The temporary suspension of evictions does not amount to a rent holiday, but merely allows tenants to remain in their homes during the health crisis. Tenants are reminded of their continued obligation to pay the rent. The program will help to prevent business tenants from being evicted and commercial owners from suffering foreclosure.
Pursuant to Governor Murphy’s March 19, 2020 Executive Order, removal of individuals from residential properties through the eviction or foreclosure processes are prohibited until the Governor declares that the public health crisis is officially over.
Renters may now use security deposits to cover rent as long as landlord is notified.
Tenants may now instruct landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent. Tenants will not be obligated to make any further security deposit relating to their current lease agreement but would still be responsible for any money landlords expend that would have been reimbursable via the security deposit such as damage to the property. This executive order will be in place until 60 days after the public health emergency is terminated.
Mayor Baraka has imposed a moratorium on evictions based upon nonpayment of rent. This means that the tenant may cite the moratorium as a defense to an eviction action based upon nonpayment of rent that becomes due during the moratorium, provided the tenant can demonstrate that the nonpayment resulted from the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Essex County Sheriff’s office has confirmed that they will not be executing warrants of removal (“lockouts”) during the current public health emergency.
Tenants can still file emergency court applications, but must now file them electronically. They can do so through the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) at njcourts.gov/selfhelp/jeds.html.
Tenants who have questions about any of the aforementioned may email the City of Newark’s Office of Tenant Legal Services at OTLS@ci.newark.nj.us. All other inquiries should be made to the City of Newark’s Law Department by calling 973-733-3880.
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