COVID-19 Information for New Jersey
The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.
State and Local Affiliates
Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.
State Legal and Regulatory Information
We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.
Shelter in Place
Governor Phil Murphy’s Shelter-in-Place order, which took effect on Saturday, March 21, 2020, will remain in effect until revoked or modified by the Governor.
State of Emergency
Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on March 9.
Action: On March 20, 2020, the Governor signed A-3859 into law, which explicitly provides authority to the Governor to issue an executive order declaring a moratorium on removing individuals from their homes pursuant to an eviction or foreclosure proceeding. The Governor then immediately signed Executive Order No. 106, which imposes such a moratorium.
Scope: While eviction and foreclosure proceedings may be initiated or continued during the time this order is in effect, enforcement of all judgments for possession, warrants of removal, and writs of possession shall be stayed, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice. The order does not affect any schedule of rent that is due. Sheriffs, court officers, and their agents shall refrain from acting to remove individuals from residential properties through the eviction or foreclosure processes during the time the order is in effect, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice.
COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.
Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance
No statewide emergency rental assistance for New Jersey, although a $100 million dollar allocation for rental assistance is pending the Governor’s approval.
For those businesses with an immediate financial need, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved Gov. Phil Murphy’s request for a disaster designation, opening up access to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to New Jersey businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for small businesses and private non-profits. These loans provide vital economic support to help overcome the loss of revenue caused by COVID-19.
Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is up to 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for non-profits is up to 2.75%.
Loan terms are up to a maximum of 30 years. SBA will determine an appropriate payment based on the financial condition of the borrower, which also will determine the loan term.
Details regarding the SBA loan program can be found online at: https://faq.business.nj.gov/en/articles/3789809.
On April 16, 2020, Governor Murphy announced the State’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency unanimously voted to suspend rent increases at all eligible properties within the Agency’s portfolio, which includes 36,000 rental units across the state. The suspension will last until the termination of Executive Order 103, the Governors emergency declaration in response to COVID-19.
Under New Jersey Code, § 56.8.107, it is unlawful to sell goods or services at prices in excess of 10 percent of their rate during the time immediately prior to a state of emergency. While the statutory language does identify common goods for sale, it does not specify rental housing as a covered service.
NJAA notes New Jersey's price gouging law prohibits excessive price increases during a declared State of Emergency, or for 30 days after the termination of the emergency. This applies to rents as well as consumer goods.
Local Legal and Regulatory Information
On May 6, 2020, the City Council adopted Ord. 20-036 that imposes a rent freeze all units subject to rent control in the city.
- Scope: Applies to both properties covered under the city’s rent stabilization ordinance and rental properties with four units or less ordinarily exempt from the ordinance. Also prohibits collections of any late fees for late payments until August 1, 2020.
Duration: Through August 1, 2020.
Mayor Ras Baraka announced a 60-day moratorium on the eviction of renters directly or indirectly affected by a quarantine order for non-payment of rent on March 15, 2020, meaning the individual has either been quarantined or is caring for people who are quarantined.
Action: The Board of Commissioners and Mayor Nicholas Sacco have adopted an ordinance enacting a moratorium on rent increases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scope: Prevents housing providers from increasing rent or other fees on rent controlled properties within the township.
Duration: Through September 1, 2020, or the end of the State of Emergency declared by Gov. Phil Murphy, whichever is earlier.