Cuomo Proposes More Protections for Residential, Commercial Tenants

As part of his 2021 agenda, the governor will propose legislation codifying and extending the moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions. Governor Cuomo will also propose legislation to codify protections the state has provided tenants by Executive Order. The State of the State proposals are the first step in defining the governor's agenda in 2021.

"COVID-19 has produced enormous hardship for homeowners and commercial and residential tenants as we implement restrictions necessary to protect the public health, and we owe them safety from eviction until they are able to get back on their feet," Governor Cuomo said. "That's why we're proposing new legislation to continue to protect small businesses and commercial tenants and further extend existing relief for residents that I have provided by Executive Order. The pandemic shouldn't get in the way of our ability to provide space for our businesses and roofs over our heads, and this assistance will foster a faster and stronger recovery when we finish defeating COVID."

The governor's proposal includes:

  • Commercial Eviction Moratorium. The Governor will advance legislation to codify an existing Executive Order to extend a statewide moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1, 2021, for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Landlords can evict tenants who are creating safety or health hazards.
  • Prohibition on Residential Rent Late Fees and Penalties. The Governor will codify and extend existing Executive Orders to ban late payments or fees for missed rent payments during the pandemic. It will also allow renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.

Governor Cuomo has issued several executive orders and signed legislation to protect both residential and commercial tenants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. On Dec. 28, he signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. The act prevents residential evictions, foreclosure proceedings, credit discrimination, and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also extends the Senior Citizens' Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption from 2020 to 2021. On Dec. 11, he signed an Executive Order extending the state's moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through Jan. 31.