New York Extends Eviction Moratorium

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Governor Cuomo announced the state would also ban late fees and missed-payment fees during the moratorium period.

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The state at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. will extend a previously enacted moratorium on residential evictions an additional 60 days. Landlords will now be barred from evicting residents from their properties for COVID-related reasons until August 20.

Late fees and missed payment fees will also be banned during the period and renters may use security deposits to pay rent, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference May 7.

READ ALSO: What Historic Unemployment Could Mean for Multifamily

New York first enacted the eviction moratorium—which also applies to commercial properties—through a March 17 executive order, just a few days before stay-at-home orders went into effect across the state and all non-essential businesses were ordered to close.

Several other states ordered a halt to evictions in response to the coronavirus outbreak in March, including Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Delaware.

Cuomo said during his announcement that with the original expiration date of June 20 looming, “people are anxious.”

“I hope it gives families a deep breath, nothing can happen until August 20,” said Cuomo. “And then we’ll figure out between now and August 20 what the situation is.”

The Community Housing Improvement Program, a New York-based landlord trade group, said they understood state lawmakers are doing what they can to avoid a housing crisis and “respected” the decision to extend the moratorium. However, the group called on Congress to take more action to help renters financially impacted by the pandemic.  

“It is past time for the federal government to step up and provide renters and building owners with the relief they need,” said Jay Martin, executive director of CHIP, in prepared remarks.

“Congress must act quickly to put money in the pockets of renters who lost income and cannot afford to pay rent—either through direct cash or an emergency housing voucher. If they do not, millions of New Yorkers will suffer.” 

Multifamily rent collections reached nearly 92 percent last month, according to weekly data reports from the National Multifamily Housing Council. However, many in the industry are bracing for what rent payments will look like in May, especially as unemployment numbers have hit historic levels.

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