BRI News

The Supreme Court struck down part of New York’s eviction moratorium

As has been widely reported, the United States Supreme Court temporarily blocked part of New York’s state-specific eviction moratorium, pending the outcome of an ongoing case challenging that moratorium in federal court. 

Specifically, the Court is blocking the ability of tenants to submit a self-attestation form stating that they are experiencing one of a number of hardships and therefore qualify for eviction relief, as has been state law since the end of December 2020. 

(The state’s eviction moratorium is currently set to expire at the end of August, absent the legislature passing and the Governor signing an extension into law.)

Between federal and state law, there is now a confusing and overlapping web of eviction protections that tenants may qualify for, even with the Supreme Court’s actions:

1.) Eviction Protection Through ERAP — Under both the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the Yonkers-run program, a tenant who applies for the program receives protection form eviction while their eligibility is being determined. If they are found to be eligible for the program, the landlord may not evict the tenant for one full year after receiving rental assistance payments for rent arrears or prospective rent assistance.

2.) Eviction Protection Through the NY Tenant Safe Harbor Act — As passed into law in June 2020, a tenant who can prove financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 is granted relief from eviction, through housing court may still grant a monetary judgment for the rental arrears. This law only applies to rent due since March 7, 2020. That law remains in effect.

3.) The new CDC Eviction Moratorium — This federal moratorium only applies to tenants residing in a county with a high rate of COVID-19 (Westchester qualifies), who earn less than $99,000 as an individual ($198,000 if filing jointly) or who received a stimulus check, who can document a financial hardship due to COVID-19, and who have used “best efforts” to obtain all available government assistance. The tenant must qualify on all points. That federal moratorium is in effect until October 3.

If you have a case pending involving a tenant who doesn’t clearly qualify for any of the three remaining scenarios for eviction relief, we suggest that you consult with your real estate attorney on the particulars of that case.

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