Hill Wallack LLP’s Condo FAQs is a continuing series in which we answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) pertaining to condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations. These FAQs relate to various issues that include interpretation of governing documents, board meetings, suspension of privileges, collections, or bankruptcy and foreclosure.
Question: Is my association entitled to reimbursements from our township for certain municipal services such as street lighting, garbage removal and snow removal?
Answer: Put simply, YES! New Jersey’s Municipal Services Act – which was enacted in 1989 and went into effect in 1993 – is the first (and still only) legislation in the country that requires cities and towns to provide certain municipal services to community associations within their borders. In short, the Act requires that every municipality in New Jersey must either provide certain services – including the removal of snow and ice, collection of leaves, trash and recyclables, and lighting of roads and streets – to qualified private communities “in the same fashion” as the municipality provides such services along public streets or the municipality may opt to reimburse these communities for such services.
The purpose of the Act is simple – to eliminate the double payment for some services residents of these associations now pay through both property taxes and association fees. Although the Act went into effect almost twenty years ago, many qualified community associations still fail to take advantage of having their township provide these services (or reimbursements) simply because they are unaware of the entitlement to them.
If your association is not receiving the benefits of the Municipal Services Act, please contact one of our community association attorneys to discuss how your association may be entitled to significant reimbursements that could be used to free up other funds for capital reserves, necessary repairs, or long-overdue improvements to your community.
If you have a question about municipal services or another community association issue that you would like us to address, please e-mail it to us, along with your name and your association, to firstname.lastname@example.org.