In New Jersey and throughout the United States, the ongoing societal challenges have led to fundamental changes in everyday life. It has been the catalyst for people being unable to keep up with their bills. That includes renters who could not pay their landlords. While this is often looked at from the perspective of renters, landlords also have rights. In many circumstances, the image of a property owner as a vast corporation with money to spare conflicts with the reality. A significant number of landlords are people who own property to supplement their income or to serve as their sole income and they are being confronted with similar financial concerns as renters. To address this, it is imperative to understand current events and the law.
Specific factors are key with who is protected from eviction and who is not
A federal eviction moratorium was implemented to protect renters. Recently, that moratorium expired and was extended for some until Oct. 3. New Jersey already had measures in place to protect people from being evicted. However, landlords and renters should know that it is contingent on the person’s income. For individuals who earned less than $99,000 in 2020 and couples who earned less than $198,000, they are protected from eviction if they have signed a declaration saying they would be homeless or need to reside close to others if they were to be evicted. There is a penalty of perjury for being untruthful in the declaration. They must also promise that they are attempting to make at least part of their rental payments.
As of now, no one can be removed from their home until the end of the year. This is based on an executive order that the governor signed in March 2020. A new bill waiting for the governor’s signature will change that to Aug. 31 if the family earns more than 80% of the median income for their specific county and if they have failed to make payments on their rent, were consistently late or did not pay for an increase in their rent during a protected time-period. Those below that threshold are shielded from being evicted through the end of the year.
Landlords can still move forward with an eviction
It is important to note that failure to pay rent is not the only reason to evict a person. Others include destruction or property, violating the rules and regulations set by the landlord, and disorderly conduct. A landlord who wants to evict a tenant for these reasons – and not for non-payment of rent – can do so once the bill is signed. Landlords should also be aware that even with the moratorium keeping renters in their home, the process to evict can be started immediately.
Addressing the complexities of handling evictions
During times of normalcy, evictions are a complicated area of the law. With the current back and forth with changes seemingly happening every day, people are facing a litany of factors related to how they deal with tenants who are not paying rent. Regardless of the reason, landlords have rights too. With attempts to move forward with an eviction in the current landscape or when dealing with other legal issues with being a landlord, it is essential to have professional guidance to try and achieve a positive result.