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New Jerseys No Rent Abatement for Small Businesses

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New Jerseys No Rent Abatement for Small Businesses

One of the commonly asked questions since the lockout started was from small business owners, who wish to understand if they had the right to postpone their rental fees. The response, on 9 April 2020, the New Jersey Legislature introduced a bill authorizing Governor Murphy to require suspensions of emergency rentals for a small business client who is economically threatened by the pandemic. Refer here for the introduced bill https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2020/Bills/A4000/3921_I1.HTM

Small Business Tenant

The bill describes a “small business tenant” by implying any business that employed 50 or fewer individuals as of 10 February 2020; leases rental properties for non-residential uses; and as a consequence of the pandemic, there is no monthly income that exceeds 80 percent of the tenant’s realistic expectations of monthly income throughout the same pre-pandemic season. The tenant will have to pay back the unpaid rent for six to nine months starting on the 1st day of the 2nd month following the lifting of both the public health emergency and the state of emergency.

Rent Suspension

The bill provided that the governor could issue an executive rent suspension order during the public health emergency to provide that a Distressed Small Business tenant could claim their emergency suspension of rent, which is the time during which rent payment responsibilities wouldn’t be paid. According to the bill, an emergency rent suspension will begin upon notification from of the tenant toward the landlord, or agent of the landlord, also that tenant is asserting a suspension of emergency rent. The bill additionally provided that the executive rent suspension order would imply a time, not to exceed 3 months, that an emergency suspension of rents may remain in place.

Landlord/Tenant Trials

Besides, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued its Third Omnibus Order (refer to the PDF shown below) on May 28, 2020, extending its dismissal of landlord/tenant trials until June 14, 2020, and persuading landlords and tenants to settle their disputes. Under these conditions, in this unprecedented period, it has become increasingly necessary for property owners and tenants to participate in a dialog to discuss the valid concerns of each group. https://drive.google.com/file/d/15p9mrKKSAgIEejhHTX4BrQgJYSzB8Tw3/view?usp=sharing

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