August 31, 2021
Notice to all Landlords and Tenants – New Law affects Tenant and Landlord Rights
On August 4, 2021, Governor Murphy signed a new law into place that winds down NJ’s eviction moratorium and provides critical protections to renter households who experienced economic hardship during the pandemic. Please read below and take action today.
What does the new eviction and homelessness prevention law do?
NJ’s eviction protection is no longer automatic! Tenants must take action to be protected from eviction.
The law’s eviction & removal protections are based on household income level. The law also prohibits the reporting of rental arrears debt to credit agencies or debt collectors or to other landlords, imposes strict fines on landlords who report such debt, strictly prohibits the sale of civil debt related to rental arrears.
In order to ensure that your household benefits from these protections, you must complete the Income Self-Certification Form (“Form”).
For eviction actions not based on non-payment of rent (or failure to pay rent increase or for habitual late payment), the eviction moratorium was lifted on August 4, 2021.
For eviction actions based on non-payment of rent (or failure to pay rent increase or for habitual late payment) the eviction moratorium expires on August 31, 2021, except for those with certain self-certified income levels, for whom it expires on December 31, 2021. Tenants may also need to self-certify COVID-related hardship and declare that they’ve applied to rental assistance they might be eligible to receive in order to be protected from eviction through the end of the year. Tenants can determine which income level they fall into and how they might be protected by submitting their household income self-certification.
What should tenants do?
In order to ensure that you’re protected, SELF-CERT TODAY! Online at https://covid19.nj.gov/renter or by calling 609-490-4550 for assistance. Tenants experiencing difficulty in paying rent should apply for rental assistance today here: https://njdca.onlinepha.com/. If you need technical assistance or do not have Internet access, please call (609) 490-4550 for help.
What does the Form do?
Submitting the Form allows the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to access the information you provide. The online Form completion tool allows you to enter an email address. Your Form will be sent to the email address provided. You should retain a copy of the Form for your records.
The online tool also allows you to send the Form directly to the court if you have a docket number for an eviction case that has been filed against you. If there is a pending eviction action against you for unpaid rent accrued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, include the docket number on your Form and select the option to send it directly to the court. The court will notify you when the Form has been processed. Based on your household income level, your case may be dismissed.
If there is not a pending eviction action against you at the time you complete the Form, your Form will be retained in a database. Should an eviction action be filed against you for rent accrued between March 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, or, in the case of a tenant who certifies that they: (1) reside in a very low-, low-, or moderate-income household ; (2) have suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19; and (3) have applied for rental assistance for which they are eligible, for rent accrued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, your Form will be filed with the court at that time. The court will notify you when the Form has been processed. Based on your household income level, your case may be dismissed. However, you should bring a copy of your Form with you to any legal proceedings you are summoned to attend. If your case is dismissed, don’t forget to apply for rental assistance! You still owe arrears even if your case has been dismissed or a case has not yet been filed against you.
Frequently Asked Questions about the self-certification process can be accessed here: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/uncategorized/renter-self-certification-process-and-faqs OR by telephone by calling: 609-490-4550.
I need help with utilities or other assistance or I’m a landlord who needs help, what do I do?
Go to https://nj.gov/dca/ for information about utility assistance and about the Jersey state program for renters and landlords.
Please use this link for local programs available (county and municipal) and their eligibility requirements: