The above designated cases present common issues of law which have never been addressed by the New Jersey Courts and, accordingly, this opinion and decision will be applicable and dispositive of each of said actions. In particular, this Court will address the following legal issues:
1. Whether good cause is required for nonrenewal of an Existing Housing Program Lease under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1437f.
2. Whether the desire to substantially increase the amount of rent for a particular unit constitutes good cause for failing to renew a Section 8 Lease.
3. Whether it is a reasonable change in a lease under the New Jersey Anti-Eviction Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1(i), to require
a tenant to pay the full amount of rent, which, under the old lease, was paid in part by the Housing Authority where such payments continue to be available to the landlord.
The facts in these cases are similar and may be briefly summarized.
In June of 1983, plaintiff Daryl Davis, doing business as R & D Realty, purchased premises known as 229 Waldo Place in Englewood, New Jersey. At the time of the purchase, all three defendants were renting units at the subject premises pursuant to an Existing Housing Program Lease under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1437f. Plaintiff's predecessor in interest, Carmen Brown, had executed a Housing Assistance Payments Contract (hereinafter referred to as H.A.P. Contract) with the Englewood Housing Authority for each unit being rented to the defendants.
The H.A.P. Contract provided, among other things, that a maximum monthly rent would be charged by the landlord for a particular unit, and that the Englewood Housing Authority would make housing assistance payments directly to the landlord each month toward part of the contract rent. The family covered by the contract would be responsible for paying the balance of the monthly rent to the landlord.
Plaintiff's predecessor in interest had also executed a Section 8 Existing Housing Program Lease with each of the defendants pursuant to the terms set out in the H.A.P. Contracts. Each lease had a one year term and provided, as in the H.A.P. Contracts, that the Englewood Housing Authority would be responsible for a designated portion of the assisted family's rent.
Plaintiff became bound by the H.A.P. Contracts covering the respective units of the defendants since he agreed in writing to comply with all the terms and conditions of said contracts at the time of the transfer of title of the subject premises.
Before each defendant's lease term had expired, the Englewood Housing Authority forwarded a new ...