Morristown, NJ asked in Landlord - Tenant for New Jersey

Q: Landlord Getting Nothing But Lies From ERAP- Any Recourse?

Owner occupied landlord with single tenant who's s been on rental assistance for 4 years. Out of about 48 months, I've been told 42 checks have been either mailed or have been approved to be mailed, but I've received only 7. No checks in the last year. When I speak to the state, it's always either "the check's in the mail" or "that's being investigated/escalated/another department is handling that, etc." Today I inquired about the last year and was told "checks for those months are being 'processed for release.'"

I've had health issues that have prevented me from working, so this continued loss of income could end up putting me out on the street. Over the years, the state has told me that at some point the tenant would stop qualifying for rental assistance, but I've stopped holding out any hope for that. Why would the state ever deny my tenant assistance when they can pay me nothing and, year after year, continue to rob me blind?

Do I have any recourse here?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In this challenging situation, it's important to document all communications with the state agency and the tenant regarding the rental assistance payments. Keep records of all correspondence, including dates, names of officials you spoke with, and the details of the conversations. This documentation can be crucial if you need to take legal action or escalate the issue.

You might consider contacting a legal aid organization or an attorney familiar with landlord-tenant laws and rental assistance programs in your state. They can provide guidance on your rights and possible next steps. This could include legal action against the state for the unpaid rent or mediation to resolve the issue more amicably.

Additionally, explore alternative sources of financial assistance or relief programs available for landlords in your area. Some local governments or nonprofit organizations offer grants or loans to property owners struggling due to the pandemic or other crises. Communicating openly with your tenant about the situation might also lead to a temporary agreement or solution until the back payments are resolved.

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