I've just closed on a three-family property in North Bergen, NJ. Two of the units are occupied by tenants who are on month-to-month leases via the previous owner, and I intend to move into the third unit. I fear that I failed to fully understand and appreciate the rent control ordinance for this area before closing (http://www.northbergen.org/_Content/pdf/Rent-Contr...). Neither my agent or lawyer said a word about it.
In any case, it appears to give me little to no control over rent amounts, restricting them to within 2.5% (or less based on the consumer price index) of previous amounts. It also appears to make investing in improvements so onerous that doing so is cost prohibitive. I had planned to fix a few things (e.g. the chimney was found to be in bad shape) and make some improvements (e.g. update kitchen/bath in one unit), but I've stopped in my tracks as I now fear doing so would provide little to no return on investment.
Does anyone out there with experience in this area have insight to share? Was it a mistake to invest in this town?