New York Extends Eviction Moratorium to Jan. 15

Since the Supreme Court blocked the CDC's eviction moratorium on Aug. 26, New York State has achieved the distinction of becoming the first state to sign a new eviction moratorium into law. The Supreme Court had previously limited New York State's tenant protections in the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Act by revoking the section of the bill that allowed renters to submit an affidavit or hardship declaration self-certifying their pandemic-related hardship to stop an eviction case from moving forward.

What you need to know: Gov. Hochul called a special legislative session on Sept. 1. The new law extends the state's eviction moratorium though Jan. 15 and includes a "due process" mechanism intended to address the part of the law the U.S. Supreme Court struck down. Here’s what's included in the new law:

  • Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent an eviction proceeding from moving forward. Landlords who believe that their tenant has not suffered a financial hardship will now be permitted to request a hearing in court;
  • Landlords can also evict tenants who are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants, who are intentionally damaging property, or who did not submit a hardship declaration;
  • A new $250 million Supplemental Emergency Rental Assistance program to serve additional households and to better support landlords;
  • A moratorium on residential foreclosure proceedings so 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; and
  • A moratorium on commercial evictions and commercial foreclosure proceedings for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees that demonstrate a financial hardship. Tenants must submit a hardship declaration, or a document explaining the source of the hardship, to prevent evictions.

One level deeper: As landlord groups challenge the moratorium extension in court, the legal arguments will probably focus on whether the new "due process" provisions satisfy last month's Supreme Court ruling. As amended, the bill permits a landlord or ‎mortgage lender to request a hearing on the validity of a tenant’s or homeowner’s hardship ‎submission.  ‎

However, a court may require that in order for an owner to be able to dispute a hardship claim, the tenant must also be required to provide supporting evidence. A court may rule that a renter signing a financial hardship form without providing evidence that the owner can review and question would not pass a constitutional due process standard.