Our office remains open and we are closely monitoring the quickly developing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During the past few days, we have received several calls from our clients, who concerned about the effects of the moratorium on evictions. As resources become available and new information is released, we will keep you up to date. In the meantime, we are aware that there is a lot of seemingly conflicting information regarding delays in evictions. In this article, we will explain the details of some of the new temporary laws that may affect our clients during the next few months.
Filing and Scheduling Eviction Hearings
During this time, we can still file eviction actions and enter into payment agreements with tenants. While eviction hearing dates have been slightly delayed during this emergency, these delays are precautionary due to social distancing requirements, and is not related to economic factors. Therefore, we expect that the New Jersey Courts will resume conducting eviction hearings as soon as it is deemed safe to resume public gatherings.
Delays on Lockouts
New Jersey recently passed Executive Order 106 to stop lockouts for residential nonpayment matters for 2 months after the Public Health Emergency or State of Emergency, as established in Executive Order 103 has ended. Accordingly, while we can still file evictions and obtain our Judgments for Possession, lockouts cannot occur for 2 months following the conclusion of the Public Health Emergency. Given the uncertain nature of COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot make any predictions as to a date when the public health emergency will be declared to be over. In some extraordinary cases, the Court will consider a Motion to execute a lockout prior to the expiration of the two months period, but those applications will be heard on an individual (case by case) basis.
Why You Should Continue to File Eviction Actions
Many of our clients are asking us if they should proceed with eviction filings during this difficult time. The answer is “Yes.” We have recently been informed that tenants who are facing eviction may be entitled to receive some emergency financial assistance to help pay any outstanding rent. Therefore, the filing of an eviction action may be in the best interests of not only the landlord, but the tenant as well. Before filing an eviction action, we recommend that the landlord speak with the tenant to discuss the tenant’s options and explain that the quicker we file our action and get into court, the more likely the tenant is to get financial assistance if it is still available. Resources for tenants can be found at:
In the meantime, if you need us to assist with the preparation of any agreements with tenants, please let us know and we will be glad to draft the necessary agreements. For more information on topics relating to Landlord Tenant law, please feel free to contact our office.