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Housing Programs & Services

Eviction Moratoriums: Under COVID-19

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Summary

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s previous Executive Order enacted eviction moratoriums for both residential and commercial tenants during the pandemic. However, the Governor’s most recent Executive Order, as of July 6th, 2020 only covers commercial properties through August 20th.

The CARES Act covered tenants residing in public housing, Section 8 (vouchers and project-based), Section 202 housing for the elderly, Section 811 housing for people with disabilities, and other covered properties with federally backed loans, but ended July 24, 2020.

If you are a Benefits Plus subscriber, for additional information on the various housing programs, refer to Benefits Plus,

  • Housing Programs and Services, Public Housing
  • Housing Programs and Services, Section 8 Voucher Program
  • Housing Programs and Services, Project Based Section 8
  • Housing Programs and Services, Other HUD Subsidized Housing Programs

For Benefits Plus subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.

NYS Eviction Moratorium

GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed Executive Orders affording residential and commercial tenants protections against evictions, as follows:

  • Executive Order 202.8 signed March 20th, 2020
    • Enacted an eviction moratorium for 90 days for both residential (in all types of housing) and commercial tenants.
    • The moratorium applied to all pre-existing warrants of eviction, see below, Eviction Moratoriums, Suspension of Evictions by NYC Department of Investigation.
  • Executive Order 202.28 signed May 7th, 2020 enacted a 60-day extension of the moratorium to August 20th, 2020, which applied to both residential and commercial tenants. However, Executive Order 202.48 signed July 6th, 2020 modified this moratorium extension.
    • The latest extension ONLY applies to commercial tenants eligible for:
      • Unemployment Insurance or
      • Benefits under state or federal law or
      • Otherwise facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Residential tenants were removed from the extension and may have protections against evictions due to nonpayment of rent under the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, which was signed June 30th, 2020. See below, Eviction Moratoriums, NYS Eviction Moratorium, Tenant Safe Harbor Act, for more information on the Tenant Safe Harbor Act.

While these executive orders protect tenants against evictions, tenants continue to be responsible for rent. There are no rent suspensions, rent cancellations, rent forgiveness, or rent freezes. For more information, see below, Rent.

TENANT SAFE HARBOR ACT

The Tenant Safe Harbor Act was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 30th, 2020. The law protects NYS residential tenants who have experienced a financial hardship during COVID-19 from eviction due to nonpayment of rent. It covers unpaid rent that has accrued between March 7th and until all COVID-related restrictions on nonessential gatherings and businesses are lifted in the tenant’s county.

While a housing court judge cannot authorize an eviction due to nonpayment of rent for tenants who have not been able to pay rent because of COVID-19, a judge can award money judgments against tenants to landlords. A money judgement gives the landlord the right to collect rent arrears from the tenant.

For more information on the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, click here.

Note

There may be relief available to landlords of properties where tenants have not been paying rent. As a result of the pandemic, there are federal foreclosure moratoriums and NYS foreclosure moratoriums for commercial properties in place. Additionally, homeowners (including landlords and property owners) may be able to access mortgage forbearance through their financial institutions. For more information on the foreclosure moratoriums and mortgage forbearance, see below, Homeowners.

Suspension of Evictions by the NYC Department of Investigation

In NYC, all city marshals have been notified by the Department of Investigation (DOI) that they cannot execute any pre-existing warrants, which are now stale. Because eviction notices last 30 days, tenants need to be served with new eviction notices. That is, landlords must bring the case back to court and marshals must reapply for warrants. According to a DOI memo, “a Notice of Eviction may not be re-served until the petitioner has received leave of court to enforce the warrant of eviction.” Additionally, NYC marshals are prohibited from engaging in any eviction processes for both residential and commercial properties until the NYC Civil Court (NYC Housing Court) determines eviction proceedings can resume.

Any NYC resident who does receive an eviction notice, or who sees or experiences an eviction being executed by the City Marshals, should report it to the Bureau of City Marshals in the Department of Investigation at (212) 825-5953.

Federal Eviction Moratorium

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included a federal eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent that took effect on March 27th, 2020 and extends for 120 days, through July 24, 2020 (which has not been extended) for tenants living in “covered dwellings” in “covered properties,” which includes:

  • Public Housing
  • Section 8 Voucher and Project-Based housing
  • Section 202 housing for the elderly
  • Section 811 housing for people with disabilities
  • For a HUD fact sheet for tenants, click here.

The federal eviction moratorium also covers renters that live in properties with five or more units that are financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or lives in some other multifamily housing that has a federally-backed mortgage loan, the renter may be temporarily protected from eviction due to nonpayment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal moratorium specifies that a landlord of a covered property may not evict a tenant after the moratorium expires except on 30 days’ notice, which may not be given until after the moratorium period. For more information, including a comprehensive list of covered properties, click here.