NEW YORK CITY — Evictions will be banned until May 1 under a new bill lawmakers passed and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed.
The bill — the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act — was passed 40-21 during a special New York State Senate session on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020.
It gives tenants and homeowners at least 60 days to show the coronavirus pandemic caused them hardship. Once they do, any eviction proceedings will be halted until May 1.
Residential evictions in New York have effectively been banned since the pandemic began. But critics charged that moratorium — which has been extended in a rolling fashion by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — left too much uncertainty for renters.
Indeed, eviction filings began to trickle into courts.
The new bill creates a standardized form for tenants to declare hardship that prevents them from paying rent or to move, as well as if someone in their household faces increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Eviction proceedings, whether new or existing, will be halted until May.
The bill also provides protections against foreclosure and tax lien sales for residential property owners who own 10 or fewer dwelling units.
Cuomo said the bill also ensures that homeowners' credit rating won't be affected by pandemic-related hardships.
Protections for New York renters
How the new moratorium works:
The new law suspends pending and future eviction proceedings against New York tenants for either 60 days or 4 months, depending on their financial circumstances:
All pending eviction proceedings, as well as any eviction proceedings started on or before January 27, 2021, are suspended for a 60-day period and cannot go forward until February 26, 2021. This provision applies to all New York tenants, regardless of financial hardship.
New York tenants who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or who are living with someone who is at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, can submit a Standardized Hardship Declaration Form to their landlord or in court to prevent or halt an eviction proceeding against them.
New York tenants can declare financial hardship if they:
Once the Standardized Hardship Declaration Form is submitted to the landlord or a court, the landlord cannot file an eviction proceeding against the tenant until May 1, 2021. Eviction proceedings already underway will also be suspended until May 1st.
How to submit a hardship declaration form
At this time, New York State has not yet released the Standardized Hardship Declaration Form for tenants and homeowners to sign and submit.
For updates on when the form will be available and tenant support contact:
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Lenox Terrace Association of Concerned Tenants (LT-ACT)