occurs, contact Code Enforcement, and get a CC# for the complaint. Especially if you see that an elevator is down for an extended period of time, it is important to start the process. Email the Tenants Association and give us the CC#.
If stuck in an elevator, try the emergency button and/or call somebody on your cell phone to get management’s hotline # and then call them. Maintenance staff have a special key to rescue you. They enjoy proving that they can rescue someone quicker than the fire department can arrive here, so try them first before panicking and dialing 911 on your cell phone. We don’t want to burden city resources in any instance when the building can take care of itself.
(4)ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS: If anyone determines that management is in violation of any city ordinance, Newark Code Enforcement handles this as well.
ISSUES FOR NEWARK HEALTH DEPARTMENT:
They can be reached at 973-733-7600. Contact building management first for all health-related issues. Theoretically, the Newark Health Dept. will force a timetable for management to respond, and if the issue isn’t resolved by a set date they will take management to court (you don’t need to go) and fines will be issued. Theoretically, the Newark Health Dept will respond to several categories of issues:
(1) Mold and mildew (it is particularly unsafe for babies to breathe black mold)
(2) The cleaning of vents and heating units
(3) Unsanitary conditions and odors in the building, apartments, and terraces
(4) Pests such as rats, mice, bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches, etc.
(5) Exotic pets which are prohibited by law in the State of New Jersey. We don’t expect anyone to move in with a pet alligator, for example, but you never know.
(6) Persons who feed pigeons, especially at Fine Fare and the corner of Mt. Prospect & Abington
We say theoretically because our experience has been that the Newark Health Department will do everything possible to refer a complaint to either Code Enforcement or the Water/Sewer Department.
They are absolutely useless as a tool for tenants. They don't want to come out, even if you specifically demand it.
NEWARK DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH (BED BUGS) Michael Wilson 973-722-3734
ISSUES FOR NEWARK RENT CONTROL DEPT:
Maria Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-733-3675.
Ms. Hernandez and her staff regularly meet with landlords and property managers and advise them on issues of concern. They serve as a sounding board for landlords and property managers that seek detailed advise on what actions are permitted in the City of Newark.
Rent Control also handles tenant complaints, but in most cases they advise tenants to "consult a lawyer" or refer them back to the Property Manager. They do not advise tenants on any real options are available to them. For instance, they will not tell tenants about the Code Enforcement Process, or that they can withhold rent money in an escrow account through the court system until repairs are completed. They will not refer tenants to Newark Tenants United, the New Jersey Tenants Organization, or to any tenant association in their building.
Maria Hernandez and her staff report to a Rent Control Board that is comprised of landlord and tenant representatives. The swing vote on the Board is Annie Cheatam, a "tenant representative" who is indeed a tenant, but is actually a career property manager who is now retired. Annie Cheatam worked at Parkwood Place (formerly "The Cromwell") and Mt. Prospect Towers/Abington Tower. Both buildings are on Mt. Prospect Avenue in the North Ward.
Rent Control reports ultimately to Adam Zipkin, Deputy Mayor and Director of Economic and Housing Development.
Renee Harris-Robinson has the title Representative, Rent Regulations. We do not know her place on the chain of command. She works for the Office of Board - Rent Control, Dept of Economic and Housing Development. She can be reached at 973-733-4307. Fax is 973-733-6366. Email is Harrisre@ci.newark.nj.us.
REASONS FOR EVICTION:
more to be posted on this.
(J) A TENANT HABITUALLY AND WITH OUT LEGAL JUSTIFICATION PAYS RENT LATE after receiving a written notice to cease paying rent late. If the tenant pays rent late (2) or more months after the written notice to cease, the landlord may give the tenant a one (1) month Notice to Quit. Legal action may be instituted one (1) month after the written Notice to Quit.
Note: The Courts have ruled that habitual late payments means more than one (1) late payment following the Notice to Cease. Also the N.J. Appellate Court and Supreme Court ruled that a landlord after giving a tenant a notice to cease late payments, must continue to give the tenant reasonable and sufficient notice when accepting further late payments, that continued late payments from the tenant would result in an eviction action. If the landlord does not give this continued notice, the original Notice to Cease given to the tenant may be considered waived by the Court (91).
The above text is reprinted, word-for-word from the most recent "TRUTH IN RENTING" document. Landlords and their attorneys may not deviate from this.
RENT CONTROL ISSUES:
The Newark Rent Control office also has jurisdiction over the buildings on a multitude of issues; the exact extent we have not yet determined. We are listing them, one by one, as we determine them
(1) DISPUTES OVER RENT INCREASES. Your annual rent increase in Newark can only be 4%, that covers all large buildings in the City of Newark. (rental units in smaller buildings and houses are 5%). If you feel it has not been calculated properly, contact them.
(2) NO-HEAT RENT CREDIT APPLICATIONS. Rent Control will entertain applications from individuals who want a rent credit for enduring no heat. Even in cases where it is documented by Code Enforcement that an entire building had no heat for a particular time period, Rent Control will not allow tenants or a Tenant Association to represent all tenants in a joint action. Each individual tenant has to come down, fill out the papers at their office, and then personally attend the hearing and testify. Allowing joint applications would save tremendous time and paperwork for the Department and it would result in only one hearing (saving an enormous amount of time for the Rent Control Board members when the hearings are held). The change would result in landlords issuing more rent credits in Newark. This is an issue for Newark Tenants United to address with city officials, and was added Jan 27, 2012 to the Tenants Agenda for Newark (on the home page).
(3) APPLICATIONS BY LANDLORDS FOR SPECIAL RENT INCREASES. Rent control hears applications from landlords for rent increases to cover capital improvements as well as other matters. In 2010, one of the largest landlords in Newark filed a petition with Rent Control to increase rents at 3 major complexes (totaling over 1500 units) in order to cover the recent increase in property taxes.
(4) CLAUSES IN LEASES. We need to verify the Rent Control Department's level of authority over objectionable lease clauses. Since about 2007, there is an increasing trend in Newark for new leases to contain clauses that many of us find objectionable. Many of the clauses are outright illegal. Tenants are often torn over signing the leases. If you do sign a lease with an illegal clause (for instance that the landlord has no responsibility for no heat, damages regarding pipe bursts, etc) you are not bound by that clause. Most judges know the law.
ETHICS COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE LANDLORD'S ATTORNEY:
Attorneys representing landlords have become very aggressive, and will often exceed their legal authority by sending threatening letters, or taking actions against tenants which are illegal in the State of New Jersey. They do this because people don't know their rights.
In the event that you are treated unjustly or illegally by your landlord's attorney, you may file an ethics complaint against him or her. Contact the State Office of Attorney Ethics, 800-406-8594, enter your zip code, and after you are transferred request filing forms. You can also mail them a letter to: Office of Attorney Ethics, P.O. Box 963, Trenton, NJ 08625.
We advise you to consult with the New Jersey Tenants Organization before making this decision, to determine if the actions taken constitute a breach of ethics. Strongly consider this even if your attorney advises against it. There is an unwritten code among attorneys to NOT recommend ethics complaints against their peers. It's almost like a "nuclear option". However, ethics complaints have proven to be a very effective tool at reigning in on aggressive attorneys.
POLICE & FIRE ISSUES:
The 2nd Precinct Council is a citizen's advisory group that meets with the 2nd Precinct Captain and other officers at 6:30 PM on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the 2nd Precinct Station, 1 Lincoln Ave (@ Broadway), Newark, NJ. Capt. Ivonne Roman has been in command since Jan 17, 2012. Lt. O'Hara is also on the Council and tasked to work with community leaders.
The 2nd Precinct covers a huge area from Central Ave to the Belleville border, including the North Ward, almost half of the Central Ward, and portions of the West Ward. There are Precinct Councils for the other 3 precincts as well.
www.newarkpdonline.org/nixle/php Nexle is a Community Information Service that broadcasts crime alerts, street closures, community events, and any other Emergency Situations that my arise. Stay informed and become a member. Newark police want as many residents and community leaders as possible to sign up. You can receive alerts by email or text. Forget the rumor mill, this is the real deal.
www.crimereports.com Type in any address and see a map with symbols depicting reported crimes in the area. You can narrow the search by changing the date range, scrolling in or out on the map, or selecting a police sector. This information is EMPOWERING.
FIRE: Call 911 before calling management. There are fire alarm boxes and fire extinguishers in the hallways on every floor. yes, it's for you, the tenant to use. Aim fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
DRUGS, ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, GANGS: Newark Police and building management both encourage tenants to report drugs, illegal activities, and gangs. Note that management may not like the police bearing down on them, and may use significant discretion before reporting the information to the Police.
In order to be assured of complete confidentiality, report any issues of this nature directly to the Newark Police 2nd District Investigative Unit at 973-733-6231. (The Police main number is 973-733-6000). As long as law-abiding people are the dominant force in our buildings, not the law-breakers, our presence here will be a deterrent against drugs, illegal activities, and gangs. 380/402 is in "Zone 217 of the 2nd Precinct".
VICTIM OF A CRIME: If you see a crime occur or if you are the victim of any crime, call 911 to reach the Newark Police Department. Also file an incident report with management if it occurred on building property.
VICTIM OF A CRIME / VANDALISM or THEFT FROM AUTO: Call 911 or 973-733-6000. The North Ward Police Precinct is currently investigating persons suspected of these activities in our neighborhood, and they keep a database and map of all occurrences. They want every incident reported, do not assume that they are busy with “serious” crimes and don’t care about this. It is also important for statistics that become the basis for city hall to allocate more police coverage in our area. Our Police Precinct, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, and several local community associations all want more police coverage for the North Ward. This is a big political issue. Also file an incident report with management if it occurred on building property.
NON-EMERGENCY REQUESTS: For the 2nd (North) Precinct, Call their Community Affairs Desk at 973-733-6188 or 973-481-8019. This is the non-emergency number for citizens who need information, have requests, or want to know more about police initiatives in the Community.
GETTING NOWHERE WITH A POLICE PROBLEM: Ask for Detective Jose Ocasio. He is assigned to the Community Affairs desk and is specifically tasked to help residents on Mt. Prospect Avenue to cut through the bureaucracy, or to take reports to ease the waiting time in the Precinct.
CITY COUNCIL AND COMMUNITY ISSUES:
mass transit options
ISSUES ON MT. PROSPECT AVE: The Mt. Prospect Partnership is a Business Improvement District that launched in early 2009 and has a business office with a full-time Deputy Director. They handle issues including but not limited to Graffiti, illegal dumping, and loitering, as well as streetscape improvements, storefront improvements, park improvements, issues with police coverage, etc. They have hired Sterling Securities in May. This is a 24/7 security operation which interacts with the police, and specifically patrols all of Mt. Prospect Avenue looking for trouble.
643-645 Mt. Prospect Ave, Suite 2A. phone = 973-482-2200 fax = 973-482-5900
--- Executive Director (part-time, shared with Bloomfield)
Iris Torrez --- Deputy Director (full-time)
Frank Petolino --- President
Mario Moyano --- Vice President
Arthur Badillo --- Secretary
Jose B. Cohen --- Treasurer
Members are Julia Ferreira, Felix Lopez-Montalvo, Mario Puorro, Chris Virginio, Sylvester Bautista, Fred Williams, Ronald Ollie, and Micheal Sheehan
CITY ISSUES / NEIGHBORHOOD ISSUES: Write to the Newark Mayor & Council at: 920 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102.
City Council meetings are usually the first Wednesday of every month at 12:30 PM (sometimes 1:30) and the third Wednesday at 7:00 PM, but the times change frequently. Contact the city clerk at 973-733-3844. Those wishing to speak must fax a letter stating name, address, and one line on the subject matter by the PRECEDING FRIDAY to 973-733-3725 (fax #). See also www.ci.newark.org for an enormous amount of information on the City of Newark.
There is also a Mt. Prospect Business Improvement District, which has been 8 years in the making. The organization is "fully funded", and it's first Executive Director started January 1, 2009
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE & GRAFFITI: coming soon
ISSUES IN YOUR BUILDING:
NOISE COMPLAINTS: Call management’s hotline #. We want at least one of the Superintendants to be onsite 24/7 to directly handle noise issues in either building. Newark’s noise ordinance kicks in at 8pm. After 8:00 PM, Newark Police can be called at 973-733-6000 (not 911) for noise complaints, but we’d prefer that the building handle these matters internally rather than take up police time.
BUREAU OF ANIMAL CONTROL ISSUES:
Contact person: Bernie Spann, certified animal control officer. Dept of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Animal Control, 94 William Street, 4th floor, Newark, NJ 07102. 973-733-6294 fax 973-733-6295.
PETS: We have been informed by Senior management that pets are prohibited in the buildings, except for those which are grandfathered. Senior management wants to be made aware of any new unregistered dogs and/or any unruly pets. Senior management wants tenants to report all incidents of dogs urinating or defecating in elevators, other common areas, or on balconies. The dog population has gone down dramatically since then in Bldg 380, but is not always enforced at 402. At least 6 pit bulls have been evicted, 2 from 380 and the rest from 402. There is no tolerance for any large or vicious dog breeds.
Note that the previous dog policy was "20 lbs", therefore some of the "grandfathered" dogs are actually in violation of that policy as well.
NEWARK'S DOG REGULATIONS: For all Newark Ordinances as of 2009 that affect dogs, click this link: Title VI Animals and Foul
There is a lot to read.
BEDBUGS and other PESTS: Bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches, and mice are a serious matter because they can spread to other units. This should be reported immediately to Management so that extermination efforts can be coordinated immediately. Please also report bedbugs to the Tenants Association as well.
PIGEONS: Old ladies feeding pigeons at Mt. Prospect & Abington, and also around Fine Fare caused an overpopulation of pigeons. This problem was largely resolved early in 2008, but could resume at any time. Feel free to confront them on the spot and demand that they cease their illegal activities or be reported to the Newark Dept of Health. If you have a camera, take their picture and email it to us at email@example.com. They are soiling our balconies, window ledges, cars, and sidewalks, and even building nests on our balconies. The city, the police, and the Wesley Towers Seniors Building (444 Mt. Prospect) have all been cracking down on the pigeon ladies. Any incidents near Mt. Prospect & Abington should be reported directly to Daniel Acosta, Manager of Wesley Towers, at 973-484-4441 so that he can prosecute his residents. At all other locations, report pigeon feeding to the Dept of Health at 973-733-6971.
Note: The 380-402 Tenants’ Association desires to work together with management and all of the residents here to make our buildings a pleasant and desirable community, and to have all issues handled promptly and appropriately.
Landlord/Tenant Law 101: http://www.njlawnet.com/njlawreview/landlordtenant101.html
--- By Bruce Gudin of Levy, Ehrlich & Petriello.
Yes, our good friend Bruce Gudin wrote this for the New Jersey Law Network. Gudin is the attorney for Mount Prospect Towers, The Pavillion, The Colonnade, The Hallmark House, and many other buildings in Newark. It contains a wealth of information. If management deviates from the legal advise of their own attorney, we suggest printing this out, circle the relevant information, circle Gudin's name, and show your property manager. It contains detailed answers to the following questions:
- Q) What are the landlord's obligations regarding a tenant's security deposit?
- Q) When can a tenant withhold rents pending repairs by a landlord, or in the alternative, deduct the costs of such repairs from the rent ?
- Q) What happens when a tenant breaks their lease by vacating prior to the scheduled end of the stated rental term ?
- Q) What are some common grounds for eviction in New Jersey other than non-payment of rent ?
Law Firm for 380/402 (and The Pavillion) : Levy, Ehrlich & Petriello. 60 Park Place, Suite 1016, Newark, NJ 07102. 973-643-0040 phone and 973-596-1781 fax www.LEP-lawyers.com. On February 5, 2009, one of their staff lawyers told the Tenants Association to mail them copies of any correspondance sent to management. This is probably so they can bill management to read the letter. Attorney Bruce Gudin can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
CLEAN YOUR HEATER / AC UNITS: All tenants are recommended to have their heater / AC units cleaned out by the maintenance staff once every one or two years. There is a city or state code for this. They can become disgusting with mold and dust over many years. It is particularly unsafe for babies to breathe black mold spores. Having seen the results first hand, we strongly recommend this
UNIT UPGRADES: Management has been graciously allowing long-term tenants, on a case-by-case basis, to transfer to a fully rehabilitated apartment of the same size without a rent increase. There is a one-time fee to transfer, about $200 or $300. Historically, long-term tenants have also been able to get carpeting replaced and your walls painted. Now, however, there is such a backlog of very serious maintenance issues that this isn't being done any more.
APPLIANCE UPGRADES: There is no policy to upgrade kitchen appliances. There are a lot of units with dead dishwashers. This is a Code Violation. If they won't upgrade it, call code enforcement.
New Jersey Apartment Association (NJAA). See what our adversary is up to www.njaa.com
New Jersey Tenants Organization www.njto.org contact person = Mitch Kahn
located at ____ Main Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601. 201-375-3775. Members of the 380/402 Tenants Association are automatically members of NJTO. You can use this resource for serious issues
Newark HUD Tenants Coalition --- assists low-income tenants with Section 8 vouchers and generally advocates for low income tenants and low income housing. They are a larger organization than us, with state or federal funding and a paid office manager. However, they are philosophically against having a website and email, they feel it discriminates against poor tenants with no internet access. They have a lot of other surprising philosophies, and that's why we're not part of their organization. 'nuff said.
City of Newark www.ci.newark.nj.us (see Quick Links on right column of city's website)
North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. 973-733-5137 www.anibalramosjr.com
Ramos has an office on Summer Ave just south of 2nd Ave.
DISTRICT 29 STATE LEGISLATORS (all three are Democrats)
State Assemblywoman Grace Spencer 223 Hawthorne Ave, Newark, NJ 07112 (973) 624-1730
State Assemblyman Alberto Coutinho 73-75 Ferry Street, Newark, NJ 07105 (973) 589-0713
State Senator M. Theresa Ruiz 166 Bloomfield Ave, Newark 07104 (973) 484-1011
(These people represent us in Trenton, not Washington, D.C.)
NOTE: This is a work-in-progress, and it will be updated as needed.