Decided: March 30, 1972.
HOUSING AUTHORITY, CITY OF TRENTON, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
MATTIE GREEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT
Conford, Matthews and Fritz.
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The parties concede the $15 attorney's fee to be reasonable as a general matter. It was therefore properly contracted for. See Bergen Builders, Inc. v. Horizon Developers, Inc. , 44 N.J. 435 (1965).
The fee could lawfully be contracted to be considered additional rent, for purposes of the summary dispossess act. See Vineland Shopping Center, Inc. v. De Marco , 35 N.J. 459, 470 (1961).
We find nothing in the federal or state statutes or applicable regulations involving low-rent housing policies which is contravened by the lease provision here challenged. It is entirely consistent with those policies that landlord housing authorities recoup from dilatory tenants the reasonable
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legal costs attendant upon necessary dispossess actions. Nor is there anything unconscionable or otherwise contrary to public policy in doing so by a lease stipulation that the reasonable attorney's fees become additional rent due and owing by the tenant.
Other arguments advanced by defendant are found to lack merit.
Affirmed, no costs.