Cuomo Signs Covid-19 Anti-Eviction Law

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an anti-eviction bill into law Monday night that is designed to prevent most residential evictions for the next few months. The law also protects small landlords from foreclosure.

The Covid-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act  protects residents affected by economic hardship related to the epidemic. The new law also extends the Senior Citizens’ Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption from 2020 to 2021.

The law places a moratorium on residential evictions until May 1 for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions. Landlords can evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, and those tenants who do not submit hardship declarations.

It also:  

Places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings until May 1. Homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party or a court that would prevent a foreclosure.

Prevents local governments from engaging in a tax lien sale or a tax foreclosure until at least May 1. Payments due to the locality are still due.

Prohibits  lending institutions from discriminating against a property owner seeking credit because the property owner has been granted a stay of mortgage foreclosure proceedings, tax foreclosure proceedings or tax lien sales. They are also prohibited from discriminating because the owner is in arrears and has filed a hardship declaration with the lender.

Requires local governments to carry over Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption and  Disabled Homeowner exemptions from the 2020 assessment roll to the 2021 assessment roll at the same levels. They are also required to provide renewal applications for anyone who may be eligible for a larger exemption in 2021. Localities can also set procedures by which assessors can require renewal applications from people who the assessors believe may no longer be eligible for an exemption in 2021. Recipients of the exemption do not have to file renewal applications in person.

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