New York COVID and Evictions
For many New Yorkers, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability to work and earn an income. Many businesses that have been deemed non-essential have been required to close starting on March 22, 2020. Schools have been closed, making it difficult for parents to work from home. Plus many are sick or have family members who are sick and unable to work. Anticipating that many families and businesses will be unable to meet some of their financial obligations such as paying rent, on March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued an executive order mandating a 90-day moratorium on evictions. The moratorium applies to both residential and commercial tenants. It ends on June 20, 2020. On May 7th the governor issued Executive Order 202.28 extending the eviction moratorium from June 20 to August 20. However, the extension applies only to tenants who qualify for unemployment benefits or who are experiencing a "financial hardship" as a result of COVID-19.
- Evictions are halted. Whether you are a residential or commercial tenant, during the moratorium your landlord cannot legally evict you for non-payment of rent. There are no restrictions on who qualifies for this relief which ends on June 20, 2020. However, even though landlords cannot eviction during the moratorium, rent has not been forgiven. Tenants are still responsible for the rent.
- Extension of eviction moratorium. The governor extended the moratorium on evictions through August 20, 2020, but only for those who are eligible for unemployment and for those who are experiencing COVID-related financial hardship. The order does not detail how financial hardship is determined.
- Landlord eviction filings. While during the moratorium, landlords cannot legally evict tenants and force them to move out due to late payment or nonpayment of rent, as of June 6, landlords can again initiate eviction proceedings. Because the moratorium on eviction is in place until June 20 for all renters and until August 20 for others, evictions cases filed before those dates will be temporarily adjourned. Unless further relief is provided, at the end of the moratorium period landlords will be able to proceed with their cases and eventually get court orders to evict.
- No late fees. Tenants will not accrue late fees for failure to timely pay rent during the moratorium period.
- Security deposits. Typically, security deposits are used to cover damage caused by the tenant. If there is damage, the landlord keeps all or a portion of the security deposit when the tenant leaves the property. If there is no damage, the landlord returns the full security deposit plus accrued interest to the tenant. As part of COVID relief, tenants can enter into an agreement with the landlord to use the security deposit and accrued interest to make rent payments and can replenish it later.
- Sick tenants. Landlords cannot force tenants who have tested positive for COVID-19 to leave.
- Utility disconnections. All major water, heat, and electricity providers in New York have agreed to temporarily suspend shut-offs and to assist customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
There is also relief from mortgage payments. Note that the special COVID-related rules and regulations related to housing are fluid and may change at any time. Check back to this page for updates.
The text of Executive Order related to the moratorium on evictions can be found here