The New York State legislature passed a bill that extends the state’s moratorium on residential evictions until January 15, 2022. The bill extends the pre-existing eviction moratorium, which has been in effect since March, 2020. The extension comes as the moratorium expired on Tuesday night August 31, 2021, which could have resulted in thousands of New Yorkers being evicted and potentially homeless.
What is the Residential Eviction Moratorium?
The residential eviction moratorium is a legal measure that prevents landlords from evicting their residential and commercial tenants for failure to pay rent. Rather than simply excusing them from paying rent, the moratorium simply forbids landlords from evicting residents for nonpayment of rent in court while the moratorium is in effect. Tenants are still responsible for paying rent during this period and may face eviction for any owed rent once the moratorium expires.
Why Was This Bill Passed?
The moratorium was extended because of continuing economic and public health issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a year after the moratorium was originally put into place, the DELTA variant of COVID-19 still exists. Although the state received $2.4 billion in federal aid to deal assist landlords and tenants with unpaid rent, only a small fraction of that money has actually been disbursed.
Who Does the Residential Eviction Moratorium Apply To?
The moratorium applies to tenants who are unable to pay rent due to economic difficulties arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. People who are forced out of their apartment for other reasons, such as violations of the terms of a lease or causing a nuisance, are not protected by the moratorium. It also does not protect someone for nonpayment of rent unless they specifically cite the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for their inability to pay and submit a Hardship Declaration.
What Do People Think of the Bill?
Opinions over the eviction moratorium remain mixed. Advocates for tenants are perplexed and angry and believe that more focus should be placed on direct financial aid, noting that the continuing financial woes of many tenants means that many will face homelessness once the moratorium expires. Landlords, on the other hand, are no happier about the situation, given that many of them have now spent nearly a year and a half with non-paying tenants they cannot legally evict. Meanwhile, the landlords’ bills continue to pile up. Many Landlords have not received the financial support granted to tenants. In the end, the moratorium is a middle ground solution that satisfies no one.
If you are in a dispute with your landlord and want to know more about protecting yourself, do not wait until it is too late. You should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling landlord-tenant disputes, who can advise you on your rights and help you avoid the risk of eviction. Contact the skilled landlord-tenant attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. Contact us online, toll-free (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744 to discuss your rights and the solutions available to you.