Most tenants are at a disadvantage in legal proceedings where they face eviction because they try to represent themselves against a landlord’s lawyer.
The best way to even the odds is to learn as much as one can and to get legal representation, say tenant advocates.
People who are behind on their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for assistance from the state, some counties or a couple of municipalities. Here are links to some of those programs:
- NJ COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II
- County and municipal housing assistance from the New Jersey Courts
- Housing assistance at all times — not necessarily COVID-19-related — from the Department of Community Affairs, including from its Division of Housing and Community Resources
Several organizations also provide free or low-cost legal assistance to tenants, including:
- Volunteer Lawyers for Justice–New Jersey (including information on tenants’ rights during the coronavirus pandemic) or call 973-943-4754
- Legal Services of New Jersey or call 888-LSNJ-LAW, as well as specific information on landlord tenant issues.
- Community Health Law Project
- Information on residential evictions from Lowenstein Sandler
- Help for homeowners and renters from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- For Essex County residents, Essex County Legal Aid Association
- For Newark residents, City of Newark Office of Tenant Legal Services
- For Jersey City residents, Jersey City COVID-19 Rent Relief Program