I am a student living in a rental by a management in New Jersey. I lost my job due to COVID and have no source of income, I have a massive student debt and loans from a lot of my friends including my flatmates. I literally have no money, I eat just once a day, it's extremely difficult for me to survive in this situation

I was told by someone that I could ask my landlord to use my security deposit for this months rent and they cannot ask me a security deposit again for the next six months. I found an article that also talks about this situation, basically the governor signed a proposal for this, it can be found on this link: Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Providing Critical Short-Term Support for Renters which seems to be valid till March 19, 2021, can anyone confirm this and advise how to talk to my landlord about this situation?


To your specific question: Yes, you can instruct your landlord to apply your security deposit toward rent (with possible exceptions for a small property where the landlord also lives, which doesn't sound like your situation). This must be in writing (email counts) -- a suggested format is shown here.

The public health emergency has been extended repeatedly, most recently to mid-March 2021, and the security deposit order remains in effect until 60 days after the end of the emergency. Moreover, a new security deposit cannot be required until 6 months after the end of the emergency.

I encourage you to take a broader view of your situation and possible ways to improve it. Applying your security deposit toward rent may be a useful step, but if you are not getting enough to eat, rent should probably not be your top priority, given the ban on evictions until 2 months after the end of the emergency.

Desperate poverty and hunger can endanger your health and sabotage decision-making. Here are some ideas -- you may have tried some already, but I hope you can get immediate help, especially with food:

And while I can't know your exact situation:

  • Of course keep looking for any other way to earn an income
  • Consider if there might be any family/relatives you can reach out to who would want to help you
  • 1
    This is a really good and compassionate answer. Other sources of food or other practical help could include local churches. – Vicky Mar 1 at 10:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.