Kenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2020 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at, call or visit

(732) 572-0500

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Block 268, LLC v. City of Hoboken Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board, et al.

06-12-08 A-2228-06T2

This opinion addresses whether plaintiff's multiple unit building, located in Hoboken, is entitled to the rent control exemption articulated in N.J.S.A. 2A:42-84.5. At the time defendants originally leased their unit, the building consisted
entirely of rental apartments. Title to the land passed to plaintiff in 2005, at which time, plaintiff converted several of the apartments into condominiums. Defendants contend that the transfer of title or the conversion of rental apartments into condominiums nullified plaintiff's statutory exemption from rent control ordinances.

We hold that the statutory exemption runs with the land, not with the owner. The conversion of the building's units to condominiums does not effect the building's status as a "multiple dwelling" and, in fact, enhances the property's marketability, in accordance with the legislative intent of N.J.S.A. 2A:42-84(b) and -84.6. Nor does the failure to provide mortgage information to the municipality when claiming the exemption affect the validity of the exemption. Rather, the mortgage affects only the duration of the exemption. Finally, the original letter to the Hoboken municipal construction official, claiming the exemption, satisfies the filing requirements of N.J.S.A. 2A:42-84.4. Although the letter did not directly indicate the author's relationship with the building's owner, it was reasonably clear that the author of the letter was the owner of the property or was claiming the
exemption on the owner's behalf.