New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will sign an executive order to support renters, the governor announced during a Covid-19 news conference. The order will allow renters to use their security deposit to pay their rent.
Murphy’s order now allows renters to “direct their landlords to use their security deposits to pay their rents, whether that be to make up for a shortfall or to pay it in full.”
“During this emergency, renters should have the ability to tap this deposit to help them secure their place in their home,” he added.
The order will go into effect immediately and will remain in place for 60 days following the end of the public health emergency, according to governor’s office.
The move by Murphy follows a joint statement issued by Bayonne Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31), and Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon, who last night announced they would be advancing proposals – on the state and local levels, respectively – to enable any tenant to pay their rent with their security deposit.
Solomon and Chiaravalloti said there is an estimated $1.1 billion in security deposits statewide.
“Renters need assistance, [and] most landlords who own a two- or three-family home rely on that rent, and having possibly over a billion dollars sitting in escrow accounts doesn’t really make a lot of sense,” Chiaravalloti said.
While Murphy’s order is only effective during the duration of the state of emergency, Solomon and Chiaravalloti said they’d like to take the measure further and change the way landlords and tenants manage security deposits.
Murphy issues executive order allowing security deposits to be used for rent payments | Hudson County View
Officials said there is an estimated $1.1 billion in security deposits availalable to renters statewide, and more than $40 billion nationwide.