Eviction Moratorium New York – All You Need To Know

by ECL Writer
Eviction Moratorium New York

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the economy and housing market in New York, leading to a surge in unemployment and making it difficult for many tenants to pay their rent. To address this crisis, the state of New York implemented an eviction moratorium in 2020, which was subsequently extended multiple times. This moratorium has provided much-needed relief to tenants who have been unable to make rent payments due to pandemic-related hardships. However, as the state continues to grapple with the effects of the pandemic, the eviction moratorium in New York has become a topic of much debate and controversy. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore the eviction moratorium in New York, including its history, current status, and potential impact on tenants and landlords alike. We will also examine the arguments for and against the moratorium, and what the future may hold for tenants and landlords in New York as the pandemic continues to evolve.

What Is The Eviction Moratorium In New York?

The eviction moratorium in New York is a temporary pause on evictions put in place by the state government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been extended several times and is currently set to expire on January 2022.

The moratorium prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic and who have submitted a hardship declaration form. The form attests that the tenant has experienced a COVID-related financial hardship, which may include job loss, reduction in income, or increased medical expenses.

The eviction moratorium also provides some protections for landlords by allowing them to apply for financial assistance to cover unpaid rent during the pandemic. This assistance is provided through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which provides funds to eligible landlords to cover unpaid rent and utilities.

It’s important to note that the eviction moratorium does not relieve tenants of their obligation to pay rent, and landlords can still pursue legal action to collect unpaid rent. However, the moratorium does provide some temporary relief for tenants who are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

Tenant Eligibility For Eviction Protection In New York

Tenants in New York are eligible for eviction protection if they meet certain criteria related to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible for eviction protection, a tenant must:

  • Have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes job loss, reduction in hours, inability to work due to illness, or increased out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19.
  • Be unable to pay rent as a result of their financial hardship. This means that the tenant must have a rent obligation that was due on or after March 1, 2020, and that remains unpaid due to financial hardship related to the pandemic.
  • Submit a hardship declaration form to their landlord, which attests to their financial hardship related to COVID-19.

If a tenant meets these criteria, they are protected from eviction for non-payment of rent for a certain period of time. The current eviction moratorium in New York is set to expire on May 1, 2023.

It’s important to note that the hardship declaration form is a legal document, and tenants should be truthful when filling it out. Tenants who provide false information may be subject to legal action by their landlord.

Additionally, tenants who are protected by the eviction moratorium are still responsible for paying rent, and landlords can still pursue legal action to collect unpaid rent. However, the moratorium provides temporary relief by preventing eviction for those who are unable to pay due to pandemic-related financial hardship.

Impact Of The Eviction Moratorium On Landlords In New York

The eviction moratorium in New York has had a significant impact on landlords, particularly those who rely on rental income to maintain their properties and pay their bills. Here are some of the ways the moratorium has affected landlords:

  • Financial strain: Landlords who have tenants who are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship related to the pandemic may be experiencing financial strain themselves. This is because landlords are still responsible for paying their mortgages, property taxes, and other bills even if their tenants are unable to pay rent.
  • Delayed payments: Landlords may have to wait longer to receive rental payments, which can create cash flow problems. This is because tenants who are protected by the eviction moratorium may be able to delay paying rent without facing eviction.
  • Legal challenges: Landlords who wish to pursue legal action to collect unpaid rent may face challenges due to the eviction moratorium. The moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants who are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship related to the pandemic, which means that landlords may have to seek other legal remedies to collect unpaid rent.
  • ERAP application process: Landlords who are owed unpaid rent by tenants who have experienced financial hardship related to the pandemic may be able to receive financial assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). However, the application process for ERAP can be complicated and time-consuming, which may create additional challenges for landlords.

Possible Extension Or Lifting Of The Eviction Moratorium In New York

The state has enacted a series of eviction moratorium measures found necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the people of New York. These provisions extended the eviction moratoriums until January 15, 2022.

Advocates of extending the eviction moratorium argue that many tenants are still struggling financially due to the pandemic, and lifting the moratorium could result in a surge of evictions and homelessness. They also point out that the emergency rental assistance program (ERAP) has been slow to distribute funds, and many tenants and landlords are still waiting for assistance.

On the other hand, opponents of the eviction moratorium argue that it places undue financial strain on landlords, many of whom are small property owners, and may discourage new investment in the rental market. They also contend that the moratorium is no longer necessary since COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available, and the economy has recovered in many areas.

Ultimately, the decision to extend or lift the eviction moratorium will depend on a variety of factors, including the state of the economy, public health considerations, and the availability of emergency rental assistance. Policymakers will need to balance the needs of tenants and landlords and consider the potential impacts of their decisions on both groups.

Evictions Performed By The Sheriff’s Office

The Sheriff’s Office handles evictions that involve the enforcement of a court order or warrant. The fee for performing an eviction is $140.

Examples of court orders:

  • If a property owner buys a foreclosed property and the tenants refuse to leave.
  • A divorce action is where one party is awarded the property and the other party refuses to leave. 
  • A warrant of eviction, also known as a warrant of dispossess, is issued by the court to recover possession of the real property. It is most frequently used when a landlord wishes to remove a tenant for non-payment of rent or to remove a tenant who remains in the property after the expiration of the lease. Landlord/tenant cases in New York City Civil Court that result in eviction are generally handled by the city marshals.

Tenant Rights During The Eviction Moratorium In New York

Tenants in New York have certain rights during the eviction moratorium related to non-payment of rent. Here are some of the key rights that tenants have:

  • Protection from eviction: Tenants who are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic are protected from eviction for non-payment of rent until the eviction moratorium expires on May 1, 2023.
  • Right to submit a hardship declaration form: Tenants have the right to submit a hardship declaration form to their landlord, which attests to their financial hardship related to COVID-19. Once the form is submitted, the tenant is protected from eviction for non-payment of rent until the eviction moratorium expires.
  • Right to challenge an eviction: If a landlord attempts to evict a tenant who is protected by the eviction moratorium, the tenant has the right to challenge the eviction in court. Tenants who are facing eviction should consult with an attorney who can advise them on their legal rights and options.
  • Right to emergency rental assistance: Tenants who are protected by the eviction moratorium may also be eligible for emergency rental assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program provides financial assistance to eligible tenants who are struggling to pay rent due to financial hardship related to the pandemic.

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