As New Jersey continues to reopen cautiously and normal life is slowly starting to return, Governor Phil Murphy has announced his intention to sustain the state eviction moratorium on residential tenants. Although it is currently unknown when the eviction moratorium will be terminated, the Governor’s Office and New Jersey Legislature that the moratorium can end at any time before the deadline of January 1, 2022.
An eviction moratorium is simply a suspension on all residential eviction proceedings that prevents a landlord from removing a tenant from their home due to nonpayment of rent. The eviction moratorium DOES NOT extinguish a tenant’s obligation to pay rent. Additionally, the eviction moratorium does not prevent a landlord from evicting a tenant for other reasons such as destroying the property or creating hazardous conditions on the premises.
What Are Your Rights and Obligations Under the Moratorium?
- Tenants Still Owe Rent To Their Landlords – Tenants should still pay their rent as landlords may initiate eviction proceedings in courts. Accordingly, landlords may still demand and collect owed rent once the moratorium ends.
- Landlords Cannot Lock Tenants Out Of Their Homes – Only state officials may remove tenants after a formal eviction proceeding in court. If a landlord attempts to remove a tenant unlawfully, they may contact law enforcement to regain access to their homes.
- Tenants Still Have The Right To Emergency Repairs – Tenants have a fundamental right to safe and decent housing. Therefore, certain emergency repairs must be made by the landlord or otherwise by the tenant, who may demand compensation upon showing proof of the repairs.
- COVID-19 Rental Relief May Still Be Available- Local, state, and federal resources may still offer rental assistance programs to address your specific needs. To find out more, please reference some of the websites below:
- https://www.nj.gov/dca/cverap2.shtml (State of New Jersey)
- https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/srap.html (State of New Jersey)
- https://www.nj211.org/covid-19-housing-assistance (NJ Counties/Municipalities)
- https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance (Federal Government)
If you have any questions regarding the complex issues around rental relief or landlord-tenant law in general, contact an experienced attorney. Discussing your potential issues with an attorney may give you a better understanding of your rights as a tenant or a landlord during the moratorium. Your situation may qualify for an expedited hearing. Our experienced attorneys can help protect your financial and property rights today.
Give our experienced attorneys a call at 732-490-1777 to ensure that your rights are protected.