July 13, 2020
The real estate lawyer's role and work has been drastically affected by the pandemic ( as has occurred in all areas of life.) Whereas in the past, it was standard operating procedure in Landlord-Tenant cases to write a letter to your adversary and shortly. thereafter, file the Pleadings in the Court, that route is not currently beneficial to the parties. The Courts, ( New Jersey Landlord-Tenant Court) are not currently scheduling trials and so the resolution of these cases cannot currently be obtained through that venue. I am referring to both commercial and residential tenancies in this article.
All parties are being adversely affected. Commercial and residential landlords cannot collect the rental income that they need to pay their mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc. etc. Commercial and residential tenants do not have the income that they have always relied upon to pay the rent. Many tenants had signed personal guarantees in their Leases and will, therefore, remain liable and responsible for any/all unpaid amounts. Furthermore, their Leases may have several years remaining and the tenant is responsible for the full term of the Lease unless other agreements can be reached between the parties.
Real Estate sales in Northern New Jersey are very busy right now. People are buying and selling readily. This may be due to the low interest rates. It may be an exodus out New York City. It may be due to pent -up demand. In either event, the process has become more difficult due to the pandemic and all the accompanying roadblocks.
I have been working with clients in both Landlord and Tenant situations and in transactional situations, In both areas, it is important to have a real estate attorney that is familiar with all of the practices and procedures, but it is also important to have a real estate Attorney with experience that knows how to communicate with the other party, and to seek a mutually beneficial compromise. I have been attaining successful results for clients on all sides of this situation.
Every case is different because of the details and specifics pertaining to each individual matter There can be no cookie cutter format resolution . In some cases, the resolution has been to pay a reduced amount throughout the time period of the pandemic and its shutdown effects. In other cases, it has been better for the tenant to merely walk away ( depending on the specific details of their Lease.) In other cases, it makes more sense for a landlord to proceed to eviction even though this course will take longer, because it is not worthwhile to keep the tenant based upon other circumstances and history.
Hopefully, everything will get back to normal soon. In the meantime, it is important to have a good team of experienced professionals supporting you and protecting you to get through these very difficult situations, It is important to be able to think outside the box, It is important to work hard and steadily on these issues now rather than to let them linger and grow as to the nature of damages accruing.