Landlord group asks NJ Supreme Court to reverse security deposit ruling

An appellate court upheld an executive order allowing tenants to use deposits to pay rent

New York /
Aug.August 20, 2021 03:06 PM
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (Getty)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (Getty)

Garden State landlords aren’t giving in after a New Jersey court ruled that residents can use their security deposits to pay rent.

In July, an appeals court upheld an executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy that allowed struggling tenants to use their security deposits toward back rent during the pandemic. Now, the nonprofit group New Civil Liberties Alliance is petitioning the Supreme Court of New Jersey to reverse the appellate court’s decision.

The executive order, issued in April of last year, gives renters the option of instructing their landlords to use pre-paid security deposits to offset rent without needing to replenish the deposit until 60 days after the pandemic.

NCLA, which says it represents small landlords in the state, argues that the law violates property owners’ constitutional and contractual rights. As a result of the executive order, landlords have been left on the hook for thousands of dollars’ worth of damages left behind by tenants, the organization alleges.

Worse, NCLA warns that the appellate court ruling creates a precedent that could allow governors unchecked power to suspend or repeal any existing statutes under the guise of an economic emergency.

“The Appellate Division appeared to grant Governor Murphy the power to do literally anything he wants so long as he unilaterally decides that his executive actions are related to the pandemic and in the public’s interest,” NCLA counsel Jared McClain said in a statement. “But the Governor’s emergency powers do not include the authority to waive statutory law and rewrite private contracts”





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Two more rent law challenges tossed, landlords reserve hope in appeal
    Two more rent law challenges tossed, landlords rest hopes on appeal
    Two more rent law challenges tossed, landlords rest hopes on appeal
    City won’t landmark Grand Prospect Hall, clearing way for demolition
    City won’t landmark Grand Prospect Hall, clearing way for demolition
    City won’t landmark Grand Prospect Hall, clearing way for demolition
    A crackdown on mob activity has brought to light the alleged shakedown of a construction union based in Queens. (iStock)
    Colombo mob boss arrested over alleged construction union shakedown
    Colombo mob boss arrested over alleged construction union shakedown
    Gov. Gavin Newsom (Getty)
    California Gov. Newsom wins recall election; homeless, housing crises loom
    California Gov. Newsom wins recall election; homeless, housing crises loom
    The Real Estate Roundtable's  John Fish and Jeffrey DeBoer (Real Estate Roundtable, iStock)
    Real Estate Roundtable: Break deadlock on $1T infrastructure bill
    Real Estate Roundtable: Break deadlock on $1T infrastructure bill
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)
    For real this time? City schedules tax lien sale
    For real this time? City schedules tax lien sale
    Hochul urged to resolve Mario Cuomo Bridge dispute
    Hochul urged to resolve Mario Cuomo Bridge dispute
    Hochul urged to resolve Mario Cuomo Bridge dispute
    Cuomo's High Line project has survived him — but his other proposals remain uncertain
    Cuomo’s High Line project survives him, boosting Brookfield
    Cuomo’s High Line project survives him, boosting Brookfield
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...