Proposed legislation would help landlords, tenants with back rent

Aired May 26, 2021
By Melissa Rose Cooper

Bills are piling up for those who’ve had a hard time making ends meet over the last year and the state is bracing for a lift on the moratorium that has prevented evictions during the public health crisis. But the safety net that has allowed hard-hit renters to stay in their homes has created a separate crisis for landlords who say, in total, New Jersey tenants owe as much as $2 billion in back rent.

To help ease the pain on both sides, lawmakers are proposing a bill that would turn back-rent into civil debt, meaning that though tenants could be sued for what they owe, they would not face eviction. If passed, the bill would also provide an additional $750 million in rental assistance.