Landlord/Tenant Updates

Governor Vetoes Commercial Rent Suspension Bill
Governor Murphy issued an absolute veto on NJBA opposed S2363/A3921 (Greenstein/Benson), which would have authorized rent suspensions for small business tenants who have been economically distressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his veto message, the Governor stated that the “bill disregards the financial position of the impacted parties, shifting the financial burden in all cases from tenants onto property owners, who may not be relieved of their own obligations to pay mortgage payments and property taxes.” Click here to read the veto message.

Anti-Eviction Bill Held From Consideration
The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee met last week with the intent to consider NJBA strongly opposed S2485 (Stack), which would allow a municipality to adopt an ordinance prohibiting eviction as a remedy for nonpayment of rent during the public health emergency and the two months following its conclusion. However the bill was held from consideration to give NJBA and several other groups who expressed serious reservations an opportunity to meet with the sponsor. The legislation is likely to be posted again for consideration sometime in June.

Governor Announces $100M Rental Assistance Program
The $100 million short term program within the Department of Community Affairs will be supported primarily through Federal CARES Act funding and aim to serve very low, low, and moderate households who have had a substantial reduction in income due to the pandemic. Very low income households will be prioritized and eligible for 12 months of rental assistance. The remainder of the funds will be available through a lottery system that opens in July – the lottery system will preference households that earn less than 80% area median income – and these recipients will be eligible for 6 months of rental assistance. The program’s website will launch June 15th, and the Governor expects that rental assistance checks will be “flowing to landlords later this summer.” More information on the program is forthcoming. Click here to view the Governor’s press release.

Governor Takes Steps Towards Reopening

Stage II of Restart and Recovery
Governor Murphy announce that he will allow restaurants to reopen for outdoor dining and “non-essential” retail to allow indoor customers, starting on June 15. He also mentioned personal care operations, such as salons and barbershops, can reopen on June 22, while gyms and health clubs will be able to reopen at some point in the coming weeks on a limited basis.

Executive Order 149 – Resuming Child Care Services, Youth Day Camps, and Organized Sports
Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 149 allowing the resumption of child care services, youth day camps, and organized sports over the coming weeks. The executive order states that child-care services are allowed to resume at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 15, as long as they comply with state safety restrictions. The executive order also allows outdoor, non-contact organized sports activities in the state to resume June 22 and youth day camps to start July 6, both with restrictions. Click here to read the order.

NJ Launches PPE Registry to Facilitate Access to Protective Gear

NJ recently launched the PPE Supplier Registry to connect suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 with potential buyers. Wholesale vendors with PPE inventory such as surgical or other protective masks, hospital gowns, hand sanitizer, or COVID-19 test kits can submit details on supplies they have available and hospitals, medical organizations, and private businesses can purchase. To date, more than 1,000 businesses have registered on the database, providing more than 2,500 products. Suppliers who wish to be included in the Registry should fill out the PPE Supplier Registry intake form. To view the wholesale supplier registry public listing, click here

Governor Signs Law to Extend Tax Appeal Deadline

Governor Murphy signed A4157/S2387 (Mukherji/Sarlo) into law as P.L.2020, c.35. The new law moves the deadline to file a property tax appeal to July 1, 2020, Governor Murphy stated the new law will “eliminate the potential for a backlog that would only cause further fiscal uncertainty for taxpayers and municipal governments.” Click here to read more.