Landlords will not be able to evict tenants in New York State until at least May 1st, 2021. That is a result of a newly signed law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

On Monday Cuomo signed 'The Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act' into law. Immediately, New York State Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt released a statement criticizing the legislation and the passing of it. Ortt says, "The state has offered financial support to both tenants and landlords through CARES Act funding, and the Governor has implemented moratoriums on evictions." Basically, the state has put a halt on evictions until May 1st, 2021.

According to the legislation the protections are not just for tenants of rental property but are also extended to homeowners facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 virus Pandemic. Cuomo says, "When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we asked New Yorkers to protect each other by staying at home. As we fight our way through the marathon this pandemic has become, we need to make sure New Yorkers still have homes to provide that protection."

One local leader believes while the thought is noble and we need to protect those facing hardships, this legislation may not be the answer. Democrat Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon sent a release immediately following the Governor signing the bill. Buttenschon believes that the passage of this law may give irresponsible and malicious tenants the 'free pass' to not pay rent. She said in her release, "the Tenant Safe Harbor Act already protects tenants financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic from eviction. Fighting against housing insecurity will always one of my top priorities. But, regretfully, this legislation isn’t the right solution."

Now, the Governor's office did include in their announcement of the law's passage certain exceptions when it comes to evictions. The release read,

Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions. Landlords can evict tenants that are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, and those tenants who do not submit hardship declarations.

Who's to say there won't be tenants who take advantage of the new law. The law also protects homeowners from possible credit implications due to foreclosure proceedings. The state says in their release, "The Act also places a moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings until May 1, 2021. Homeowners and small landlords who own 10 or fewer residential dwellings can file hardship declarations with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party or a court that would prevent a foreclosure."

There are exceptions to almost everything and while this law may have seemed redundant and a waste of legislators' time, some evictions may still happen. We will see what happens on May 2nd, 2021.

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