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 Tort Liability Law – New Protections for Community Associations
The State of New Jersey recently passed new protections for community associations regarding potential civil actions involving alleged exposure or transmission of COVID-19 within the community. Specifically, the Assembly and the Senate have passed Senate Bill 3584 which provides additional tort immunity for community associations than was available under existing law. The law has been passed in the legislature and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature, which we do expect to be completed shortly.
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 Department of Health Pool Standards
This week, the New Jersey Department of Health released revised Covid-19 Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facility Standards, dated May 7, 2021 (“New Standards”). If you compare the Standards published last year with the New Standards, you will note that the requirement of a pool ambassador has been eliminated. The role of Pool Ambassador in last year’s Standards read, “Implementation of an ambassador role to monitor and encourage social distancing of bathers on the pool deck.” (Section I(3), Page 2).
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.