LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: June Legislative and Regulatory Update

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: June Legislative and Regulatory Update
Philip Weiden

Although the month of June has seen a leveling off of new COVID-19 cases, much is still happening on the legislative front. Three bills have passed the State Legislature and new fair housing regulations go into effect this month.

One of those regulations provides for a New York State Housing and Anti-Discrimination Disclosure Form  that notifies tenants and potential purchasers of property of their fair housing rights under the law. A form is available for this from the New York Department of State. A Fair Housing Notice must also be posted in the window of each Realtor office that states what someone’s rights are under the various fair housing regulations. This form is also available from the New York Department of State.

A package of legislative bills has also passed, some with bipartisan support. As of this writing, none have yet been signed by the governor. One program that passed with bipartisan support establishes a $100-million voucher program for tenants to pay landlords who have lost income from COVID-19, from April 1st to July 31st. More programs should be designed to help landlords during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a step in the right direction.

The other bill that passed both houses of the legislature with little bipartisan support is the “Tenant Safe Harbor Act,” which bans evictions and prohibits judgements against tenants until all public and private restrictions are lifted due to COVID-19. It does not include provisions which the industry opposed that prohibited evictions for six months or in some cases indefinitely. Money judgements can still be pursued during this time period.

Stay tuned for updates on these important matters.

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