Singleton Measure Would Help "Micro-Landlords" During COVID Crisis

TRENTON, NJ-- In an effort to support micro-landlords through the coronavirus pandemic, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously approved legislation on Monday sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, who represents Bordentown in the Legislature, and Senator Brian P. Stack, which would establish an assistance program to assist landlords of one- and two-family dwellings.

The bill, S3037, would establish the "One- and Two-Unit Landlord Emergency Assistance Program" in the Department of Community Affairs. The bill would appropriate $50 million from the General Fund and, to the extent available, money from the CARES Act to fund the program.

"While the Administration's previous effort to assist small landlords had good intentions, it fell seriously short by leaving out micro-landlords," said Senator Singleton. "Through our proposal, we will be able to help these smaller landlords, many who have faced the financial pressure of figuring out how to pay their mortgages, property taxes, insurance and fees at a time when their tenants are not able to make their rent payments."

Under the bill, landlords of the rental properties could apply for assistance to cover portions of unpaid rent due during the "assistance period." The bill would define the "assistance period" as the period beginning April 1, 2020 and ending on the first day of the seventh month following the end of the public health emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A landlord would not be entitled to assistance through the program if the rental property is not registered with the municipality it is located in, or if the landlord is not current on all their State and local tax obligations.

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