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Evictions Moratorium

UPDATED: Evictions and Coronavirus in NY: What You Should Know

*This post was last updated on May 8, 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’s more important than ever that no one is kicked out of their home. Because of NYLAG’s advocacy, as well as that of partner organizations,  Housing Court, and eviction cases are currently suspended in New York.

The nature of this suspension is rapidly evolving. 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.  

Governor Cuomo issued an executive order on May 7, 2020 that does four main things for tenants in New York:

  1. Extends the eviction moratorium to August 20 for those who are receiving unemployment benefits or otherwise facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Stops landlords from bringing any non-payment cases against those receiving unemployment benefits or otherwise facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the executive order would appear to allow a landlord to start a holdover proceeding, but Housing Court is currently closed to newly filed cases.
  3. Stops landlords from charging late fees for rent owed from March 20 to August 20.
  4. Allows tenants who choose to do so to enter into written agreements with their landlords to apply their security deposits to rent and then pay back (replenish) the security deposit over a 12-month period that starts 90 days after the security deposit is applied to rent. 

What is still true from the previous moratorium:

  • The moratorium applies to all pre-existing orders. They have been suspended and you cannot be evicted. And when the eviction moratorium ends, you will need to be served with a marshal’s notice.
  • Any court dates for eviction cases will be postponed, and the court will mail you a notice with your new court date. If you have a NYLAG lawyer, you should have heard from them.
  • Right now, you are still obligated to pay rent. The face that Housing Court is suspended just means that your landlord can’t sue you for nonpayment right now, but once Housing Court is reopened your landlord will likely be able to sue you in a non-payment case for unpaid rent. We are working with the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition and other partners on possible reliefs for tenants, especially undocumented tenants who are generally ineligible for federal assistances.
  • If you’ve lost your job and you’re eligible for  unemployment insurance, you should file a claim ASAP because the benefits are very valuable. 
  • In NYC, you can still go to housing court for emergency repairs or if your landlord has illegally locked you out of your apartment. 

Please note that it is not clear at this time how one who receives a marshal’s notice of eviction after the initial moratorium ends on June 20 would demonstrate they are receiving unemployment benefits or otherwise facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is best you discuss your specific situation with us to get the most accurate information: nylag.org/hotline 

To reach a NYLAG housing attorney, go to our get help page.

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In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are still working hard and our intake lines are open, but please note that our physical office is closed.

During these unprecedented times, we’ve launched a free NY COVID-19 Legal Resources Hotline and compiled the latest legal and financial counseling updates.