Coronavirus News: New Jersey allows renters to use security deposits to pay rent

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order Friday allowing renters and homeowners to use their security deposits to pay rent -- whether that be to make up for a shortfall or to pay it in full -- amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We recognize the anxiety that so many feel about looming mortgage and rent payments, especially with May first a week away," Murphy said.

The order is for money that had been paid up front to secure a lease, Murphy stated, and renters should have the ability to tap the deposit to help them secure their place in their home.

"I wish to specifically acknowledge assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake for her advocacy on this issue," the governor said.

Murphy said he understands renters and landlords may have questions, so the state is providing information on their COVID-19 website.

"Everyone will have access to the same information, so there can be no more misunderstandings and so everyone understands our expectations of them during this time," Murphy said. "As we work on these issues, I wish to thank the New Jersey Apartment Association for their support and assistance.

For New Jerseyans fortunate enough to pay their rent or mortgage, Gov. Murphy says "please do, so that allows us to best help those who cannot."

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