Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Shirley Turner, which would expand liability for certain commercial entities when acting as residential landlords, cleared the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today.
“Currently, there are bad actors hiding behind LLCs to avoid taking responsibility for the conditions of the buildings they manage. At the detriment of residents and neighborhoods, they are able to skirt enforcement agencies and refuse to make much needed renovations,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “By closing this loophole we can hold bad actors accountable and improve the living conditions of tenants around the state.”
The bill, S-1151, would allow a court to hold a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or other commercial entity liable for charges related to housing codes, building codes or health codes. It would also allow courts to hold them liable for charges related to the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law.
“There are countless families being forced to live in unsanitary and unsafe conditions because we cannot hold an individual liable to make renovations,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “We cannot allow this to go on. This is the first step towards improving the living conditions of our state’s tenant population.”
When registering as a landlord, the bill would require those organized as any other legal or commercial entity to submit the name and address of a registered agent. In the case of an LLC they would also have to submit the name and address of the members of the company. In the case of a corporation they would be required to submit the names and addresses of officers and directors.
The entity could be held liable if they had been notified of charges and at least three charges remained unpaid for 13 months after they were due.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-2.