DISCUSSION ABOUT REOPENING ASSOCIATION FACILITIES IN THE PANDEMIC - 2021
Determining whether to open Association facilities or keep them closed this year is a harder choice than ever, in our ever-changing Covid-19 environment. It is mid-March, 2021, but we have experienced our first 60 degree day. It has been a year since Covid-19 hit. Everyone thought that the safeguards would be temporary, but we are learning that nothing is easy in this pandemic. The vast majority of Associations closed their facilities last year, and nearly all have remained closed.
NEW JERSEY EXTENDS THE EVICTION MORATORIUM & ALL OTHER EXECUTIVE ORDERS RELATED TO COVID 19
On March 17, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed NJ Exec. Order No. 231 (2021). The executive order extends the current Public Health Emergency related to COVID‑19 for an additional thirty (30) days.
NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT FEBRUARY 5TH ORDER: APPLICATION FOR A COMMERCIAL LANDLORD/TENANT TRIAL IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
On July 14, 2020, the Supreme Court of New Jersey authorized several steps to support the resumption of landlord/tenant case processing during the COVID-19 crisis. Namely, the Court carved out an exception to the suspension of landlord/tenant trials, allowing landlords to apply for issuance of an Order to Show Cause for evictions in emergency circumstances.
SAVE YOUR COVID 19 VACCINATION PAPERWORK
If you have been watching the news, you know that the roll-out of the vaccine process has, so far, been much slower than anticipated. Early predictions that we would all be vaccinated by the end of May, 2021 are already being revised to the end of October, 2021.
There are approximately 330 million people in the United States. The talk is that we, as a nation, are going to vaccinate a million people a day, as we get ramped up – and we have to administer these vaccinations twice in that period. If that is indeed the case, the process will take close to a year, even if we discount those who will refuse to be vaccinated and those who can’t be. Unless we ramp up to close to double the “million a day” goal, we will not have a majority of U.S. citizens vaccinated by the summer.
NJ Landlords Challenge Governor Murphy’s Security Deposit Executive Order
On April 24, 2020 Governor Phil Murphy signed NJ Exec. Order No. 128 (2020). This executive order waived laws governing security deposits and allowed tenants to use their security deposits to cover their rent during the COVID-19 crisis.
Federal Moratoriums Extended – What This Means For Landlords
As you may be aware, the Federal Stimulus Package, signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020, has temporarily extended the CDC Eviction Moratorium. The passage in Stimulus Package states as follows: SEC. 502. EXTENSION OF EVICTION MORATORIUM. The order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 264), entitled, “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions To Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19” (85 Fed. Reg. 55292 (September 4, 2020) is extended through January 31, 2021, notwithstanding the effective dates specified in such Order.
NEW JERSEY MARIJUANA LAW AFFORDS LANDLORDS AND COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS A KEY EXCEPTION
On December 17, 2020, the New Jersey legislature passed Bill S-21/A-21 which legalizes, regulates, and taxes adult recreational use of cannabis. The Bill has been provided to the Governor for final approval.
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.