N.J. Eviction Filings Reach 26K Amid State, CDC Moratorium

Published September 15, 2020
By Karen Yi

Eviction filings continue to pile up in New Jersey's landlord-tenant courts. While the state's eviction moratorium runs through at least November, it doesn't stop landlords from initiating eviction proceedings in court.

Records show landlords filed 5,000 cases in August, bringing the total number of eviction filings since April to 26,000.

Staci Berger, president of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, said the state needs to take action to give tenants more time to pay owed rent, or it will face a tsunami of evictions once the moratorium expires.

"People are really incredibly under pressure to come up with money that they don't have," she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a national moratorium on evictions earlier this month. That order requires tenants to fill out a form and certify they meet certain requirements under the moratorium, as well as inform their landlord.

Berger says the CDC eviction ban that runs through the end of 2020 won't change much in New Jersey, because the state's moratorium does more to protect tenants.

"New Jersey moratorium gives the the benefit of the doubt to the tenant which the federal declaration doesn't do," Berger said.

Tenants who are facing an illegal lockout from their landlord can use an online form to report it to the state Department of Community Affairs.