Buffalo landlord tenant attorney Robert Friedman discusses when the NY court system will reopen for evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Good Morning. I am Bob Friedman, Attorney with Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC. Welcome to the August 21st,2020 edition of the Legal Survival Channel: Today’s Legal News You Can Use.
We have been providing updates on the various pandemic eviction moratoriums on our Covid-19 Landlord Legal Survival page.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed Executive Order (“EO”) 202.57 on August 20th, extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures an additional month, until September 20, 2020. Additionally, New York Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks ordered the suspension of all new evictions.
In recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants, this executive order extends numerous other protections already enacted for commercial tenants and mortgagors. Commercial tenants and mortgagors now have additional time to catch up on their rent or renegotiate their lease terms to avoid evictions and foreclosures.
In recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and that New York businesses and residential tenants who face financial hardship due to COVID need protection, the extension of the commercial eviction moratorium ensures that business owners across New York will not be forced to close as a result of the pandemic.
Governor Cuomo first announced a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20, 2020 to prevent evictions during the height of the pandemic .The commercial eviction and foreclosure moratorium was extended through August 20,2020 by executive order.
On June 30th, 2020 Governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act and additional legislation protecting residential tenants and homeowners from foreclosure or eviction due to a COVID-19 related financial hardship. The Governor has also ordered additional protections for residential tenants from late rent charges and has allowed them to their use security deposits to pay their rent.
Additionally, on August 12, 2020 Judge Lawrence Marks signed an administrative order mandating that:
( 1)All commercial and residential eviction proceedings, including nonpayment and hold-over, filed on or after March 17, 2020, continue to be suspended;
(2) Residential eviction cases filed before March 17, 2020, including cases where a warrant of eviction has already issued but not been executed, must be conferenced with a judge before any further action is taken;
(3) Commercial evictions commenced prior to March 17, 2020 may be resumed except for commercial tenants facing financial hardship due to the pandemic who are protected by the EO; and
(4) No outstanding or new residential warrants of eviction may be executed prior to October l, 2020-or in the event of a future state or federal moratorium of evictions –such later dates as set forth by law.
The bottom line is that no evictions can take place until at least October 1, 2020. However, landlords should continue to serve default and termination notices on their tenants Also, landlords can still sue commercial tenants now to recover unpaid rent.
For further information on this and future changes, see our Covid-19 Landlord Legal Survival page.