RENT FREEZING IN NORTH JERSEY AND BEYOND
We hope you are all managing and staying healthy throughout these difficult times.
Governments across the country are taking action to help keep tenants in their homes and stop evictions. For example, evictions are not happening right now in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. However, some individual cities are attempting to take more aggressive action to keep renters in apartments: enacting rent freezes.
On April 15, 2020, the Hoboken Council will consider an ordinance that would retroactively freeze rents. The measure is on its second reading: the vote on April 15, 2020, will be determining if it passes.
The ordinance would apply from April 1, 2020 until two weeks following the end of the current state of emergency. This measure, though, would only cover rent-controlled apartments. New construction and affordable housing would be exempt.
Councilmembers in Jersey City are intending on imposing a similar rent freeze and prohibit late charges. This measure would be part of a larger economic relief package. Like the proposed Hoboken ordinance, this measure would only apply to rent-controlled apartments.
Discussion are currently ongoing, and details are scarce.
The rent-control measure that was put forth in Montclair began prior to the current COVID‑19 crisis. Previously, ballot questions regarding the imposition of rent-control in Montclair have failed. It remains to be seen whether, in light of the Coronavirus emergency, this new measure may end up coming into effect.
On April 14, 2020, Union City’s Board of Commissioners will be holding a vote. Should the vote pass, it would impose a moratorium on rent increases, which would apply retroactively to March 1, 2020. The moratorium would last for two months, or until the current state of emergency ends (whichever is first).
Like Hoboken’s ordinance, Union City’s measure is on its second reading, and the upcoming vote would determine final passage.
New Jersey is not the only place where these measures are being put forth. The New York State Senate will be eventually be deciding on Senate Bill S8125A, which has over twenty (20) cosponsors. If it passes, the bill holds that
any residential tenant or small business commercial tenant in the state that has lost income or has been forced to close their place of business as a result of government ordered restrictions in response to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19), shall have all rent payments suspended for 90 days following the effective date of this act.
Whether or not these proposed bills and ordinances will pass is still an unknown. We at Griffin Alexander, P.C., will be monitoring their progress. If you are concerned regarding how these measures will affect you, we can help. Our number one priority is the ensuring the best outcome for our clients.
Stay strong, safe, and healthy,
Griffin Alexander, P.C.
The information in this Client Alert is provided solely for information purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice on any specific matter and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based upon particular circumstances. Each legal matter is unique, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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