The May 1 rent due date is looming for many tenants across New York. For people who have been out of work for the past several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coming up with the money can be very difficult.
Buffalo attorney Robert Friedman, who has been practicing landlord-tenant law in New York for over 40 years, was recently interviewed by WKBW Channel 7 News. He says that open communication between landlords and tenants is the best way to work together during these uncertain times.
“Document how much is owed and what the payment arrangements will be,” he said. “It would be in the best interest of both to spell out a rent deferral agreement as to why the tenant can’t pay his or her rent.”
If a tenant experiences harassment from a landlord regarding their inability to pay — such as being locked out of their apartment or the removal of their belongings — the tenant can sue for three times their damages, regardless of the situation. The landlord can be arrested, and an emergency court hearing will be held.
If you are having any difficulty whatsoever with a landlord-tenant situation during COVID-19, please contact the experienced Buffalo landlord-tenant attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer to protect your rights. We are here to help.