Governor Cuomo has signed an extension of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 and the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act. This extends the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions that has been in effect since March 2020, to August 31, 2021, for tenants who file or have filed “Hardship” affidavits, stating that they have suffered financial or other hardships due to COVID-19. The extension also stays the proceedings from going forward through August 31, 2021 and stays foreclosure proceedings and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic until August 31, 2021 as well. 

What the Extension Means For Tenants

What does this mean for tenants? Unless you are being sued by your landlord in a “Nuisance” case, where the landlord alleges that you are creating a nuisance for other tenants in the building or damaging the building, and in such cases the moratorium does not apply, it means you need not worry about losing your apartment for now and you have until August 31, 2021 to apply for part of the $2.4 billion rent relief fund the State has enacted but has still not commenced issuing the funds. The $2.4 billion is calculated to cover all of the rent arrears in New York for the past 15 months from the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 through May 2021.

What if You Are Being Sued?

If you are a tenant in a pending housing court proceeding being sued by your landlord for unpaid rent, you should stay in touch with your attorney for updates about when the time comes to apply for the rent relief funds. If you do not have an attorney, follow the news for updates on when and how to apply. You do not have to have a current case against you to apply for the relief, however priority will be given to those at risk of eviction.