Executive Order #128: Residential Tenants Can Use Security Deposits for Rent Obligations


On April 24, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order #128 to help financially struggling renters and landlords who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Executive Order #128, residential tenants are allowed to apply their security deposits toward rent owed to landlords.

Here is what you need to know about the Order if you are renter or landlord in New Jersey:

  • Tenants can use their security deposits, as well as the interest earned on the security deposits, to cover unpaid rent payments during the Public Health Emergency and for 60 days thereafter.
  • The Order only applies to residential tenants, not commercial tenants. The Order is also limited to security deposits that are subject to N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 et seq. An example of this would be when a landlord owns at least 10 rental units.
  • Tenants are not obligated to replenish the security deposits under their current lease. However, if the lease is renewed or extended, then the tenant would be obligated to replenish the security deposit at the time of the renewal or six months after the end of the Public Health Emergency.
  • The Order is in effect until two months following the end of the Public Health Emergency, unless Governor Murphy decides to revoke it earlier.

Our team of real estate attorneys who handle landlord-tenant disputes at M. Ross & Associates, LLC are committed to using our extensive resources, years of experience, and in-depth knowledge of the law to protect the rights of clients who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19. If you have questions about whether your rental agreement is eligible to use security deposits to pay past due rent, then please don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm.

Give us a call today at (201) 897-4942 to request your case consultation to get advice from one of our qualified legal professionals.