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Residential Evictions – may not start until January 1, 2021 or 90 days after that!

Published On: June 10th, 2021Categories: Landlord-Tenant
Governor Murphy

Mayor “Jimmy” Davis of Bayonne

On January 4, 2021 Governor Murphy revoked the public health state of emergency in New Jersey. At the same time, he signed legislation which allowed him to extend executive order 106 (the eviction moratorium) through January 1, 2021. This legislation allows him to further extend the eviction moratorium another 90 days AFTER January 1, 2021, if the legislature approves.

The State Judiciary is not constrained by these orders from scheduling trials for evictions, if not the lockout itself. But they have instead not done ANYTHING since March of 2020, so there is a huge backlog of cases that will need adjudication. Although it had been expected that the trials of residential evictions would commence again this August or September, the new legislation seems to change that. It is very possible, if not likely, that the Court will wait until January of 2022 before it starts scheduling residential landlord-tenant evictions again. If they do, there will at that point be a 1 year and 9 month backlog of cases for them to start work on.

There are MANY hard-working landlords, regular people, who have suffered from a non-paying tenant for a year and 3 months at this point since the moratorium in March of 2020. They have had to pay their mortgage, taxes and utilities, because the State of NJ enforces those contracts, but the State will not enforce leases to force tenants to pay the rent that ultimately pays the mortgages and taxes. I have many clients who have gone into and even depleted their life savings just to avoid foreclosure. These tenants don’t need to show that they were effected by covid, they lost a job or anything else. They can just sit there not paying the rent for what will likely be YEARS before the Court will finally enforce a lease for rental of property.

The first and foremost requirements of government are the protection of its people from outside invasion, and the enforcement of contracts. Even strict libertarians, who want the smallest government possible, generally agree that a government must perform these two duties at a minimum. Instead, our state government is STILL selectively enforcing contracts for NO REASON. The state of public health emergency is over. There can be no justification for this, except trying to placate tenants who don’t pay their bills in an election year. Perhaps that is Governor Murphy’s base of electoral support. If you disagree you must let your legislators know. You can find your district and legislators using this map. Click on the district and it will allow you to e-mail all of your legislators. They read these e-mails and respond to them. Your reaching out DOES have an effect on what these legislators vote for. There is still more pending anti-landlord legislation in the works. It is not too late to ask them to protect basic property and contractual rights.

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