Morristown Council Introduces Rent Freeze for 2023

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Morristown’s Town Council on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, unanimously introduced an amendment (Ordinance No. O-27-2022) to place a one-year freeze on rent increases for rent-controlled apartments in 2023.

Ordinance No. O-27-2022: “ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF MORRISTOWN AMENDING CHAPTER XIV (RENT CONTROL) IN ORDER TO IMPOSE A RENT INCREASE FREEZE ON UNITS SUBJECT TO THE RENT LEVELING ORDINANCE

Rent control in Morristown pertains to apartments built pre-1981, and “to all non-exempt apartment buildings, multi-family homes AND to single-family homes and condominium units rented out in an owner’s absence,” according to the Town of Morristown website.

Since 2005, Morristown’s Rent Control Ordinance has had a Decontrol/Re-control provision. If a tenant voluntarily moves out, the landlord may negotiate the next rent at the “market rate” – which is whatever the next tenant is willing to pay. From that time forward the new tenant is protected by Rent Control.

This unanimous ordinance sprung from a “clerical error” by Morristown’s rent-leveling-department that lead to an “incorrectly authorized” increase in rent the prior year.

Very little discussion took place between the council members, as they unanimously introduced each ordinance, and failed to supply the attendees of the hybrid meeting with either an elaboration of these clerical errors or how many tenants in Morristown were affected.

The matter returns for a second vote on September 13, 2022 – along with the vote for the $3 million post office purchase introduced by Mayor Dougherty.



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