Mosquera Bill to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Stalking from Eviction Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Gabriela Mosquera to provide rental and lease protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

Under current law, a tenant may terminate a lease prior to its expiration if he or she provides appropriate documentation and written notice that the tenant or a child of the tenant faces an imminent threat of serious physical harm from another person if the tenant remains on the premises.

Under the bill (A-1706), a landlord may not terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, or refuse to enter into a rental agreement based on the tenant’s or applicant’s or a household member’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or based on the tenant or applicant having terminated a rental agreement pursuant to the “New Jersey Safe Housing Act.”

In an ideal world, the abuser would be removed. Sadly, life is not always fair. Forcing an eviction can make a bad situation worse, and possibly expose victims to greater danger. This can help reassure these victims that the law is on their side.

The bill was released by the Assembly Women & Children Committee.