Thanks for Landlord-Tenant Session
It was a surprise to see Scotch Plains attorney Robert Kraus appearing to answer questions. Mr. Kraus is well-known to many Plainfielders for the cases he has represented over many years.
The turn-out was small and Mr. Kraus indicated he might be preaching to the choir, as attendees already seemed to be well aware of the rules.
But overall, the discussion was informative and was much appreciated by those who turned out.
As Mr. Kraus pointed out, booklets on tenant/landlord rights and responsibilities are available from the state. They are supposed to be provided by landlords to tenants, but most often are not.
Among the issues discussed Thursday were the tenant's right to know where security deposits are banked, heat regulations, remedies for needed repairs, posting of state-mandated registration notices, causes for evictions and rationales for rent increases.
The workshop was the first of several promised by the Crescent Area Neighborhood Association.
Plainfield once had 100 or more block associations to help neighbors band together for action on local issues and each historic district is supposed to have an association to do the same. But recently, modern demands on residents' time and other concerns have seemingly caused citizen involvement to dwindle.
It is never too late to take an interest in local issues, whether they be the rights of the city's 7,500 tenant households or the 7,500 homeowners' households. All of us end up paying to support the city.
Efforts such as this deserve credit. Maybe the next time, more residents will take advantage of the opportunity to get free advice from an attorney knowledgeable on issues that affect half our city's population.