Businesses struggling due to lockdowns and social distancing rules can stay in their buildings until at least the end of this year, Cuomo announced Tuesday as a month-long extension of the original order – which expired September 20 – was due to run out.
It gives renters and mortgagors more time to catch up on payments or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure in the future.
Now, like a moratorium for residential tenants, landlords will not be able to kick out those who are unable to pay rent due to issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak until at least January 1, 2021.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended a moratorium protecting commercial tenants from eviction. He announced the news Tuesday as the last extension was due to expire
It gives renters and mortgagors more time to catch up on payments or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure in the future. A woman reads a sign at a closed store in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, New York on October 9
Last month, Cuomo granted residential tenants the same relief until next year. Demonstrators are pictured October 1 in New York City
‘The health and economic impacts of this pandemic have been devastating, and we are continuing to do everything we can to support people who are suffering,’ Cuomo said Tuesday.
‘We are going to extend the commercial eviction and foreclosure moratorium through January 1st. That will now align with our residential eviction moratorium so they are both extended to the same date.’
Cuomo granted residential tenants more relief on September 28 to protect people suffering financial hardship during the public health emergency.
The governor announced protections for residential and commercial tenants on March 20, with an executive order against eviction and foreclosure lasting 90 days.
On June 30 signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act which became effective immediately.
The protections come alongside legislation providing financial assistance to both renters and landlords. However it may not be much help to commercial landlords who remain on pressure as the state relies on businesses to help boost the economy.
In May, Vornado said 80 percent of its retail tenants failed to pay rent in April and May as well as 40 percent of its office tenants. Vornado collected 53 percent of its retail rent but did not give numbers for office rents.
SL Green, another commercial giant, said it collected more than 90 percent but only around 65 percent of retail rent in May.
Empire Realty Trust collected 73 percent of its rent owed from office tenants in April. The company didn’t specify whether it meant some companies didn’t pay any rent at all or if its tenants only paid partially.
The company boosted its income to 93 percent by using some security deposits to make up the income. Cuomo has said that residential tenants can dip into deposits now and that over time the tenant should contribute more to pay it back.
The expansion of the residential moratorium include cases where a judgment or warrant of eviction was granted prior to March 7, 2020. Demonstrators are shown during a rent strike protest on October 1
Protesters created Abolition Living Room demanding cancel rent in front of 633 3rd Avenue, Manhattan where the NYC office of the Governor is located
Cuomo’s Executive Order for residential tenants from last month extends the protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic.
‘Chapter 127 of the laws of 2020 is modified to the extent necessary to prevent, for any residential tenant suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 state disaster emergency declared by Executive Order 202, the execution or enforcement of such judgment or warrant,’ the executive order reads.
It adds: ‘Including those cases where a judgment or warrant of eviction for a residential property was granted prior to March 7, 2020, through January 1, 2021.’
In August dozens of people marched through Brooklyn to protest the impending expiration of a previous order as 14,000 families risked being homeless, according to Legal Aid Society.
At the time he said he will keep extending it for as long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the livelihoods of New Yorkers.
‘Until when? Until I say COVID is over,’ he said.
The moratorium puts these proceedings on hold but, once expired, these can be carried out.
Even tenants protected by the Tenant Safe Harbor Act could have been taken to court by their landlords to recover missed rent payments however the executive order could help the tenant fight the case.