NY Eviction Moratorium
Over the last year and a half, since March 2020, there have been major changes in the landlord/tenant procedure in New York State in response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these changes have been through executive orders in addition to adoption of new law that affects landlords’ and tenants’ right throughout the state. Along with the state regulations, there are federal protections in place to assist tenants during these trying times. Navigating the nuances of these regulations is becoming increasingly difficult for landlords, as courts at all levels, including the United States Supreme Court, are ruling to uphold or strike down parts of the laws that have been adopted. Below is an overview of some of the current state and federal regulations and protections in place, specific to New York, and the current status of same. Please note that, like everything else since March 2020, the status of these rules is subject to change at a moment’s notice. We strive to keep our clients up-to-date on the latest information available.
THE END OF NEW JERSEY’S EVICTION MORATORIUM CALLED INTO QUESTION
New Jersey’s Governor Murphy signed NJ S.B. 3691 / A.B. 5685 (2021) yesterday, which was set to officially end New Jersey’s Eviction Moratorium. However, this end of the moratorium has been called into question by the recent CDC Order.
NEW CDC EVICTION MORATORIUM
Yesterday, the CDC issued a new eviction moratorium, which is in immediate effect across the country. There are still questions regarding the constitutionality of the CDC’s new order. Nonetheless, even if the order is challenged and found to be unconstitutional, its is likely to delay the end of state-level eviction moratoria that are close to expiring. For example, even if this order is overturned, it will likely delay the end of New Jersey’s current moratorium, which is set to expire for most tenants after August 31, 2021.
NEW JERSEY COVID-19 EVICTION CASES WILL BECOME CONFIDENTIAL
On Wednesday June 30, 2021, the New Jersey Legislature passed NJ S.B. 3713 / A.B. 4463 (2021) (the “Act”), and it now awaits the signature of Governor Murphy. Under this act, certain New Jersey eviction court records during the pandemic must be kept confidential. The goal is to reduce renters that suffered hardship during the pandemic, and who otherwise have a good rental history, from finding new housing.
NEW RESTRICTIONS ON TENANT BACKGROUND CHECKS IN NEW JERSEY
On June 3, 2021, the New Jersey Legislature passed, and, on June 18, 2021, the Governor Phil Murphy signed, NJ S.B. 250 / A.B 1919 (2020), known as the Fair Chance in Housing Act (the “Act”). The purpose of the Act is to reduce the amount of recidivism amongst ex-convicts in the State of New Jersey. Statistics show that recidivism rates increase (and public safety decreases) when ex-convicts are unable to find stable housing. Consequently, the Act aims to reduce obstacles which may prevent ex-convicts from finding such housing by significantly altering how landlords may conduct background checks.
NEW YORK EXTENDS MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES
On May 4, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed 2021 N.Y. SB 6362A. The Act amends chapter 381 of the 2020 laws establishing the “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020,” as well as chapter 73 of the 2021 laws establishing the “COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Business Act of 2021.”
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.
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.