Middlesex County is the 2nd most populous county in New Jersey. The towns of East Brunswick, Monroe, Old Bridge, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Sayreville and South Brunswick all have populations in excess of 40,000 people. Woodbridge and Edison each have populations in excess of 100,000 people.
A substantial portion of the residents of Middlesex County reside in rental properties. As a result of the large number of apartments, Middlesex County has more eviction actions than any County in New Jersey other than Essex County. The Landlord Tenant Court in Middlesex County is located in the main Courthouse building on Bayard Street in New Brunswick. The Court typically conducts a double session on Wednesdays to accommodate the large number of evictions. In spite of the large volume of cases, the Court usually reaches cases within 4 weeks of the date that they are filed, and Warrants of Removal are typically executed within 2 weeks of the date they are filed. Our office makes regular appearances in the Middlesex County Landlord Tenant Court and we will represent you interests if you are faced with a difficult eviction issue.
For property owners who purchased their property through a Sheriff Sale or Foreclosure proceeding, the current of the occupant of the property is not always removed through eviction. If the property is occupied by the former owner, who is not a tenant, the process of removal is called “an ejectment.” Due to recent rule changes, ejectment actions are scheduled for trial almost as fast as evictions. However, the process is vastly different, and requires special attention. Our office has successfully handled several ejectment actions throughout New Jersey.
Middlesex County also presents unique housing issues due to the large number of Rutgers University students housed in New Brunswick apartments. The City of New Brunswick has instituted very strict policies on rental housing that affects all landlords. These policies have resulted in thousands of city ordinance violations being assessed against New Brunswick landlords. Since trials in City Ordinance violations are not usually practical, settlement conferences often utilized to reduce property owners liabilities to the City for fines. Our office makes frequent appearances in various municipal Courts as well as several County Construction Boards of Appeals and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. We have successfully abated fines in most of our City and State ordinance matters, totaling several hundred thousand dollars.
In addition to representation of Middlesex County Landlords, our firm also concentrates on Real Estate Tax Appeals. We have handled several appeals throughout Middlesex County before the County Tax Board, as well as the State of New Jersey Tax Court. In cases where a town’s assessment ratio is equalized at less than 100% of true value, the determination of whether a tax appeal case is viable is not just a matter of looking at the assessment and deciding whether it exceeds the value of the property. Rather, we must take the assessment and divide it by the equalization ratio for your town. Based on that quotient, we can calculate the “effective assessment” (sometimes known as the “true value assessment”) of the property and determine whether exceeds the value of your property. Several towns in Middlesex County have very low equalization ratios. The towns of Dunellen, East Brunswick, Edison, Highland Park, Jamesburg, Metuchen, Milltown, Jamesburg, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Old Bridge, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, South River, and Woodbridge are all assessed at ratios of 50% or less.
When applying an equalization ratio, the municipality is afforded a 15% corridor of error, which is an additional multiplier to determine the upper limit value of the assessment. For instance, if the equalization ratio of a town were 50%, we would be required to prove that the assessment of a property, divided by 57.5% exceeds the true value of the property. For assistance in determining your town’s equalization ratio, please contact the Middlesex County Board of Taxation