March 2020 was a landmark month in the COVID-19 pandemic for how government from local to federal levels has responded to the novel coronavirus that causes the illness. While new Jersey was a week or two slower to the punch than other states that closed non-essential businesses on a statewide level, Governor Phil Murphy did so on March 21.
Combined with a statewide shelter-in-place order like those adopted by a majority of states, New Jersey residents are among the millions who have lost their jobs and suffer financially from the economic fallout of COVID-19. Anticipating an eviction crisis, many local and state municipalities have enacted moratoriums on rent nonpayment evictions, or a moratorium on removal from a dwelling due to eviction (as is the case for New Jersey).
While much sympathy on the public’s behalf has rested with renters who suddenly found themselves unable to pay their bills, ire has been directed toward landlords and property owners for raising similar concerns.
In a recently published article from NJ.com and hobokengirl.com, Attorney Derek Reed – partner at Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin & Plaza – told the publication that he urges renters make the best possible attempts to pay their rent despite eviction moratoriums to keep properties from falling into disrepair.
“It’s critical now more than ever for landlords to get the rent,” Reed told NJ.com. “These are really trying times but there’s more stress on these buildings.” He added that renters should be communicative with their landlords about the situations they’re in, and that landlords ought to be reasonable when working out payment plans or other deals with their tenants.
“It can’t just be that tenants stop paying rent. There are options landlords can work with residents on,” Reed elaborated in his conversation with NJ.com. He explained that it is an evolving situation that landlords and governmental entities will have to examine on “a day by day basis” with the hope that the federal stimulus package will “help folks with essential expenses and putting food on the table and other daily expenses, hopefully that includes paying their rent.”
Do You Need Assistance with a Landlord-Tenant Issue?
If you are a landlord experiencing a landlord-tenant problem during the COVID-19, you may feel like your options to for taking meaningful legal action or seeking recourse are limited. Although there are laws in place which currently limit some steps landlords can take during the coronavirus pandemic, not all laws governing landlord-tenant relationships are affected.
If you are a landlord that needs help but aren’t sure what to do during these turbulent and confusing times, reach out to Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin & Plaza for help with your landlord-tenant concerns and disputes. We offer legal advice and services tailored specifically for your situation.
Contact our firm online or call (973) 828-0203 to arrange a confidential consultation where you can learn about your options for pursuing your legal goals.