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New York to Ban Most Evictions, Aims to Protect Tenants Facing Hardship

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Dec. 28, 2020 By Christian Murray

The New York State legislature is set to pass a bill Monday that would block the eviction of struggling New Yorkers until May 1.

Elected officials are convening a special session to pass the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act that aims to help residents remain in their homes and help small landlords.

The legislation would provide tenants with the ability to file a form attesting to economic hardship that would prevent a landlord from filing an eviction until May 1.

Tenants would have two months to make the “hardship declaration,” where they must state that they are unable to pay rent due to lost income, unforeseen heath costs or other financial problems stemming from COVID-19.

The form, once signed, would prevent a landlord from filing an eviction until May 1, 2021,

Any pending eviction proceeding–or any commenced within 30 days of the effective date of the legislation–would be stayed for at least 60 days. This would give tenants an opportunity to submit the hardship declaration.

The bill would also protect homeowners and small landlords—with 10 dwelling units or less– from foreclosure and tax lien sales. They, too, would be required to make a hardship declaration and would file the form with their mortgage lender, local assessor or a court.

Credit reports would also not be affected if the property owner falls behind on mortgage payments due to a hardship stemming from COVID-19.

“The bill advanced by the Senate Majority will help ensure New York tenants, homeowners, and small landlords will not have to fear being kicked out of their homes if they’ve been impacted by this pandemic and economic crisis,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

The bill has the backing of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and is being sponsored in the assembly by Jeffrey Dinowitz from the Bronx.

This legislation, according to Senate and Assembly Democrats, is the strongest bill in the nation that blocks eviction proceedings.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill.

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44 Comments

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Dorothy

After an eviction, people often go live with family or friends (or, if they have no other options, go into the shelter system), and that creates more points of social contact, opening up the risk of disease transmission. This needed to be done. The racial and economic disparities of the pandemic have been well documented! And its the Black or Latinx low-income communities that are also most likely to be evicted.

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Kay

You would assume that getting kicked out of a house, whether as a renter or as a homeowner, in the midst of a global pandemic would be incredibly dangerous. Well it is and Cuomo did the right thing! Landlords can sell if they can not pay bills and move to a cheaper place or state. Its those that rent that we should be all worried about. Many can not pay rent and bills and are going to bed hungry right in our own neighborhood!

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Martha

Its a lot easier for the bank and government to go after the landlords for non payment. No way will landlords be able to get tenants to pay unless they receive financial help that will go directly to the landlords. My brother had a tenant that lived rent free for almost a year and a half. The courts kept postponing eviction. My brother never got a penny in back rent and its been 2 yrs later.

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Insurance job

Back in the 70s, when landlords couldn’t make money on their buildings through rent, guess what?

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They had a place to live

You’re right, those homeowners made less profits than they were used to. Poor victims!

Unlike them, this article is about people that do not own homes. Scroll up to learn more!

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Taxpayer

And who IS going to pay for housing and healthcare, Stella? The taxpayers, of course. The money has to come from somewhere.

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Carey

We need to cancel rent debt after May. How are these poor folks going to pay back thousands of dollars.

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ABoondy

we need to cancel all rent and all mortgages, and any and all home purchases should be free. thank goodness money grows on trees. i dont know what i would do!

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Dick Sanchez

How about we cancel property taxes as well? How are struggling landlords going to pay thousands in back taxes to keep liberal politicians from missing a single paycheck?

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Stella

I’ve got an idea: what about we make housing and healthcare a RIGHT such that people don’t have to pay for those?

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Taxpayer

And who IS going to pay for housing and healthcare, Stella? The taxpayers, of course. The money has to come from somewhere.

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Common Sense

Mr. Cuomo isn’t doing anything. He is giving away other people’s money, rights, and property. Why thank him?

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Mike T

Dave- There is a tremendous amount of work involved with being a land lord. I know I was one and vowed never to be one again.

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Luna

NYC should make landlords put up “If you can’t pay, you can’t stay” signs on the front door so people know they can not get evicted during the pandemic. Call 311 if your landlord is harassing you for not being able to pay. Thank you.

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ABoondy

there are no houses here. what you call a house is a shanty shack thats fallen apart. i’ve looked at so many homes for sale in queens, and honestly i can say that their owners did nothing to them for the past century. some were so dilapidated and some were so poorly renovated with the cheapest materials, that i just gave up looking.

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Angelina

damn the landlord sympathizers in this comment section are so out of touch, additionally the lack of compassion for people in terrible conditions is absolutely jarring.

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Cman

You mean other folks who were smart enough to make sound investments empathize with one another? I guess you sympathize with deadbeats. To each their own I guess.

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Rebecca

I read that some landlords are asking for mercy from paying their taxes when they couldn’t show mercy to tenants who couldn’t pay rent!!!!!!!!! FUNNY

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Anonymous

They can’t pay their taxes because their tenants didn’t pay their rent. The government told the tenants not to pay the rent. The government (not COVID) took always tenants ability to make a living. The government took away the landlords only recourse for nonpayment of rent. So yeah the government shouldn’t be expecting any taxes until all the back rent is paid.

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Sarah

I have a tenant who just rang up $10k on my elderly mother in Astoria, taking advantage of the system, my mom is running out of money and looking to me for financial help. I’m not doing well either. Tenants can re-coup a place in a few days, landlords can loose a place that took decades to afford and financially ruin them.

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PM

Sarah: well said and I’m sorry for your troubles. So many people think that all landlords are these super rich Trumpiteers. Many landlords are small and or are so high up to there eye balls with high property taxes and mortgages that months of losing income can finish them. We need to do something for the renters but also not forget about small landlords. Not the big landlords but people like your mom where her house is everything has. I pray and believe something will be worked out.

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Landlords price gouging

Most landlords have been getting record high rents for years. They have been extremely overpaid for years. They spent all the big money living large, buying stuff for themselves instead of saving the money and/or reinvest the capital into the existing building or perhaps buying another building. Tennants have been getting creamed the last 10-plus years. Come on, a 1 bedroom in a house in Woodside or Sunnyside was 2200-2300.

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Vaso

Let’ see: stop paying rent to landlords. Landlords then have no cash flow, and the landlord gives building back to bank. Bank evicts tenants. Great idea!

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ABoondy

you didnt finish. bank cannot evict tenant in nyc, even in foreclosure. new owner cannot even go inside while the tenant is still occupying the space, so nobody will buy it. but, bank can sue tenant for non-payment and garnish the tenant’s wages, and luckily, banks have unlimited amounts of lawyers.

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Joanna

Many landlords end up paying thousands of dollars to tenants who do not pay rent or pay below rental market to get them to move out in order to sell a property. Same often happens when a place is sold or after a foreclosure. New landlords often pays tenants to move. My friend was offered thousands of dollars to leave by a new property owner even though they were paying rent and did not owe a penny to anyone.

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Craig

Being a landlord doesn’t equal being a charity!! So glad i sold my multi family home years ago and do not have to deal with this nonsense.

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Lesley

Did anyone really believe this wasn’t going to happen? Good luck trying to get back rent. And wait another year after this is over for the eviction process to do anything about it.

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ABoondy

well, you got their social security number when they filled out the lease, so yes, you can go after them in court eventually. they can run but they cant hide. you can have the courts garnish their wages until the contract is paid.

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Stacy

Folks are just taking advantage of the situation. Go get a job instead of crying out for handouts.

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ABoondy

i think the whole idea is perpetrated so landlords would abandon their buildings and someone would come and take their property for free.

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