Attorney Derek Reed Voices Concern for Landlords in Recent Article

Attorney Derek Reed Voices Concern for Landlords in Recent Article

Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin, Plaza & Reed, Attorneys at Law proudly represents landlords, management companies and developers as the legal advocates they need, especially during a troubling time for all as the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.

With the pandemic came relief packages and measures meant to help employees who lost their income or employment avoid eviction for being unable to pay their rent. That was nearly six months ago, and all the while landlords have been struggling to make ends of their own meet when it comes to mortgage payments, upkeep costs, utility fees, and more.

A recent article by NJ Spotlight highlights the ire that small landlords and their advocates have drawn toward a bill called A-4034/S-2340, which has become the latest battleground for the dueling interests between landowners and tenants. The bill appears to inequitably favor the interests of renters by granting them up to 30 months to pay arrears on their rent without threat of eviction with absolutely no consideration to the significant financial challenges landlords have endured, and continue to endure, during this challenging time.

The legislation would require landlords to offer tenants who missed payments on their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic to opt into a repayment plan. For each month of outstanding rent owed to the landlord, the tenant will have six months to pay it back. That means arrears on six months of unseen rent payments could take as long as two and half years be paid in full.

All the while, landlords have been expected to pay their mortgages, utilities, municipal taxes, maintenance costs, and more to provide safe and habitable living conditions for renters who have not contributed to these costs. To make matters worse, landlords are likely unable to seek any immediate relief to evict a tenant who defaults on such payment plan.

Attorney Derek Reed – a partner at Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin, Plaza & Reed, Attorneys at Law – represents countless landlords, management companies, developers and related entities, along with the Property Owners Association of New Jersey and contributed his voice to vigorously defending landlords during these challenging times – and in spite of measures as A-4034/S-2340 that protect nonpaying tenants.

In NJ Spotlight, Attorney Reed is quoted with the following:

“What essentially that bill is doing is asking all landlords, in particular small landlords, to give nonpaying tenants an interest-free loan … They are asking landlords to shoulder the burden of carrying this debt for up to 30 months.”

Landlords – particularly small landlords who may only have a few properties they intended to provide sources for retirement income – are bearing the brunt for their nonpaying tenants who may be unable or unwilling to use their unemployment assistance or other aid to pay their most important bill. Without legal recourse to remove these tenants in favor of those who can pay, landlords are facing financial uncertainties many may not have seen since the collapse of the housing market.

Rest Assured, We Can Help

If you are a landlord or management company with tenants on your property and need legal assistance during this time, please reach out to Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin, Plaza & Reed, Attorneys at Law for help. Our practice areas include real estate matters such as landlord-tenant law, rent control, fair housing, leasing, commercial, industrial and housing code and regulatory issues

For any reason you may need legal assistance concerning these areas of law, we offer personalized advice and services that take your unique situation and goals into account. By working with our clients on an individual level, we believe we can provide the most effective levels of service possible while achieving meaningful results.

Learn more about what our lawyers are capable of at Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin, Plaza & Reed, Attorneys at Law by calling us at (973) 828-0203 or filling out our online contact form to get in touch.