Cuomo Extends Residential Eviction Moratoriums In New York

September 29, 2020 Updated: September 29, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday issued an executive order extending the statewide moratorium on residential evictions through the end of the year.

Cuomo said the moratorium will be extended until Jan. 1 to help residents struggling to make ends meet during the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“As New York continues to fight the pandemic, we want to make sure New Yorkers who are still struggling financially will not be forced from their homes as a result of COVID,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We are extending the protections of the Safe Harbor Act through January 1 because we want tenants to have fundamental stability in their lives as we recover from this crisis.”

The order extends protections to residents afforded by the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, which gives certain cover to people facing eviction for nonpayment of rent. Under the law, tenants must prove their financial hardship in court and that the hardship occurred during the “covered period,” which began on March 7 and was due to end on Oct. 20, now extended to Jan. 1.

Tenants who successfully prove that they experienced financial hardship during the period in question and are awarded the ability to stay in their apartment are still responsible for rent debt. While qualified renters cannot be evicted because they missed rent during the covered period, landlords can still seek a money judgment to recuperate any unpaid rent.

Earlier in September, Cuomo extended the state’s moratorium on CCP virus-related commercial evictions until Oct. 20.

“This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants.,” Cuomo’s office said in a statement.

New York City’s restaurants, meanwhile, are gearing up to resume indoor dining on Sept. 30 after lockdowns over the pandemic drove their closures. Eateries will have to follow strict rules, however, including operating at a maximum capacity of 25 percent of legal capacity, run enhanced air filtration, and shutting their doors by midnight. Customers will have to be subjected to temperature checks and wear masks unless seated at their tables.

At a Sept. 28 press conference announcing the moratorium extension, Cuomo said that while New York State has an overall COVID-19 positivity rate of 1.5 percent, there was “significant action in clusters” in Brooklyn, Orange County, and Rockland County. Health officials would be intensifying their efforts in these areas, Cuomo said, noting additional testing compliance measures.

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