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COVID-19 Helpful Links and FAQ's

COVID-19 Helpful Links and FAQ's
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Tenants

Evictions

Q: I am now out of work because of the virus and can’t pay my rent, can my landlord evict me?

No. Governor Cuomo signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020Eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders are suspended for renters with financial hardship during COVID-19 for sixty days starting on December 28, 2020, and are extended until May 1, 2021 upon the filing of a hardship declaration.

Tenants may submit a hardship declaration to the landlord, the court, or an officer enforcing an eviction (such as a marshal or constable), as may be applicable.

For a more information on the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, visit:

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s9114

While there is a moratorium on evictions, a tenant’s obligation to pay rent and an owner’s obligation to provide essential services continues.

These protections build on the residential and commercial eviction moratorium first announced by Governor Cuomo on March 20, 2020 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency.

You should also consult a lawyer if you have questions relating to your specific lease. Here are NY State Bar Association links to legal service providers statewide:

https://www.findalawyernys.org/   

http://lawhelpNY.org/   

http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/ 

For more information, visit: Coronavirus and the N.Y. State Courts - Latest AO (nycourts.gov)

Economic relief may be available through unemployment insurance or other emergency social services.

The State's COVID Rent Relief program announced in July and then expanded in December made rental assistance available to households that qualified.

For unemployment assistance, visit: https://www.ny.gov/services/get-unemployment-assistance.

For information on paid sick leave, visit: https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers

 

Q: When does the Covid-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 go into effect?

  • It goes into effect immediately.
  • To allow for implementation by the Office of Court Administration, all eviction and foreclosure proceedings are stayed/suspended for at least 60 days.

Q: I have an underlying health condition that makes me susceptible to increased risk of severe illness or death due to COVID-19, and leaving my home after an eviction would heighten my risk. Can my landlord evict me?

No. The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, signed into law by Governor Cuomo, prevents evictions for tenants suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic until at least May 1, 2021. Health-related hardships cover tenants and their household members who are over 65 years old, have disabilities, or have underlying conditions that place them at an increased risk of severe illness or death due to COVID-19.

 

Q: I’ve had to take care of sick family members, which made me work fewer hours and made my own costs go up. Can my landlord evict me?

No. The financial hardship protections in the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act extend to tenants who have lost significant household income; had a hard time finding work or earning as much income because of childcare responsibilities, or because they are caring for elderly, disabled, or sick family members; or had increased out-of-pocket health care expenses or expenses related to caring for family members or performing essential work. To benefit from this protection, tenants must submit a hardship declaration to the landlord, the court, or an officer enforcing an eviction (such as a marshal or constable), as may be applicable.

For a full description of the financial hardships covered by the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s9114

 

Q: What should I do if my landlord gives me an eviction notice?

If your landlord makes a rent demand or gives you an eviction notice, they must also provide a hardship declaration where you can attest to your hardship(s). If you submit a hardship declaration to your landlord, you cannot be evicted until at least May 1, 2021.

If you are a rent stabilized or rent controlled tenant and believe you are being harassed by your landlord, you can file a complaint with HCR’s Tenant Protection Unit at: [email protected] or Office of Rent Administration at: https://hcr.ny.gov/harassment

Non rent stabilized tenants can report harassment to the Attorney General’s office: NYSOAG TH Form

 

Q: My case is currently pending in court, can I still be evicted?  

The legislation allows residential tenants unable to pay their rent or secure alternative housing and suffering a financial hardship to file a hardship declaration at any time with the landlord or court. This declaration will automatically lead to a stay of the continuance of any proceedings and execution of any warrants of eviction until at least May 1, 2021. 

 

Q: I have an outstanding eviction warrant, can I still be evicted? 

The legislation allows residential tenants unable to pay their rent or secure alternative housing and suffering a financial or health-related hardship, to file a hardship declaration at any time, with the landlord, court or warrant enforcement officer (e.g., marshal) that will prevent the execution of any warrants of eviction until at least May 1, 2021. 

 

Q: Do I still have to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic?

While there is a moratorium on evictions, a tenant’s obligation to pay rent and an owner’s obligation to provide essential services continues.

You should also consult a lawyer with questions relating to your specific lease. Here are NY State Bar Association links to legal service providers statewide: 

https://www.findalawyernys.org/  http://lawhelpNY.org/  http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/

Economic relief may be available through unemployment insurance or other emergency social services.

New Yorkers who are eligible can apply for rental assistance from the COVID Rent Relief Program extension, visit: https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP. Previous Applicants for COVID Rent Relief will not have to reapply to be reconsidered. 

 

Q: Are seasonal renters covered under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act 

The legislation does not cover seasonal tenants who lease a rental for a short seasonal term and have a primary residence in which to return. 

 

Q: Can landlords in New York attach late fees or penalties to partial rent payments during the coronavirus?

The Governor has issued an Executive Order (202.8) prohibiting charges or fees for late rent payments which can be found at: 

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2028-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

 

Executive Order 202.95

 

You should also consult a lawyer with questions relating to your specific lease. Here are NY State Bar Association links to legal service providers statewide:

https://www.findalawyernys.org/  http://lawhelpNY.org/  http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/

 

Security Deposits

Q: Can I use my security deposit to pay my rent?

The Governor has issued an Executive Order (202.28) so that tenants facing financial hardship can use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time, which can be found at:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20228-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

 

Executive Order 202.95

 

Utilities

 

Q: I can’t pay my utility bill right now, can my heat and electricity be turned off?

There is a COVID-19 moratorium on utility and municipal shutoffs. 

For more information and to file a complaint if your service is shut off, visit: https://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/AskPSC.nsf/All/D3BB77AFE92D6FFF852585EE0051A13E?OpenDocument

 

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills. 

For more information about HEAP visit: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/

 

Tenant Harassment

If you are a rent stabilized or rent controlled tenant and believe you are being harassed by your landlord,  you can file a complaint with HCR’s Tenant Protection Unit at: [email protected] or Office of Rent Administration at: https://hcr.ny.gov/harassment

Non rent stabilized tenants can report harassment to AG’s office: NYSOAG TH Form

 

 

Homeowners/ Mortgages

For SONYMA Loan Information - Click Here

Mortgages

Q: I lost my job due to the virus and cannot pay my mortgage, what can I do?

New York State and the federal government have passed laws to provide relief to homeowners who are unable to pay their mortgage due to COVID-19 and need a forbearance. 

For more information on a forbearance, visit the NYS Department of Financial Services web site:  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/coronavirus/mortgage.

 

Utilities

Q: I can’t pay my utility bill right now, can my heat and electricity be turned off?

There is a COVID-19 moratorium on utility and municipal shutoffs. 

For more information and to file a complaint if your service is shut off, visit: https://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/AskPSC.nsf/All/D3BB77AFE92D6FFF852585EE0051A13E?OpenDocument

 

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills. 

For more information about HEAP visit: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/

 

Landlords & Other Property Owners

Q: I’m a landlord and my tenants are unable to pay rent due to the virus, so I am unable to make my mortgage payments. What should I do?

The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020, signed into law by the Governor on December 28, 2020, suspends mortgage foreclosures, tax liens and tax foreclosures, credit discrimination, and negative credit reporting for qualifying property owners automatically for sixty days. To benefit from extended protections until at least May 1, 2021, property owners must submit a hardship declaration to the foreclosing party, an enforcement officer for a tax district, a lender, and/or a court. It also extends the Senior Citizens’ Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption from 2020 to 2021. 

To qualify, property owners must own 10 or fewer dwelling units, use one dwelling unit as a primary residence, and rent or make available for rent the remaining dwelling units.

For more information on the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s9114 

 

 

In May 2020, the Governor also introduced the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.

 

Access to loans for small landlords is targeted to owners with residential buildings of 50 units or less, and will prioritize loans for landlords whose properties are in low and moderate income census tracts or who serve low to moderate income tenants. For additional information see the web site here: https://hcr.ny.gov/NYForwardLoan

 

Eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders are suspended for renters with financial hardship during COVID-19 for sixty days starting on December 28, 2020, and are extended until May 1, 2021 upon the filing of a hardship declaration, but rental payments have not been waived. A tenant’s obligation to pay rent and an owner’s obligation to provide essential services continues. 

 

Q: Are co-op owners protected under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act? 

Co-op owners are included in the legislation and qualify for foreclosure, credit discrimination, and negative credit reporting protections.

 

Q: How will mortgage arrears affect my credit?

- The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act prohibits credit discrimination against qualifying property owners.

- Lending institutions are prohibited from discriminating against a property owner seeking credit because the property owner has been granted a stay of mortgage foreclosure proceedings, tax foreclosure proceedings or tax lien sales.

- They are also prohibited from discriminating because the owner is in arrears and has filed a hardship declaration with the lender.

 

Q: How are Senior Citizens' Homeowner Exemptions and Disabled Homeowner Exemptions affected?

Local governments are required to carry over SCHE and DHC exemptions from the 2020 assessment roll to the 2021 assessment roll at the same levels.

- They are also required to provide renewal applications for anyone who may be eligible for a larger exemption in 2021.

- Localities can also set procedures by which assessors can require renewal applications from people who the assessors believe may no longer be eligible for an exemption in 2021. Recipients of the exemption do not have to file renewal applications in person.

 

State Information and Quicklinks

For Daily Updates and Information:

 

For questions please call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065

 

Unemployment Assistance: https://www.ny.gov/services/get-unemployment-assistance

 

Information on Paid Sick Leave: https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers