Cuomo Signs Eviction Moratorium Bill

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an extension Tuesday of the moratorium of Covid-19 related evictions and foreclosure prevention until Aug.31.

 The legislation extends protections prohibiting residential and commercial evictions, foreclosure proceedings, credit discrimination and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions. Landlords can evict tenants who are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, and those tenants who do not submit hardship declarations.

Residential Foreclosure Proceedings

The legislation also places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings until Aug. 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.

 

Commercial Evictions:

The legislation places a moratorium on evictions until Aug.1, for commercial tenants with COVID-related hardship. The legislation applies to small businesses with under 50 employees that demonstrate a financial hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions.

Commercial Foreclosure Proceedings:

The legislation places a moratorium on commercial foreclosure proceedings until Aug. 1.

Tax Lien Sales

The legislation prevents local governments from engaging in a tax lien sale or a tax foreclosure until at least Aug.1. Payments due to the locality are still due.

Credit Discrimination and Negative Credit Reporting

Lending institutions cannot discriminate  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.

Senior Citizens’ Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption

Local governments are required to carry over SCHE and DHC 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.

Cuomo first announced a State moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act on June 30 which became effective immediately as well as additional legislation providing financial assistance to residential renters and landlords. Additionally, previous Executive Orders have prohibited charges or fees for late rent payments, and tenants facing financial hardship can still use their security deposit as payment and repay their securty deposit over time.

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