NJ Senate To Vote On Tenant Protection Measure

Mar 10, 2017

Senator Brian Stack
Credit Phil Gregory

The New Jersey Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on a bill that would prevent landlords from requiring tenants to pay their rent with automatic electronic fund transfers.

Senator Brian Stack says he’s received hundreds of complaints about that practice.

“Many of these tenants might to looking to get repairs done in their apartment. Their only mechanism, the only hammer they have over a landlord’s head to get the repairs done, is to withhold their rents and use that rent to make repairs under New Jersey state law. They wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Stack says the electronic payment requirement is a hardship for tenants who don’t have a checking account and want to pay with cash.

The legislation he’s sponsored would also require landlords to provide a receipt for cash payments.

“It may be a very small amount of landlords, but many tenants face a hardship that after paying their rent and not getting their receipt, maybe there’s a bookkeeping problem and they wind up taking the tenant to court for rent they already paid and they have no way of proving it”

Stack says hundreds of tenants have complained about the electronic payment requirement. There are concerns it could be used to discriminate against low-income tenants and limit their access to affordable rental housing