Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2 new laws protect tenants

In response to tenant pressure, the State Legislature passed and Gov. Cuomo signed two new laws that protect tenants:

The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act

This pauses all eviction proceedings (except for creating a nuisance or hazard) until February 28, 2021.

That gives time for landlords to give tenants a HARDSHIP DECLARATION that the tenant can sign under penalty of perjury and return to the landlord or to the court.  If that hardship declaration is signed, the landlord cannot proceed with any eviction case (except for nuisance or hazard) until at least May 1, 2021.  Nuisance cases will proceed normally (but remotely because of the pandemic).

The tenant will still owe the rent money. 

If you get an eviction notice, call 311 for free legal assistance IMMEDIATELY. 

The COVID Rent Relief Program is only available through Feb. 1, 2021.  It will pay some or all of rent money due for up to 3 months to Stellar directly. 

To qualify, you must 
  • Be a renter and have a primary residence in New York State;
  • Have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
  • Fit the income requirement - which is pretty liberal:  Before March 7, 2020 and at the time the application is submitted, household income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size; and
  • Be paying (or supposed to pay) at least 30% of your income in rent between April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.