*This post was last updated on June 29, 2020, to reflect a new moratorium issued by Governor Cuomo.
Housing is healthcare. As we all endure the coronavirus ( COVID-19) public health crisis, it is critical that no one is kicked out of their home.
Below, we put together the most accurate information and resources to aid you and your loved ones in navigating eviction questions during these stressful times. For assistance on case-specific issues, call our free NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline at 929-356-9582 or visit nylag.org/hotline.
HOUSING (LANDLORD / TENANT)
RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
- The service of marshal’s notices of eviction in Housing Court cases is still suspended until further notice, but that notice may come soon. Although the eviction execution moratorium is still in effect, landlords can now file new eviction cases in Housing Court except where the property is covered by the federal CARES Act. For the most part, at this time, landlords can only file new cases with the court by mail, so things are moving very slowly now. However, e-filing is coming to Housing Court likely before the end of July 2020, so it is likely that landlords will soon be filing many new cases against tenants. Don’t worry: you still have to be served with hard paper copies of any e-filed documents when a case is filed against you.
- Housing Court is open for tenants to file cases such as, landlord illegal lockouts, apartment repairs, and applications addressing serious repair orders. You can find more information about how to file those types of cases here.
- All pending Housing Court matters are still postponed. Do not appear. New appearance dates will be sent to you directly.
- Right now, you are still obligated to pay rent. However, as a result of a very recently passed law, you cannot be evicted for any rent that became due after March 7, 2020 if you experienced a financial hardship after March 7, 2020. But your landlord will still be able to sue you in Housing Court for unpaid rent and get a money judgment. Landlords won’t be able to evict you for post March 7, 2020 rent until all parts of the state of emergency are lifted, which will likely not be for several months and possibly longer.
- If you entered into an agreement in court prior to the moratorium that required you to pay rent by a certain date and you can no longer make that payment, your landlord cannot call the marshal/sheriff/law enforcement agency to evict you as long as the moratorium is in effect. Once the moratorium is lifted, they will be able to move forward with eviction, but you will first need to be served with a marshals notice.
- Please know that the order does not apply to rent demands. Landlords can still send you letters and rent demands for any rent they claim you owe during this time.
- Illegal Lockouts If you are a NYC tenant, you can file a case at an emergency courtroom to be let back into your unit. The courts and the City are referring all post-eviction and illegal lockout cases to the Right to Counsel legal services organizations, regardless of where you live or your income.
- Vacate orders are still issued when an apartment is dangerous or illegal, and only city agencies can issue them. Landlords are not legally empowered to directly issue vacate orders. During this crisis, we would expect vacate orders to be rare — in response to truly dangerous situations or as the result of a fire. Once a vacate order is issued, tenants have the right to access relocation services provided by City agencies. Relocation services remain open during the crisis.
NYCHA and Section 8 Residents
- All residential evictions are suspended indefinitely.
- NYCHA is suspending all termination actions and has postponed hearings until further notice.
- NYCHA tenants who face a loss of income can request an “Interim Recertification for any decrease in income that will last more than two months” by accessing the NYCHA Self-Service Portal at https://selfserve.nycha.info.
- Management offices in your building will remain open and staff can assist residents via phone, email or scheduled appointments to speak with staff from behind reception, for the safety of staff and residents.
- Non-emergency repairs and planned outages have been temporarily suspended, including inspections and scheduled maintenance visits.
- Emergency repairs will continue. Call the Customer Contact Center to schedule a repair at 718-707-7771.
- All NYCHA residents can go to NYCHA’s website for more information.
- HPD participants experiencing a rent hardship due to a decrease in income may contact HPD via [email protected] or by fax at 212-863-5299.
If you’re a NYLAG client and have specific questions about your case, contact your NYLAG attorney.