It’s been almost a year since the pandemic started to hit New York hard and the ramifications of the virus are still being felt across the nation.
The most recent concession, Governor Cuomo has extended the eviction moratorium through May 1, 2021 – welcome news for a lot of struggling New Yorkers.
There is a lot to know about evictions, the moratorium, hardship declarations to help you avoid eviction, and your rights as a tenant. Here is some information to help you navigate these things until you can get back on your feet.
The Eviction Moratorium
New York passed a new residential eviction moratorium bill that can potentially protect people from eviction through the first day of May.
However, a form must be completed before residents can take advantage of those protections. The document states that the resident is in need of the safeguard because they’ve been impacted by the pandemic.
This measure is also designed to protect some small-property landlords (who own 10 apartments or less) and homeowners.
Hardship Declaration for Renters in New York
If you are a renter who has lost income due to the pandemic, are incapable of moving without substantial risk to the health of yourself or a member of your family, or cannot pay increased costs associated with rent, then you can protect yourself with a declaration of hardship.
This form is to be completed and delivered to your landlord. Once this is done, you are protected from being evicted for the nonpayment of rent or remaining in the unit after your lease has expired until May 1, 2021.
Keep in mind, however, that you can still be evicted for other actions aside from non-payment, such as putting other tenants at risk through your behavior. If you believe you are being unfairly evicted, then make sure to discuss your case with an attorney.
Declaration of Hardship for New York Homeowners
If you are a homeowner who is unable to pay increased costs due to the pandemic or has lost income, then you can also protect yourself with a hardship declaration against foreclosure until May 1, 2021.
You must sign and deliver the Declaration of Hardship to your mortgage lender or any foreclosing parties. If you happen to be involved in foreclosure already, simply fill out the form and provide it to the court.
You are still liable for any outstanding mortgage payments and fees, so make sure to keep records of what you owe and what you have paid. If you need help at any point, an experienced attorney can provide assistance.
New York Tenants’ Rights
Tenants have rights and now is as important a time as ever to make sure you understand yours. You have protection from unlawful eviction notices, intimidation, and threats from your landlord. Read more about each of these below.
Unlawful Eviction Notices
In New York, a tenant cannot be evicted if they’ve occupied their home for over 30 days without a court order. If you are locked out of your home or forced out without a court order by the owner, then it is considered an unlawful eviction and you should get an attorney involved.
Intimidation and Threats
You are also protected from threats of violence from your landlord. They do not have the right to remove your things, discontinue essential services, or force you out of your home.
In fact, if they are able to legally force you out, they are required by law to give you enough time to move out your things. Make sure to take advantage of what is available to you now so you don’t lose your home.