Mayor Sean M. Spiller announced an agreement between the Tenants Organization of Montclair (TOOM) and Montclair landlords on rent control and tenant protections. The negotiations yielded a new draft ordinance that will be put to a vote during an upcoming meeting of the Mayor and Council. The agreement marks a historic step forward for tenant protections in Montclair.
“This process has always been about fighting for Montclair ideals through protecting diversity in Montclair,” said Mayor Sean M. Spiller. “Housing is one of the great challenges we face as a society. I am proud, after a number of past efforts, that we were able to come together and hammer out a deal on real tenant protections,” he continued.
The new rent control ordinance will include a rent control board and rent control officer. The board will be responsible for developing new regulations, monitor implementation and manage the process for addressing tenant complaints. The ordinance caps rent yearly rent increases at 4% and at 2.5% for senior citizens.
Mitch Kahn on behalf of TOOM said, “We are grateful for all who maintained their commitment to rent control, tenant protections and economic diversity in Montclair throughout the process and thank Mayor Spiller for lending a big hand to the negotiations. The rent control measures we negotiated will protect families, seniors and others from the undue burden of unreasonable rent hikes and will allow many to stay in Montclair and continue to contribute to the richness of our community.”
The negotiations also yielded an agreement on legal fees where the township will save 60% on legal fees arising from the rent control litigation, creating savings for taxpayers. The MPOA agreed to give back half of the township’s remaining portion of legal fees to create a rental assistance fund. The MPOA will drop all of their litigation against Montclair.
“I want to thank Mitch Kahn, Joan Pransky, Steven Plofker & those he worked with to help negotiate, Deputy Mayor Hurlock, Councilors Robin Schlager, Lori Price Abrams, David Cummings and Bob Russo for their commitment to helping Montclair’s tenants,” said Spiller. “Good government is about bringing people together, negotiating, working through challenges and coming out on the other side with real solutions that make a difference in people’s lives,” he continued. “The adoption of rent control has long eluded Montclair. I am thrilled that we were able to reach a deal that enables us to move forward.”