New York State has expanded the eviction moratorium until May 1, 2021.
However, tenants must fill out a form declaring they are experiencing financial hardship because of COVID, or that being evicted from their premises would constitute a health risk to members of their household.
The form must be submitted, under penalties of perjury, to a landlord, mortgage lender and the Courts in order to secure the eviction protection.
Fraud or misrepresentation of your finances could be punishable up to one year in jail and 3 years probation.
Tenants would have to represent a loss of work, reduction in income, or increased COVID related out-of-pocket expenses like child care.
Failure to provide these forms to the landlord, Court and/or mortgage lender could result in foreclosure or eviction.
If an Eviction Warrant has already been issued, the case is only stayed for at least 60 days.
BEWARE: Tenants will still be responsible to pay all their back rent once the eviction stay is lifted. $1.3 billion worth of rent relief to New York tenants has been provided through the new federal stimulus package which could help cover some of the rent after the law expires.
The law also acknowledges the plight of landlords (yes, they are people too!) who have not collected rents in over a year, despite some tenants not having been impacted by COVID. The new law allows for the eviction of tenants who violate their lease by “persistently and unreasonably engaging in behavior that substantially infringes on the use and enjoyment of other tenants or occupants or causes a substantial safety hazard to others”.
The law would also allow small landlords and homeowners who rent second or third apartments, to declare a financial hardship in order to protect them from foreclosure.
What is the take away?
Send your forms in now! Get the benefits of the new eviction stay until May 1, 2021!