COVID-19: Landlord-Tenant Update

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an additional Executive Order 202.48, which rescinded portions of the Governor’s earlier Executive Order 202.8, which had previously prohibited the initiation of all eviction proceedings. This new Order does not however permit the commencement of commercial eviction proceedings which continue to remain under a moratorium until at least August 20, 2020.

As a result, residential evictions may now proceed commencing on either a court-by-court or more likely district-by-district determination as to when the Courts may accommodate such proceedings. Before filing any landlord-tenant actions against residential tenant, it is important to understand the added limitations also put forth under new State and Federal laws that were enacted since our last Landlord-Tenant Update.

Applicable NY State laws include the passage of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, enacted July 6, 2020. In cases where rents accrue during the COVID-19 covered period, that being on or after March 7, 2020 until a date to be determined in the future, landlords may still seek a money judgment from tenants, but will be unable to obtain a warrant of eviction or judgment of possession against a residential tenant that has suffered a financial hardship for the non-payment of rent. Although the Tenant Safe Harbor Act does not specify criteria for a tenant to establish a financial hardship during the COVID-19 covered period, the act instructs the Court to evaluate certain factors including, the following:

  • tenant’s income before and during the COVID-19 covered period
  • tenant’s liquid assets; and
  • tenant’s eligibility for and receipt of assistance from local state or federal authorities.

In an abundance of caution, we would suggest using the Eviction 5 14 and 30 day Notice to accomplish all of the necessary notices.

Our attorneys and staff are here to help you effectively manage the impact of these disruptions upon you, your family or your business. We are reachable at our regular phone line (315-422-1172), email, and video conference.

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