NY State Eviction Moratorium Has Been Extended to January 15, 2022

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT EVICTIONS

 

The NY State Eviction Moratorium Has Been Extended to January 15, 2022.

 

Your landlord may still be able to evict you.

  • Courts are open.  If you get court papers or a letter from the court, DO NOT IGNORE THEM.
  • You should still try to pay your rent.
  • If you give a copy of the NYS Hardship Declaration to your landlord, your eviction may be put off until January 15, 2022.  Your landlord may challenge your declaration.
  • You can be evicted if your landlord can prove that you caused significant damage to your apartment or that you are doing things that are a threat to the health and safety of others.

 

 You may have other defenses to your eviction case.

If you get court papers or a letter from the court, you can call Neighborhood Legal Services at 716 847-0650.  We can look over your court papers and let you know about other ways that you may be able stop or put off your eviction.  Bring a completed copy of the NYS Hardship Declaration to court with you.

 

A law called the Tenant Safe Harbor Act says that tenants should not be evicted when the tenant or someone who lives with the tenant was affected by COVID. To prevent your eviction under this law, you must tell the court that you are suffering from financial hardship because of COVID.

  • These protections apply to rent not paid between March 7, 2020, to June 24, 2021.
  • In deciding whether this law protects the tenant, the court will look at several things, including the tenant’s income prior to the covered period; the tenant’s current income; the tenant’s assets; and the tenant’s eligibility for and receipt of benefits like Public Assistance, TANF, SNAP, SSI, SSD, unemployment.
  • Even If a tenant has a defense under the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, the landlord might get a money judgment against the tenant and garnish wages.
  • You should bring to court documents (paystubs, unemployment benefit statements, bank account statements, etc.) that show you had a financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • If you filled out a hardship declaration based on financial hardship, your landlord may try to prove to the court that you did not have a financial hardship.

Your eviction could be delayed by the NYS Eviction Moratorium.

To be protected by the NYS Moratorium:

  • You must complete a NYS Hardship Declaration and give it to your landlord and bring it with you to court. Click here or go to https://nycourts.gov/eefpa/PDF/Residential_Eviction_Hardship_Declaration-English.pdf for a copy of the NYS Hardship Declaration.
  • Your landlord is allowed to challenge your Hardship Declaration and you may have to prove that you have been effected by COVID-19.
  • If the court decides that you are not protected by the Hardship Declaration your eviction case will continue on as though there was no ban on evictions.
  • If you have applied for Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) assistance, and your landlord has already filed an eviction proceeding, your case should be paused until a decision is made about your ERAP application.

Your landlord cannot threaten or harass you to make you move out of your apartment.

  • It is illegal for landlords to try to harass tenants so that the tenants will move out. For example, your landlord cannot call you at all hours to demand the rent or threaten to harm you if you do not pay rent.
  • If your landlord is threatening you or harassing you, or if your landlord threatens to hurt you or your family, you may be able to get an order of protection. You need to contact the police and file charges against your landlord to try to get an order of protection against your landlord.
  • It is a Class A Misdemeanor for your landlord to threaten you, change your locks, or try to force you from your apartment without a court order.
  • If a landlord locks you out or tries to put you out or evict you illegally, call 911 and show the police officer your identification, your lease if you have one, a utility bill, or some other document with your name and address to show that you live in the apartment.
  • If you can’t get back into your apartment, call Neighborhood Legal Services at (716) 847-0650 to see if we can help.

 

This information is current as of November 17, 2021. New information continues to come in about how the eviction process is unfolding in New York State and in Buffalo. The guidance in this document is based on information from the US Centers on Disease Control and Prevention, NYS Attorney General, the Governor’s Office, and the NYS Office of Court Administration. For more information, go to https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus#tenantrights.

 

Updated 11/17/2021

 

237 Main Street, Suite 400, Buffalo, NY 14203-2794

Tel. (716) 847-0650/ Fax (716) 847-0227

www.nls.org