Jersey City Freezes Rent at Most Smaller Buildings Amid COVID-19

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Jersey City Freezes Rent Amid Covid 19
Newark Avenue, Jersey City. Photo by Jared Kofsky/Jersey Digs.

While lots of initiatives designed to help tenants have been enacted since the coronavirus pandemic began, Hudson county’s largest city recently approved legislation that will outlaw rent increases at many residential properties.


Ordinance 20-033 got introduced late last month by Ward E Councilman James Solomon and was passed unanimously by the city council during their May 6 meeting. The regulation enacts a temporary rent freeze at all rent-controlled apartments and at all units in one-to-four family buildings that are not owner-occupied.

The language of the ordinance notes that “housing security and stability are important to public health, particularly as homelessness can increase vulnerability to COVID-19.” It states that evictions of residents for non-payment of rent can increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, “which in turn increases the risks to the rest of society and endangers public health.”

The ordinance imposes the freeze as of March 15 and it will last until August 1 “or the expiration of the public health emergency, whichever is later.” The new rules also prohibit landlords from collecting any late payment penalty as a result of the current public health emergency as declared by the Governor.

Not everyone is thrilled with the news. Per a story from the Hudson Reporter, Ron Simoncini of the Jersey City Property Owners Association claims that the measure is a “superficial gesture” that “shouldn’t be made during a pandemic.”

“Government shouldn’t be overreacting to short-term circumstances to pass laws that effectively abridge property rights, and are likely unconstitutional, when relief is needed throughout the market,” he told the outlet.

Simoncini is also the Executive Director of the Montclair Property Owners Association, who are currently mounting a legal challenge to that town’s newly-passed rent control regulations. The group recently won an injunction to delay Montclair’s implementation of that law and has made it clear they intend to submit a petition looking to force a voter referendum on the issue.

The move to freeze rents at some apartments in Jersey City comes just weeks after an Executive Order from the Governor allowed tenants to use security deposits to pay their rents. A separate $100 million COVID-19 rental assistance bill will be voted on by the State Assembly on May 14.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Who is going to pay the coming real estate taxes? Is the Governer going to Pay? This is not fair to the home owners.
    Why the freeze is only on the smaller building? What about the towers on the square or what about the 30 year tax abatement the owner of this towers are enjoying? Stop discriminating against the owners of small buildings.

  2. We should not pay any rents any where for six months the owners are rich already we the tenant’s can’t even buy milk

  3. Sometimes it’s not about or being responsible sometime life just happens as did the panademic and most the businesses and buildings were inherited not saved for!!

  4. The City Tax Guys got their 2nd quarter real estate taxes. The can not wait little longer, but the landlords can wait for God only knows for how long.

  5. In Jersey City landord suffering from
    Unfair of the Governer and Mayor
    If you like to HELP THE TENTANT HELP
    FROM YOUR MONY OR FROM RICH
    PEOPLE HAVE TOWER IN JERSEY SMAL
    BUILDING THEY NEED EQUAl A Opportunity like the landlords of towers

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