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  • Writer's pictureDavid S. Harris

NY Courts Extend Residential Eviction Hold At Least To Oct. 1

New York landlords whose tenants are not paying their rent have to wait until at least October 1, 2020, to go forward with the execution of eviction warrants. This development helps financially-strapped tenants, but provides no relief for landlords who have been going without rental income for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no guarantee that evictions will proceed in October, since there could be yet another extension of the stay on evictions. A New York Landlord Tenant Attorney can guide you through the current eviction process and rulings.

Although the New York court extended the residential eviction hold to at least October 1, the measure does not give tenants a free pass to skip their rent payments. Residential tenants can only hold off eviction proceedings if they meet one of these requirements:

  1. The eviction proceeding got filed on or after March 17, 2020 (unless both parties have attorneys), or

  2. The eviction case got filed before March 17, 2020, but the tenant qualifies for relief under the New York Tenant Safe Harbor Act.

Chief Administrative Judge Marks’ Administrative Order AO/160A/20 (originally issued on August 12, 2020 and corrected on August 13, 2020) requires courts to examine possible COVID-related issues at a settlement or status conference before progressing in a residential eviction lawsuit file before March 17, 2020. Cases filed after March 16, 2020 can get on the calendar for a virtual settlement conference if both sides have legal representation.

After the conference, the court can take whatever action it feels is appropriate. The court could decide to let the matter proceed as usual, but the execution of a warrant cannot take place until at least October 1, 2020. There are about 200,000 pending eviction lawsuits filed before March 17, 2020.

The Administrative Order

Administrative Order AO/160A/20 puts in place temporary suspensions of “further proceedings” in residential eviction cases. Landlords can still file eviction lawsuits and get service of process.

The conference requirement to explore whether the tenant has COVID-related issues applies to pending residential cases filed before March 17, 2020, even if a judge has already issued a warrant of eviction. There can be no execution of residential warrants of eviction until at least October 1, 2020.

Commercial eviction cases filed before March 17, 2020 can go forward as of August 19, 2020, regardless of whether the tenant has a COVID-related financial hardship. The stay of proceedings applies to both commercial and residential eviction cases filed on or after March 17, 2020.

What This Order Means for Landlords

Hearings continue to take place remotely whenever the court considers this method appropriate to safeguard the participants. We do not know when courts will return to “business as usual.”

Landlords can prepare and serve predicate notices like notices to cure and rent demands before October 1, 2020. Petitioners who have attorneys can file initiating documents through NYSCEF or mail, if the court is accepting those cases.

We strongly encourage our clients with unregulated apartments to terminate immediately tenants who are not paying rent. New York law requires between 30 and 90-days termination notice to tenants in unregulated apartments, depending on how long the resident has lived in the unit. Giving notice now will put you in a position to take action to get possession of your property when the courts allow the execution of eviction warrants.

A New York landlord-tenant attorney can help you take strategic actions now to prepare for when the eviction process returns to normal after the expiration of COVID-related administrative orders. Contact David Harris today.


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