Gov. Cuomo Calls for Extension of Commercial Tenant Eviction Moratorium; Proposes Banning Late Fees, Penalties on Residential Leases

Gov. Cuomo Calls for Extension of Commercial Tenant Eviction Moratorium; Proposes Banning Late Fees, Penalties on Residential Leases
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

On Jan. 8, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would be proposing an extension of the commercial tenant eviction moratorium and measures geared to strengthening protections for rental apartment tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposals, part of the governor’s upcoming State of the State address, will advance legislation to codify an existing Executive Order to extend a statewide moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1, 2021 for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Landlords can evict tenants who are creating safety or health hazards, the governor noted. On Dec. 11, Gov. Cuomo signed an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through Jan. 31.

There is already a moratorium on residential evictions in New York State until May 1, 2021.

The governor will codify and extend existing Executive Orders to ban late payments or fees for missed rent payments during the pandemic. It will also allow renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.

“COVID-19 has produced enormous hardship for homeowners and commercial and residential tenants as we implement restrictions necessary to protect the public health, and we owe them safety from eviction until they are able to get back on their feet,” Gov. Cuomo said. “That’s why we’re proposing new legislation to continue to protect small businesses and commercial tenants and further extend existing relief for residents that I have provided by Executive Order. The pandemic shouldn’t get in the way of our ability to provide space for our businesses and roofs over our heads, and this assistance will foster a faster and stronger recovery when we finish defeating COVID.”

After the State Legislature met in special session on Monday, Dec. 28 and the Assembly and Senate approved the bill, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 later that day.

That bill (S.9114/A.11181) prevents residential evictions, foreclosure proceedings until May 1, 2021 and also prohibits credit discrimination and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also extends the Senior Citizens’ Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption from 2020 to 2021. The Act adds to New York State’s efforts to protect tenants and homeowners from the economic hardship incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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