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March 18, 10

NEWS / Division on Civil Rights Announces Record Compliance with Rule Requiring Multiple Dwelling Landlords


Owners Who Have Not Yet Complied Face
Increased Filing Fees, Penalties

TRENTON – Division on Civil Rights Director Chinh Q. Le announced today that a record 86 percent of multiple-dwelling rental property owners who are required to do so have submitted, on time, an annual report to the Division describing the race and ethnicity of their housing applicants and leaseholders.

However, Director Le also noted that many other multiple-dwelling owners still have not met their obligation to file the on-line reports, which are mandatory under New Jersey’s Multiple Dwelling Reporting Rule (MDRR) for owners of apartment buildings containing 25 or more rental units. Le reminded those property owners they face increased filing fees, as well as possible Division-imposed financial penalties, if they continue to delay or fail to file.

“We are encouraged by the excellent compliance rate we’ve seen from New Jersey’s multiple dwelling rental property owners for this filing period,” said Director Le. “These on-line MDRR reports are significant because they help us to ensure that landlords are opening their apartment buildings to all eligible persons, and they allow us to ‘red flag’ potential patterns of discrimination. We are committed to ensuring fair housing practices, and urge any multiple-dwelling owners who have not yet met their MDRR reporting obligation to do so as soon as possible.”

Under state law, multiple-dwelling property owners are required to file their on-line MDRR reports on or before January 31 of each year. Information contained in the reports must cover the period from Jan. 1 through December 31 of the previous year. In addition to providing information on the racial and ethnic make-up of their rental populations and pools of housing applicants, landlords must also furnish information concerning the degree of access they provide to persons with disabilities.

According to Director Le, compliance by property owners with the January 31 filing deadline has increased steadily each year since 2003, when the Division on Civil Rights – as a means of addressing a mere 30 percent rate of timely compliance – stepped up enforcement efforts.

In 2008, the Division began requiring that property owners file the MDRR reports on-line, which is also believed to have helped increase timely compliance. Previously, property owners had the option of filing either on-line, by mail or by fax.

Today, property owners must complete their annual MDRR reports on-line using the WebMDRR filing application available on the Division’s Web site www.NJCivilRights.org.

Director Le noted that the ease and efficiency of on-line filing provides considerable cost savings to both property owners and the Division. He said the Division believes that increased familiarity with the system probably contributed to this year’s record timely compliance.

Multiple-dwelling property owners who do not file their MDRR reports on time are subject to increasing late filing fees of $100, $250, or $500 if their reports are not filed by February 14, March 1 and March 31, respectively.

Property owners who have not filed by April 30 may be served an Order to Show Cause for their failure to file, and are subject to a penalty in an amount designated by the Director.

http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases10/pr20100318a.html

 




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