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​​​​​​​​Welcome to the LSNJLAWSM website, provided by Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ). LSNJ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit offering free legal advice to low-income people in New Jersey. Find legal information by clicking on a legal topic or typing a few words into the search box. ​

Health Care
FAQ - Did/Does the landlord have to wait to file an eviction complaint against me under the C.A.R.E.S. Act?

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, there was a moratorium for nonpayment of rent evictions for certain federal housing rental programs, such as:

  • Public housing
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program
  • Section 8 project-based housing
  • Section 202 housing for the elderly
  • Section 811 housing for people with disabilities
  • Section 236 multifamily rental housing
  • Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) housing
  • HOME
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)


  • McKinney-Vento Act homelessness programs
  • Section 515 Rural Rental Housing
  • Sections 514 and 516 Farm Labor Housing
  • Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants
  • Section 538 multifamily rental housing
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
  • Rural housing voucher program under section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949

The CARES Act moratorium also covered tenants who live in properties where there is a federally backed mortgage, which is further defined by the Act. If you live in multifamily dwelling, you can find out if it has a federally backed mortgage by searching these databases:

You also can find information regarding your landlord’s mortgage by searching the register of deeds in your county.

The moratorium only applied to eviction actions for nonpayment of rent that were filed after March 27, 2020. For most tenants protected by the CARES Act, the moratorium is for 120 days, and ended on July 25. No late charges may accrue during this period. Also, prior to filing any eviction complaint, the landlord would have to serve the tenant with a 30 day notice, which must be given after the end of the moratorium. If the landlord already filed an eviction complaint, but did not comply with these requirements, the tenant should argue that the case should be dismissed. Landlords, who receive forbearances of federally backed multifamily mortgage loans, must respect identical renter protections for the duration of the forbearance.

The court is requiring all landlords to complete a Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Compliance Certification.

(Return to Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants, Hotel/Motel Residents, and Other Occupants During COVID-19

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