Greetings! The New York State COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 has extended the moratorium on residential evictions until at least January 15, 2022, for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardships. This newly extended protection from evictions until at least January 15, 2022, are now some of the most expansive in the nation, where many are struggling to keep their homes amid the disrupted pandemic economy and ongoing health threats from the coronavirus.
According to the White House, there are currently only five other states including Washington D.C. that have eviction moratoriums in place that will not expire at some point this year. The new moratorium will potentially protect hundreds of thousands of tenants from eviction, while granting landlords broader power to challenge tenants who they doubt are suffering financial hardship. Under the new law, all protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act for residential tenants who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic will remain in place, along with new protections on commercial evictions.
Below are updates/reminders regarding the new moratorium agreement:
- Landlords now have a right to request a hearing in the housing court to contest any tenant’s claim of financial hardship that protected them from eviction.
- Under New York’s enacted moratorium, tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship to prevent an eviction proceeding from moving forward. Landlords who believe that their tenant has not suffered a financial hardship will now be permitted to request a hearing in court.
- Landlords may also evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, intentionally damaging property, where a tenant did not submit a hardship declaration.
- The legislation places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings so that homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party, or a court that would prevent a foreclosure.
- The legislation’s moratorium on commercial evictions and commercial foreclosure proceedings apply to a small business with 100 or fewer employees that demonstrate a financial hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions.
- The new law will permit anyone in a locality that opted out of the state’s program to administer their own rental assistance program, to apply to the state program when local funds are exhausted. People applying directly to their local programs will also now automatically benefit from the state’s more expansive eviction protections.
- The law also creates a $25 million fund to provide legal services to tenants facing eviction proceedings and to help them maintain housing stability in areas of the state where access to free legal assistance for such services is not available.
- The law establishes a new $250 million Supplemental Emergency Rental Assistance program to serve additional households and to better support landlords. The $125 million will be made available to provide assistance to households with income that exceeds 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and up to 120% of AMI.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a threat to the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers throughout the state and lawmakers are taking decisive, comprehensive measures to extend and strengthen their legislative strategy to keep all New Yorkers safe. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic is a historic and global public health threat. It has created unimaginable anxiety for families and business owners who have lost income and are struggling to pay the rent every month. The introduction of the Delta variant and now the Mu variant has increased the number of COVID-19 cases across the nation.
Here at The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux, we are doing the best to keep everyone informed about the resources available during these difficult times. We will keep you updated as more information is unveiled. We are ready and committed to provide you the best possible service and support in the areas of immigration, real estate, estate and business planning and personal injury (WTC claims).