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Amato v. Pelligrini

Decided: March 13, 1990.


Hornstein, J.s.c.


This is a complaint for dispossession of tenants pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A-18-61.1k -- conversion of a residential apartment to a condominium unit.

The complaint was filed September 13, 1989, served September 20, 1989 and scheduled for hearing October 4, 1989.

There were unavoidable delays and hearings on the merits were held November 29, 1989 and January 10, 1990.

Following the testimony of all the witnesses and the submission of various documents into evidence, both sides rested. Defendant moved for a dismissal of the complaint that there has not been full compliance with the condominium conversion statutes.

Based upon testimony of the witnesses and the documentary evidence submitted, the following findings of credible, relevant facts are made:

Plaintiff is the owner of a multi-family apartment building located at 619-621 Willow Avenue, Hoboken.

Defendant is a tenant in apartment 3R in 621 Willow Avenue. The building was converted to condominium status July 23, 1986 by the filing of a master deed.

Defendant was personally served by plaintiff on May 28, 1986 with a notice of intent to convert, the public offering statement and Chapter 24, Title 5 -- New Jersey Administrative Code.

Protected tenancy notices (applications) were served on the Hoboken rent leveling officer. The date of service is unknown and there was no testimony as to when service was made. The official Hoboken file of the condominium conversion of this building (621 Willow Avenue) does not contain a copy of the notice of intent to convert nor a copy of the full plan of conversion.

N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1 reads in part:

No lessee or tenant or the assigns, . . . may be removed by . . . the Superior Court from any house, building, . . . except upon establishment of one of the following grounds as good cause:

k. The landlord or owner of the building or mobile home park is converting from the rental market to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership of two or more dwelling units or park sites, except as hereinafter provided in subsection 1. Where the tenant is being removed pursuant to this subsection, no warrant for possession shall be issued until this act has been complied with.

N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.2 reads in part:

No judgment of possession shall be entered for any premises covered by section 2 of this act, [ N.J.S.A. 2:28-61.1], except in the nonpayment of rent under paragraph a. or f. of section 2, unless the landlord has made written demand and given written notice for delivery of possession of the premises. The following shall be required;

g. For an action alleging any grounds under paragraph k. of section 2, three years' notice prior to the institution of action, and provided that, where there is written lease in effect, no action shall be instituted until the lease expires.

N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.8 sets forth what is to be included in the notice of intent. And the statute directs that copies of the notice and of the full plan of conversion be filed with the clerk of the municipality simultaneously with service of those documents on the tenant.

Any owner who intends to convert a multiple dwelling as defined in P.L.1967, C. 76 (C.55:13A-1 et seq.), other than a hotel or motel, or a mobile home park into a condominium or cooperative, or to fee simple ownership of the several dwelling units or park sites shall give the tenants 60 days' notice of his intention to convert and the full plan of the conversion prior to serving notice, provided for in section 3 of P.L.1974, c. 49 (C. 2A:18-61.2). A duplicate of the first such 60-day notice and full plan shall be transmitted to the clerk of the municipality at the same time. In the notice of intention to convert tenants shall be notified of their right to purchase ownership in the premises at a specified price in accordance with this section, and their rights as tenants under this act in relation to the conversion of a building or park to a condominium, cooperative or fee simple ownership. A tenant in occupancy at the time of the notice of intention to convert shall have the exclusive right to purchase his unit, the shares of stock allocated thereto or the park site, as the case may be, for the first 90 days after such notice that such purchase could be made during which time the unit or site shall not be shown to a third party unless the tenant has in writing waived the right to purchase.

Again, the New Jersey Administrative Code 5:24-1.4 also details the requirements of the notice ...

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