New York State’s COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (“The Act”) (S.9114/A.11181) prevents residential evictions, foreclosure proceedings, credit discrimination and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of The Act is to protect tenants and homeowners from the economic hardship incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full details of the Act are found here: Governor Cuomo Signs the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (ny.gov)
The Residential Eviction Moratorium in New York State
The Residential Eviction Moratorium in New York State (“moratorium”) prevents the eviction of qualified tenants who are unable to make rental payments due the pandemic. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions.
Landlords should know that they can still evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, and those tenants who do not submit hardship declarations.
The New York State moratorium is scheduled to end on May 1, 2021. Governor Cuomo’s extensions of the eviction moratorium throughout the pandemic that started in March 2020 made it extremely hard for landlords to evict tenants over the last year. Moreover, recent events involving The Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) could influence yet another extension to the moratorium in New York State as outlined below.
The CDC’s State Moratorium on Evictions
Recently, the CDC extended the federal moratorium to June 30, 2021. The federal eviction moratorium applies to all renters who attest to meeting income and other eligibility criteria set out in the order, which include having made all efforts to obtain government assistance for rent and being at risk of homelessness or overcrowded housing conditions upon eviction. Renters must submit a signed declaration of eligibility to their landlords and attest to certain pre-conditions that include falling below the $99,000 annual income threshold and making a good-faith effort to pay at least partial rent. Renters must also complete the CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration to qualify for protection.
The details of the federal moratorium can be found here: Federal Register :: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions To Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19
Why is the CDC Inserting Itself into Landlord/Tenant Laws?
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky issued a determination that the evictions of tenants could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Good News for Landlords
The current CDC extension to June 30, 2021 protects tenants from eviction for nonpayment of rent only. The good news for landlords is that if a tenant owes back rent, nothing in this legislation forgives the tenant’s monetary debts; it only prevents the tenant from receiving an eviction notice. Regina Sarkis assists landlords with evictions and can help them pursue monetary judgments against tenants who fail to pay rent.
This article is intended for general information and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or counsel. The substance of this article is not intended to cover all legal issues or developments regarding the matter. Please consult with an attorney to ascertain how these new developments may relate to you or your business. © 2021 Regina Sarkis, Esq.