Indoor Gatherings and Association Meetings
We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy heading into the holidays and especially during the recent rise in COVID‑19 infections.
A lot of states are responding to the current spike in Coronavirus diagnoses by implementing more severe guidelines and restrictions. New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are no different in this regard. Particularly, in recent days, we have seen limits placed on the number of people who can gather in one place instituted in all three states:
NEW LAW: Electric Vehicle Car Charging Stations in Common Interest Communities
Our office previously wrote a blog in 2018 about the current status of pending bills in the Senate and Assembly regarding car charging stations in common interest communities. You can read that blog here. The bill NJ S.B. 2421 (2018) was passed by the Assembly and the Senate on January 13, 2020. However, when the bill went before the Governor, it was pocket vetoed on January 21, 2020. This means that the Governor did not directly respond to the bill and point out any objections.
Update on Evictions in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the eviction moratorium was in place until August 31, 2020. Following this, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a temporary national moratorium on most evictions for nonpayment of rent lasting until December 31, 2020. However, residents would have to be eligible to fall under these protections, which prevents a landlord from even proceeding with an eviction case (which includes the filing and sending of certain notices), after receiving a declaration from a tenant stating they are experiencing a hardship as a result of the pandemic. However, the state protections in Pennsylvania have lapsed. There are efforts going through the Pennsylvania legislature to extend the eviction moratorium, but they have so far been unsuccessful. There also currently does not exist any order permitting tenants to utilize their security deposit for rent in Pennsylvania.
Update on Evictions in New Jersey
As most are already aware of, residential tenants in New Jersey cannot currently be locked out of their homes during the COVID-19 emergency. The New Jersey governor, on October 24, 2020 signed another executive order, Number 186, which extends the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order No. 103, which was previously extended on April 7, May 6, June 4, July 2, August 1, August 27, and September 25. By the Governor’s Order, there is a moratorium on residential evictions and foreclosures. Commercial tenants are not subject to the moratorium.
EXTENSION ON COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS IN NEW YORK
On October 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.70, which further strengthens tenants’ protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, this time for commercial tenants. The Executive Order extends New York State’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 1, 2021. Governor Cuomo states that the “extension of this protection gives commercial tenants and mortgagors additional time to get back on their feet and catch up on rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure moving forward”.
CDC Issues Guidance, Apartment Industry Concerns Heard
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) document as informal guidance to supplement its Order to temporarily halt residential evictions. The CDC Order, as drafted, contained certain ambiguities that the FAQ has now made clear.
Can Landlords Charge Late Fees in New York?
A number of executive orders have been passed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extending and expanding the temporary suspension of several New York state laws due to the COVID-19 crisis. Many landlords have inquired if they are permitted to charge late fees to tenants who continue to pay their rent late.
Clarification on Fitness Centers
The Governor signed Executive Order 181 on August 27, 2020. The Executive Order authorized the reopening of the indoor premises of health clubs, including gyms and fitness centers. These health clubs were allowed to open so long as those facilities adopt minimum specified health and safety requirements. You can read about this Order on our blog, here.
Federal Eviction Moratorium – CDC Order
The Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Order to be published in the Federal Register on September 4, 2020. This Order issues a nationwide eviction moratorium, beginning on Friday, September 4, 2020, which will run through the end of the year, ending (unless extended) on December 31, 2020.