CLIENT ALERT: Landlord-Tenant Issues: Eviction Moratorium to be Extended
On May 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that the prohibition on both residential and commercial evictions will be extended by sixty (60) days.
The initial moratorium on evictions that took effect on March 22, 2020 was imposed for ninety (90) days and was set to expire on June 20, 2020. Recently however, the Governor has been under significant pressure from tenant advocacy groups to extend additional relief to tenants. Phrases such as “tidal wave of evictions” have been used to describe what tenant advocacy groups see as a veritable sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of tenants who cannot, or do not, keep up with rent payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conversely, most landlord advocacy groups have cautioned against drastic governmental actions that may endanger the ability of landlords to provide services to their tenants, many of those services being government mandated. The moratorium on evictions will now expire on August 19, 2020.
The moratorium extension will also prohibit landlords from assessing late fees for non-payment by tenants. The Governor will also permit tenants to apply their security deposits to their current rent and pay back the security deposits over time. Most security deposits are capped at one (1) month rent under the New York General Obligations Law.
Governor Cuomo also announced that his office is working on a financial relief package from banks to assist landlords. No details about such landlord relief have been made available, and it is unclear as to whether the relief will be mortgage relief, grants, low interest loans or some other form of financial aid. There was also no indication of the willingness on the part of the Governor’s office to assist landlords in obtaining relief from other financial obligations incurred by landlords, such as property taxes, utilities, providing heat or any other costs.
Please understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation. Our best advice is to continue to monitor our website and government websites for new information. We will continue to update our website as further information becomes available.