MONTCLAIR — A landlord with a dozen tenants has waived the rent for all of them through June.

At his daily press briefing Saturday, Gov. Phil Murphy spotlighted Montclair resident David Placek for giving his tenants a three month "rent holiday" during the COVID-19 public health emergency through June. He said it's one of the many good stories his office has received using the Twitter hashtag #NJThanksYou.

"Certainly not every landlord is in a position to do the same. We get that. But David exemplifies the spirit we need to make sure others can come out of this emergency stronger and so we all come out of this stronger. Hats off to David," the governor said.

Placek told ABC 7 Eyewitness News the average rent on the properties is between $1,200 and $1,500 per month, and the move will cost him $50,000.

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According to an email sent to tenants and posted by, Placek requested that his tenants "pay it forward" by buying gift cards to support Montclair businesses or by making a donation to Toni's Kitchen, a charity that provides food to those in need.

Murphy last declared an indefinite moratorium on evictions or removal of people during the pandemic. He was given the authority to do so under a bill he signed in March, as part of a package of COVID-19 related legislation.

The state has granted a 90-day grace period for mortgages during the public emergency asked financial institutions to take a further step by committing to not initiating foreclosure proceedings during the emergency. Murphy has said he expected landlords to pass their financial relief onto their tenants.

It will be up to individual financial institutions to determine who qualifies for the grace period and what types of documentation will be required will be made by the institutions, according to the New Jersey Bankers Association.

Approximately 43 banks from New Jersey participating in the program, said Michael Affuso, executive vice president and director of government relations for the New Jersey Bankers Association.

Previous reporting by Sergio Bichao and Michael Symons was used in this report

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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